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Why Vulnerability Is So Important

https://lifehacker.com/why-vulnerability-is-so-important-1788460017

lifehacker.com

Why Vulnerability Is So Important
You know how important it is to break out of your comfort zone, say yes more often, and allow yourself to be vulnerable. But what if that vulnerability makes you so anxious you find it hard to function? The key is learning to embrace vulnerability without allowing it to take over.

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Vulnerability and confirmation bias

Vulnerability and confirmation bias

Vulnerability challenges your confirmation bias.

It is uncomfortable to ask questions, express your opinion, or open up about your emotions with people. You expose yourself to their criticism and judgment, but you also expose yourself to answers and opposing views. And this is a lot more beneficial than stagnating in the comfort of what you already know.

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Breaking out of your comfort zone

Breaking out of your comfort zone

Breaking out of your comfort zone makes you feel vulnerable, but that feeling works in your favor because it improves your performance and boosts your growth. A  constant state of comfort equals steady performance.

Too much anxiety, however, will make you too stressed to be productive. 

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Set realistic goals to hedge your anxiety

Set realistic goals to hedge your anxiety

In most cases, once you do something scary, you realize it’s not as bad as you thought—it was just the anticipation that frightened you more than anything.

Setting a goal can help you get past that anticipation and feel in control of your vulnerability.

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Partner up with a friend

Partner up with a friend

You can encourage yourself to do more vulnerable things by finding a friend who embraces discomfort.

Maybe it’s a networking thing, or karaoke, or surf lessons. Whatever the activity, having a friend by your side makes an uncomfortable thing a little less anxiety-inducing so you can get the most out of it.

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Mindfulness practices

 Mindfulness practices
  • Mindfulness meditation: just set a timer for five minutes to sit and breathe.
  • Reminders: set reminders to focus on different activities: to take breaks, to refocus on work, etc.
  • Journaling: use it to get your thoughts out of your head and on paper, where you can sort them out. 

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The Science of Your "Comfort Zone"

Your comfort zone is a behavioral space where your activities and behaviors fit a routine and pattern that minimizes stress and risk. That provides a state of mental security. 

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Optimal Anxiety

A state of relative comfort created a steady level of performance. In order to maximize performance, a state of relative anxiety is needed—a space where our stress levels are slightly higher than normal. This space is called "Optimal Anxiety," and it's just outside our comfort zone. 

Too much anxiety and we're too stressed to be productive, and our performance drops off sharply.

Making Sense Of Your Comfort Zone

  • Your comfort zone is neither a good or bad thing. It's a natural state that most people trend towards. 
  • Leaving it means increased risk and anxiety, which can have positive and negative results.
  • Don't demonize your comfort zone as something holding you back. We all need that head-space where we're least anxious and stressed so we can process the benefits we get when we leave it.

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The secret to a successful relationship

Research shows that vulnerability is the quality that makes a relationship last.

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Why we fear vulnerability

We are afraid we will be rejected if someone finds out who we really are.

When someone is inauthentic, we naturally know they are "fake" people.

Research suggests sticking to the truth improves relationships and may help us overcome negative emotions faster.