Vulnerability and Finding Your Voice
If I want to be creative, I need to allow myself to be vulnerable.
There is absolutely no way around it.
Every time I type a word on a page, or put some paint down in my sketchbook, I am making myself vulnerable. I am allowing myself to be vulnerable right now by putting out this blog post, by creating this website and working on creating and holding space for people who are ready to make changes in their lives. I’m am opening myself up to potential criticism and scrutiny. But if I don’t allow myself to experience this vulnerability I will no longer grow.
It’s hard to be vulnerable. We associate vulnerability with being weak. With allowing ourselves to get too close. With letting others take advantage of us.
“VULNERABILITY IS THE BIRTHPLACE OF INNOVATION, CREATIVITY, AND COURAGE.”
— Brene Brown
VULNERABILITY is super scary. As a child I was given the space to be vulnerable. I was supposed to be curious. It was my job. My world was one where I was constantly exploring and where I was encouraged to try new things and to make mistakes. And then somewhere around middle school there was a subtle shift. I was supposed to become more serious about my exploration and the risks of trying new things and of failing seemed to be raised a little higher. I slowly began to build up walls so that the risks I would take were small and I became hesitant to let too many people know who I really was or what I thought.
It was a lifesaver when I finally found a safe place to allow myself to be vulnerable. At first it was just in my writing. In a notebook. But, it was me beginning to use my voice again. And my opinions. And my ideas.
And then visual journaling entered my life and I latched onto it right away. It was like a life raft in an increasingly turbulent and stormy ocean. As a writer I was too focused on only using words and I wanted to find ways I could expand what I was trying to express and understand. My sketchbook has become the place where I get to try all this out. But it’s still about taking that first step, whatever it may be, in allowing yourself to try something new, to allow yourself to fail, but know that in making yourself vulnerable to growth and change, you will always come out ahead.