There is no such thing as courage without vulnerability and being vulnerable is the only way to live life ‘all in.’

What do you think when you hear the word vulnerability? This word may make you feel weak and fearful, or it may trigger past feelings of hurt and betrayal. Revealing vulnerable parts of yourself to others is emotional and it absolutely increases the possibility of being hurt. Acting vulnerable despite this knowledge takes great strength and fortitude.

Brene Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, author of Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love Parent, and Lead spent years studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. Brene introduces The Power of Vulnerability in her first TEDx in 2010. She is the leading expert on vulnerability, courage, and living life ‘all in.’

The act of being vulnerable, showing up with the uncertainty of raw emotions, is risky, and the point where you feel completely exposed. The act of being authentically vulnerable, where you allow your real ‘self’ to be seen by others, is the ultimate act of courage.

“Vulnerability is not knowing victory or defeat, it is understanding the necessity of both; it’s engaging, it is being all in.”- Brene Brown

To be alive and live life in a big way, you must be vulnerable, take risks, and be open to both failure and accomplishment. It takes courage and determination to show up vulnerably and let others see your authentic self. Though raw authenticity isn’t easy or comfortable, it is exactly the ingredient needed to live life in the most courageous way.

Through the odyssey of my life, I found the courage to be vulnerable, to share my story, so others might benefit by learning from my experiences.

Through sharing, I hope to remove the stigma of addiction and compulsive behaviors (of which we all have) and encourage others to discover their meaning and purpose in life. In this state of authenticity and vulnerability, I have connected with people in ways that give others permission to release their own shame and guilt which has become a catalyst for personal transformation.