Every person who went on MAFS was vulnerable, because they opened themselves up to the experiment, the cameras, and the whole bloody world.

Today, I want to share a reflection on being vulnerable, based on my personal experience from being on Married at First Sight, the most watched TV show in Australia.

Are you scared of being vulnerable?

Every person who went on MAFS was vulnerable, because they opened themselves up to the experiment, their partner, the cameras, and the whole bloody world.

We all offended some people and turned some people off. Those are some of the consequences of putting yourself out there and being vulnerable. Scary stuff. That’s why, in “the real world”, people hide their feelings a lot more.

The masks we wear

We wear a mask that says, “I’m great and my life is great”, even when it’s not. We dodge personal questions with a flippant quip. We avoid too much eye contact for fear of others seeing something we don’t want them to see. We deny our feelings and cover up who we are and what’s really going on for us.

The bottom line is that YOU have a hard time connecting with other humans because you’re always covering up who you are and what you feel. I’m not saying that’s true. I’m asking you to stand in that possibility and see for yourself if it fits.

Being vulnerable is emotional exposure

Being vulnerable means being honest about your feelings and having the courage to talk about and display them now and then. It’s called emotional exposure, and it’s scary.

“How’s the new role going?” Will you act stoic and proud, or will you confide that you’re not coping with the workload, and maybe even ask for their help?

Perhaps you’re worried you’ll come across as needy, self-centred or weak if you share your feelings. That’s a common agreement many people make to avoid being vulnerable. When in fact, like most of the agreements you make with yourself, it’s just a bullshit excuse.

Being vulnerable tells others you trust them

Opening yourself up to others makes them feel massively appreciated. Because in trusting them with your feelings and personal concerns, you are implicitly asserting their importance. You are saying, “I trust you and I value your opinion”.

And that, as the psychologist John Dewey noted, taps into the deepest urge in human nature i.e. “the desire to be important.

“Woah, he fully dropped his guard and showed me his true feelings by confiding in me. In ME … of all people.” That’s the subconscious message others get when you are vulnerable.

The moment colleagues turn into human beings

The afternoon part of my Real YOU workshop has a group of 25 work colleagues sitting in a circle being vulnerable by sharing their limiting beliefs and feelings. The Head of HR who feels that she’s not good enough or deserving enough of her position. The young data guru who discloses his struggle with being different and not fitting in.

And the reaction from everyone else in the room? 100% support and admiration, plus a new, human understanding of their boss and colleague. It is precisely this moment of vulnerability that turns colleagues into human beings. That’s the power of Real YOU if you have the courage to drop the mask and put yourself out there.

Vulnerability is the path

Stop trying to be perfect and expose your true self and share yourself without inhibition. And you will begin to see how being vulnerable turns bullshit into honesty and people into human beings. In the words of Brené Brown (The Power of Vulnerability):

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”

Be strong, be vulnerable!

Richard Sauerman
Richard Sauerman
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