Although everyone may have a slightly different interpretation, to be vulnerable is to be exposed, to move forward without certainty, to show our flaws, to admit when we are wrong, to face judgment, to love without reciprocation or reassurance, and to live and act as our authentic-selves; even when that means we may get hurt.

A Common misconception is that vulnerability=weakness

According to Brené Brown, vulnerability has these three characteristics:

  1. Risk
  2. Uncertainty
  3. Emotional Exposure

Those three characteristics make vulnerability appear to be more of an act of courage and bravery, not of weakness.

Question 1: How can you view vulnerability as courage, rather than weakness?

Why do we avoid vulnerability? Because it can be:

Scary, hard, painful, unsafe, embarrassing, uncertain, disappointing, and a WHOLE LOT MORE!

Question 2: Can you remember times when you stopped yourself from being vulnerable? What were the circumstances? What were you afraid would happen?

People create all types of defenses to protect themselves from potential emotional pain/shame

Question 3: What defenses have you created?


It connects us. It shows humility. It fosters growth. It makes life more meaningful. It helps us reach self-actualization. It builds trust & respect. It’s a necessary part of love

Question 4: Can you think of positive, meaningful moments or experiences that resulted from vulnerability? If so, take a moment to reflect on them.

*Note of caution- some people and situations are not deserving of your vulnerability. If you have good reason to believe that your vulnerability will be used or abused for personal gain and power, it is reasonable to protect yourself.

Learn more about vulnerability from Brene Brown’s Ted Talks at