A to Z Guide to Thriving in Life Over 50s Lifestyle

‘V’ is for Vulnerability – 4 ways it will help you Thrive

April 25, 2018



Vulnerability what does this word mean to you?  How does it make you feel?

The Cambridge English dictionary defines ‘vulnerability’ as ‘the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally’.

Vulnerability is certainly not a comfortable state and most of us feel that showing our vulnerability is a sign of weakness.  We soldier on, showing the world a different persona to the way we are feeling inside.  I know I’m guilty too often, of trying to take on more than I should, not asking for help when I should, and feeling that I need to show that I can cope and manage on my own.  If I don’t, I feel that I’ve failed or shown that I’m not capable.  Which is really nonsense – again the Negative voice of the inner critic is at play.

Sometimes, we don’t want to show our vulnerable side in relationships because we fear rejection or think we aren’t good enough.  We don’t want to take risks and expose our feelings and emotions to others.

The flip side is that if we want to Thrive in life, we need to show our vulnerable side and discover the positives that can arise.

In her book,Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead”‘, Brene Brown refers to the ‘Citizenship in a Republic’ speech by Theodor Roosevelt and writes that when she read it, she found what vulnerability meant to her.

Vulnerability is not knowing victory or defeat, it’s understanding the necessity of both; it’s engaging. It’s being all in.

The first step is to take a look at our vulnerability and accept that it is normal to feel vulnerable, everyone does, but owning our vulnerability will provide strength and courage to move forward.

4 ways showing Vulnerability will help you to Thrive

1. Increases self-confidence and courage

Showing our vulnerable side takes courage because as we open ourselves up to others, we overcome the fear of feeling that we are not being good enough; fear of failure or not wanting to show that we are human and not perfect after all.

2. Improves Relationships

Opening up with your feelings and emotions will help you engage with family and friends.  Relationships can be affected when we try to be a ‘one-person show’, and give the impression we don’t need anyone.  If you build barriers, you are shutting out those who love you and want to help.

3. Improves health and well-being

We put the pressure on ourselves by trying to live up to self-imposed unrealistic expectations or standards.  Yes we need and like to be independent, but we also need to ask for help when we need it.  Trying to do everything is not expected of us and sometimes taking on too much can affect our health and stress levels.  Learn to say ‘no’ and also learn to ask for help.  No one will think less of you. People are more than willing to be supportive of you – you just have to ask.

4. Presents Opportunities

By being afraid to take risks we can miss out on opportunities to improve our life.  We stagnate because we fear failure, rather than taking the opportunity and if we do fail, acknowledging the learning experience.  The positive side is that we might actually succeed.

Do you feel Vulnerable?  What is one thing you can do today to acknowledge your vulnerable side?



In my next post in the A to Z Guide to Thriving, I’m discussing ‘W’ is for Worthiness – Valuing your own Worth. I do hope you will join me.

If you have missed previous posts in the AtoZ Challenge 2018 just click here to find them all.

You might also like to check out my Over 50 & Thriving series.  In this series, published every Thursday, guest writers give insight into what ‘Over 50 & Thriving’ means to them.

Want practical and motivational ways to learn to Thrive rather than just Survive in life?  Click here and Subscribe to receive my daily posts as they publish plus a FREE COPY of my E-Book ’10 Ways you can start Thriving Today’.

Let’s Start Thriving Today!



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  • Reply Retirement Reflections April 25, 2018 at 12:47

    Once again, this post strongly resonates with me, Sue. Taking on too much, and then not asking for help….that is my MO completely! I have been trying to work on this in retirement — slowly! I agree that truth and courage are often (very) uncomfortable.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 25, 2018 at 16:44

      We are so alike Donna. I do still take on too much and think I can handle it all. Lately, I have been asking for help because there have been some personal issues going on and I just can’t do it all. x

  • Reply Jennifer Jones April 25, 2018 at 18:11

    I don’t do vulnerable well Sue. And I’m also bad at asking for help. I’m really good at taking on too much and refusing to ask for help so work to be done in these areas

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 26, 2018 at 07:25

      I’m not good at it either Jen, but times like this week when I’m sick and I just can’t do everything, I realise that asking for help isn’t such a bad idea after all. Have a great week!

  • Reply Leanne April 25, 2018 at 18:22

    Vulnerable has a lot of negative connotations but I think Brene Brown is doing a good job of turning it around and making it something we can embrace. It always felt weak, but now I think it shows a lot of strength and courage when we’re willing to embrace our vulnerable areas.

    Leanne | http://www.crestingthehill.com.au
    V for Visualise and Plan

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 26, 2018 at 07:25

      I only know of Brene Brown through you, Leanne but I do believe that many are coming around to thinking that showing vulnerability is a sign of strength not weakness. It means we have the self-confidence in ourselves to realise we can’t do it all and aren’t afraid to ask for help. It can certainly take the pressure off.

  • Reply Candi Randolph April 25, 2018 at 19:40

    I have difficulty asking for help, even though I know it is not a sign of weakness but of strength and vulnerability. My head gets in the way. As I’m getting older I’m getting better at it. Thanks for a great post.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 26, 2018 at 07:21

      It is hard to ask for help, Candi. I’m the same I like to think I’m in control and don’t need help but to be honest sometimes I take on too much and have to hoist the white flag! I do think I’m improving and the more I write about it the more I believe it. Have a great week! x

  • Reply karen@profoundjourney.com April 26, 2018 at 03:50

    I love Brene Brown’s work, Sue, although didn’t feel that way until quite recently. Before that I was completely opposed to being vulnerable and found her words on the subject quite threatening so I dismissed them as self-help psychobabble.
    There are definite advantages to aging when it means a greater willingness to be vulnerable and open to life.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 26, 2018 at 07:17

      I haven’t read much of her work Karen, but a few of my blogging friends quote her all the time. I thought I would see what she had to say. I also think that even the experts don’t get it right all of the time, we need to listen to ourselves and take from each of them what we feel is right for us. Have a beautiful day and it has been so lovely to connect with you during AtoZ. Let’s keep the connection going!

  • Reply Jodie April 26, 2018 at 04:28

    I can so relate to this Sue! I used to feel that need to be perfect all the time, but once I let it go and showed my faults….it’s made life wonderful!!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 26, 2018 at 07:15

      Hi Jodie! We can put unrealistic standards on ourselves can’t we and then feel disappointed if we ‘fail’. You have the right attitude and that is why I think you are always so positive and smiling! x

  • Reply Shirley Corder April 26, 2018 at 05:23

    Excellent post as usual, Sue. Being vulnerable is so important. People will only open to us if we are open to them.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 26, 2018 at 07:14

      It isn’t easy to show our vulnerability,Shirley as we don’t want to appear weak. We don’t realise that it takes strength and courage to ask for help.

  • Reply Deborah Weber April 26, 2018 at 07:17

    Great post Sue. It’s a shame we have so far yet to go collectively, to claim something that is truly part of who we are and what we experience. We’re all vulnerable at times. We all need to be treated with care and respect – and we’re all worthy of that no matter what. Pretending we’re invincible with limitless capacity is not only unhealthy for us, but is another barrier to experiencing each other, and ourselves, authentically.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 26, 2018 at 08:46

      Hi Deborah and you are so right – it isn’t healthy to think we are invincible and can do it all. I once wrote a post about ‘Wonder Woman doesn’t exist’ because as woman we place so much on our shoulders because we feel a failure if we can’t juggle 10 balls at once! Have a great day and thanks for stopping by to comment xx

  • Reply Weekends in Maine April 26, 2018 at 12:17

    I agree that showing vulnerability can help improve relationships. It can make them deeper and richer. Weekends In Maine

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 26, 2018 at 14:16

      I agree, it shows we are human and people can really relate to that. x

  • Reply heatherericksonauthor April 26, 2018 at 12:28

    It is so hard to be vulnerable. Yet, it is only when we take this risk that we can get close to someone. Relationships are built on openness and transparency. That requires vulnerability.
    Facing Cancer with Grace

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 26, 2018 at 14:21

      I agree Heather. When we show our vulnerable side I think people realise we are human just like them with the same feelings and self-doubts. They open up and are much more supportive than if we block them out or put up barriers. Have a lovely day and thanks for stopping by xx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 26, 2018 at 14:26

      Heather I had problems trying to connect to your site so will try later.

  • Reply Debbie Harris April 26, 2018 at 12:46

    I can relate to this one too Sue! Being vulnerable is hard but if I’m trying to be honest with myself I have to show my vulnerability sometimes. You are so full of interesting and useful information!!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 26, 2018 at 14:18

      Sometimes I even surprise myself Deb. There must be some wisdom deep down that pops up every now and again 🙂

  • Reply LillianC April 26, 2018 at 13:54

    What a lovely blog! Nice layout with bright, inviting colors. And such crisp writing! My problem with vulnerability is living with a narcissist. That tends to keep me on the defensive. I am learning better strategies for wellness. Happy A to Z!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 26, 2018 at 14:19

      Hello Lillian and thank you for visiting and also for your lovely comments about my blog. Happy AtoZ to you and we are nearly at the end! It has been a very busy month. I hope you visit again. Have a beautiful day x

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