Being native Congolese (central Africa area), vulnerability was always something frowned upon growing up. My mother would tell me that vulnerability would lead to people walking all over me, my father pretty much trained me to be a mini version of himself, so feeding too much into your emotions was never perceived as a good thing. Over the years, I have gotten so comfortable with only showing off my strengths and achievements, so much that vulnerability has always been sub-consciously perceived as a weakness, although I have always admired those who easily share their vulnerability with me. Part of the reason why I have perceived vulnerability as a weakness for so long, aside from my upbringing, it is because I struggled understanding the fine line between being vulnerable vs. being a victim. Since not sharing my vulnerability with others seems to limit my ability to build a deep and intimate connection with my peers, lately, I have had time to really explore what vulnerability means, and how it can actually be a strength. Here are 3 things that I have been meditating on to improve my ability to be more vulnerable, and hopefully inspire you to do the same:

  • Really putting myself out there, baring it all - While I do believe that people admire me for my achievements, I think that it is really important and powerful to share my fears, weaknesses and doubts with my blog readers, social media followers, and friends. People may not always agree with some of my raw thoughts and feelings, but that’s okay, at least it is out there and hopefully it will inspire someone.
  • Identifying my internalized triggers - I am someone hyper by nature, but always short fewd when things don’t always go as planned or don’t go my way (youngest child syndrome). Not only is this not okay, but it’s embarrassing looking back at the instances that I’ve lacked self-control to stop myself from feeding too much into my emotions at times when I shouldn't have. All of us have certain behavioural patterns and reasons for reacting to certain things, getting to the root cause of those triggers is key.
  • Letting go of some of my childhood perceptions taught to me by my parents and culture. Now, don’t get me wrong, my parents have taught me many great things in life but vulnerability isn’t one of them. Culturally, society has imposed on black women to always be ‘strong’ (what that really means is always look tough, be loud and don’t let anyone walk all over you, ever!), and I see how that’s working out for us, not always pretty. Don’t get me wrong, I pride black women for their sass and confidence, we don’t always have much of choice since we’re not always perceived in the best light, so we have to be strong when facing scrutiny. However, it is important to remove this notion that expressing our fears and doubts, which we all share, is a weakness. Instead, this is a strength that should be vocalized and celebrated. 

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