Fear, Vulnerability, & Daring Greatly

I LOVE that on Saturday, some of us have been celebrating Self Love – so on Sunday I’m going to write about it. I desire a weekly space totally dedicated to inspiration, dream-following, goal-setting, out-of-box-thinking and life-lesson-learning.


I wrote this on my FaceBook the other day: “Many of our problems come from an unwillingness to let ourselves be happy. We are afraid that once we feel it and accept it, we will lose it. So we sabotage ourselves. But there is no other way than love and also loss. The ups come with the downs. We must feel it all. We must embrace the full spectrum of what life has to offer – the bad with the good – if we are to truly and fully live.”

I am currently reading, Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. {You may have seen her recently on Super Soul Sunday. Oprah and I are both obsessed with her.} Brene is a Licensed Social Worker/PhD/Researcher. She has interviewed thousands upon thousands of people, recording and analyzing their experiences with vulnerability, shame, and (what she calls) wholehearted living. The data has helped her develop a simple concept: those who experience happiness, love, belonging and worthiness also experience grief, fear, shame, disappointment, sadness and anger. Those who do not experience the undesired emotions, do not experience the desired ones either. They flat-line life.

And the entire issues rests on this: Those who experience love and belonging believe they are worthy of love and belonging and because of this they allow themselves to be vulnerable often.

Those who do not believe they are worthy of love and belonging experience shame, or the fear that they are not enough, and because of this avoid being vulnerable.

Those who believe they are enough and dare to be vulnerable are able to experience the spectrum of emotions that make us human. Those who numb vulnerability to avoid the shame, guilt, fear, and sadness because they are unsure of whether they are enough do not experience the desired emotions either.

People numb vulnerability in a lot of ways, some more healthy than others. You may over-spend, over-eat, over-drink, over-sex or attempt a plethora of other distractions to avoid feeling. We also hide in the supposed certainty of religion instead of showing the love our beliefs are based on. We are often times overly critical of the ones we love – this may be in an effort to avoid pain by teaching our partner how to treat us, but we instead teach them not to be themselves. I am all about shopping, good food, great sex, spirituality, compromise in relationships, and a glass of champagne… but these things are a problem if we use them to avoid feeling and to numb the fear of being vulnerable.

I am guilty as charged. I try to limit my experiences to the ones that are safe, that will not hurt me, and that I am not afraid of. And I am simply tired of being keenly aware that if I were to be truly open and put myself out there, knowing I was enough, that I will have a more richly rewarding experiences and a super adventurous life.

I am afraid of getting hurt, of loosing love, and of experiencing something beautiful and never being able to find it again – so I play small. I have learned to be super adventurous in my travels and more adventurous than ever before in business, but I avoid deep connection, true romance, close friendship and a all sorts of other things that scare me.

I desire to live and love in a deep and unapologetic way. So my new intention is to know that I am enough in the areas I am afraid, and daily become more open and vulnerable. This may increase the chance that I get hurt more often, but it will also increase the experiences in which I feel love and connection more often too.

Brene says it this way, “There is another way. To let ourselves be seen, deeply seen. To love with our whole hearts even though there is no guarantee. To practice gratitude and joys in those moments of terror where we wonder, ‘Can I love you this much? Can I believe in this passionately? Can I be this fierce about this?’ Just to be able to stop and instead of catastrophizing what might happen to just be grateful, because to be vulnerable means we are alive. And lastly, and the most important, to believe we are enough. Then we can stop screaming and start listening. Then we are kinder and gentler with one another and kinder and gentler with ourselves.”


You are enough. You do not have to hold back. You deserve Love. The world is waiting.


How are you holding back? What ideas about your worth are standing in your way? What is an area in which you are numbing vulnerability to avoid feeling uncomfortable? What is one way today you can put yourself out there more and dare to live fully?



Amanda Frances



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