When we were kids, it was much easier to be open and free, to share all of ourselves with the world. But as time went on, this part of us changed upon learning that the world can be a very painful place. This fear of vulnerability is essentially a fear of abandonment and rejection.
To protect ourselves from experiencing these things again, we built walls around our heart. Learning to hide away and internalize all negative thoughts and feelings. It’s normal now for many of us to become trapped in our own emotional defences.
It may seem like you are reducing the risk of being hurt again by creating this safe space.
But in reality we tend to block out more than just the bad, in many ways we also block out all positive aspects in life. Recently I became aware of this – that my fears of being vulnerable were in fact interfering with my life. As I tried to keep all my emotions inside, I began to recognize how that behaviour was ruining my relationships with others and most importantly, myself. So I took the time to acknowledge that my feelings are my own and that I’m allowed to feel the way I do. I pushed myself to have conversations with trusted friends and family regarding my own personal issues.
Being able to unapologetically be yourself is much more rewarding than hiding at every turn.
It wasn’t easy since I had to go against everything that I had set in place. But little by little, as I pushed myself to be more open I began to rewire my brain. I’ve realized now that vulnerability can be very freeing. Being able to unapologetically be yourself is much more rewarding than hiding at every turn.
The next time you get the urge to hide, question why you are acting the way you do and if your defences can even cause you harm. Because sometimes those walls we build can also prevent us from experiencing all the good the world has to offer.