3 ways we block vulnerability & how to let down our walls.

It is when we lean into our softness that we unearth our greatest strength.

Bella Martin


Photo by Ivana Cajina on Unsplash

True vulnerability is admitting we can get hurt, accepting that sometimes we must, and allowing ourselves to show up authentically anyway because being rejected for who we are is much better than being respected for who we are not.

Experiencing the full extent of joy even at the risk of experiencing the full extent of pain is better than being disconnected. Expressing who you are even at the expense of judgment or criticism is ultimately more rewarding than a shallow sense of belonging in places, with people, that were never meant for you.

We associate vulnerability with fear, shame, and even weakness when it is actually a source of courage, humility, and the most resilient form of strength. In her book, Daring Greatly, vulnerability expert Brené Brown outlines the ways we block vulnerability and offers suggestions on how to break through our walls to lead more wholehearted lives.

Here are 3 ways we close off our hearts and how we may once again open them because accepting we can get hurt is also how we heal. It’s also how we guide ourselves back home.

  1. Foreboding Joy.

One way we block vulnerability is by foreboding joy, by ruminating on what could go wrong in the moments when nothing is, and by refusing ourselves the liberty of living presently in happy moments because we are always anticipating heartbreak. When we don’t allow ourselves to be happy it’s often because we subconsciously believe we don’t deserve to be; we don’t think we are worthy of joy and thus we don’t trust it to last.

By predicting pain we think we are preparing for it or protecting against it. We assume that things will hurt less if we see them coming and that we will be safe from heart-wrenching endings if we avoid hopeful beginnings.

Vulnerability is understanding that both joy and pain are as inevitable as they are impermanent. They are also both purposeful— carrying either a lesson, a strengthening, a deepening, or a revival.

Furthermore, the capacity to feel one polarity reflects the capacity to feel the other, and thus your…



Bella Martin

words of healing, hope & happiness. | instagram: @bellamwrites