31 Aug 2023

The gift of human connection begins with vulnerability



The mere word vulnerability can make us feel uneasy. By definition, to be vulnerable is to be exposed, and emotionally this may conjure feelings of fear, rejection by others, or being viewed as weak. So why would we want to expose ourselves?


The reality of life is we are all vulnerable in some way, some of the time. Vulnerability is the fabric of life, woven into each of our every day. Think about things like the global pandemic, our weekly mishaps, misunderstandings with others, conflict with family, or stressful work situations. Vulnerability comes knocking every day, for us all.




As humans, we are social creatures, and we are at our very best physically and emotionally when we have strong connections with others. Vulnerability is one of the best assets we have to build strong relationships with others. Without it, it’s very hard to build close connections. Being vulnerable allows us to show up as our most authentic selves, and we are most connected when we are authentic. In turn, this helps us to remove the stress in our lives, to feel less weak, to be happier, healthier, and more successful in our endeavours.


Best of all, when we show mutual vulnerability, we give each other permission to acknowledge adversity and have greater confidence to share our challenges with one another. Life isn’t always ok, and we are in fact, at our most vulnerable when we don’t accept this fact of life. We give the gift of resilience, and compassion to both ourselves and each other when we engage with regular and meaningful conversations….‘I mucked up, I’m struggling’, and then how wonderful to hear back ‘yeah me too, I hear you’. How liberating to experience such emotional freedom and uplift from an honest reciprocal interaction.




Thursday 14th September is R U OK? Day. This year we focus on the theme “I’m here to hear”. It’s the perfect day for each of us to check in with ourselves and each other. This one day lends itself beautifully to become 365 days every year.


Let’s challenge ourselves to welcome honest vulnerability into our everyday and into our interactions with each other. Let’s open our self-acceptance door to the good days and the rotten days. Coming clean on the not so shiny sides of life, makes us stronger, more relatable, and happier beings.


Try making a vulnerability promise to yourself. Try exposing yourself and watch your own quality of life improve. Importantly, you will also be a beacon of light for others.


Poppy Griffiths is a professional high performance coach and Director of UnlimitU a high-performance coaching consultancy, which supports the inclusion of working parents, women in leadership and the mental wellbeing of teams. If you are interested in private or organisational coaching, group coaching workshops, or a high energy keynote, please get in touch. poppy@unlimitu.com.au 


Poppy is UnlimitU's founder and principal success coach. "Every human has more potential, hidden, held back or in the making"