Vulnerability is my superpower #TransparentTuesdays

* Editor’s note: These posts were written back when my brand name was Remodel Fitness. I’ve decided to include them here without editing them, in the interest of…well… transparency. 😉

We all have our personal narratives and limiting beliefs.

Most often those beliefs are neither conscious nor logical, but they affect everything about the life you create.

For most of my life, mine was this: “People can see how powerful and lovable I am, and therefore they want to hurt me.”

This belief stemmed from being born to loving parents and an older brother who was really not happy that I swept in and stole his glorious only-child time, and the belief was reinforced everywhere I looked (as our deeply held beliefs often are).

I came to embrace vulnerability not because it was the right thing to do, but because as a child it protected me. I learned early on, through instinct, that the best way to keep people from attacking me was to humanize myself to them.

And what humanizes people?

Vulnerability.

They say when you’re being mugged or held hostage, you should tell your attacker personal stuff about yourself, like your name, what you do for work, where you live, your kid’s names, your sibling’s names, etc. The idea behind this is that anyone who is attacking you has automatically de-personalized and de-humanized you in their mind.

In order to do evil to another person, you must first disconnect from them.

By sharing personal information, you force your attacker to see you as a fellow human being, a person just like them. You force them to connect with you, and therefore you have a stronger chance of them empathizing with you and choosing to not hurt you. In scary situations like being held hostage, your vulnerability humanizes you, and therefore protects you.

In day to day life, this has also been my personal experience.

People often ask me how I am able to be so brave and vulnerable and put myself out there like I do. I understand the question of course; I share my naked body (through photos) and my naked soul (through writing) on the internet all the time. But the truth is I don’t find it nearly as scary to be vulnerable and open as I would to be disconnected and shut off.

Here’s the thing. I consider myself deeply powerful and lovable and I do not intend to pretend otherwise, or keep that side of myself hidden. (#radicalvanity)

If you saw me being my deeply powerful and lovable self, and DID NOT CONNECT TO ME, you may experience jealousy, hate, and even fear. That would be bad for me, but it would also be bad for you!

I consider being vulnerable and transparent both a gift to myself (protection from attack) and a gift to the people who experience me (protection from fear and confusion).

The interesting thing about this is that I believe every single person, at their core, is deeply powerful and lovable. But most people will never fully realize that, because:

The idea of exposing their enormous power and light to the world feels incredibly terrifying.

And given what I just described- how people feel jealousy, hate, and fear around someone who is owning their deep power and love- that makes sense.

Vulnerability is the missing link.

  1. Vulnerability is what allows you to safely own your power and your love and your light, because people can connect with you while you own it.

  2. Vulnerability helps erase the need for confusion and the anger, because while standing in your own power, you consciously invite people in.

  3. Vulnerability is one of my superpowers. The more vulnerable and open I am, the less people want to attack me, and the more safe I feel to fully inhabit my power and my light.

Sure, I get a randomly unkind message here or there, but nothing I take personally. Someone recently attacked my outfit on instagram and then blocked me. The boiled down gist of it was this: I have knobbly knees and shouldn’t brag about going braless because it’s not a good look. It felt like a lot of work went into the insult. But given how much I share about my personal experience, it also felt funny that she would choose something so superficial to attack me for. I mean my god, if you wanted to really hurt my feelings it wouldn’t be hard to find something more powerful, you know? I suspect she didn’t really want to.

Interestingly, I’ve discovered that when I am only partially vulnerable (ie mostly open, but holding back in one way or another) I do invite more unkindness from people. I assume that’s because people can pick up on some kind of conflicting energy, and don’t trust it. In my experience:

Partial vulnerability begets confusion and unkindness, while Full vulnerability begets clarity, empathy, and connection.

This is an important distinction, because for someone who is attempting to become more vulnerable, it might seem unwise and misguided if they partially put themselves out there and receive nothing but negativity. It would obviously seem like: if some vulnerability begets some negativity, then full vulnerability would beget full negativity! But in my experience, nothing could be further from the truth.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

What is your relationship to vulnerability? Can you relate?

I would love to hear your thoughts, and this feels like the right topic to take outside of our personal email correspondence, and out into the world. So:

I have a challenge for you!

If you want to participate, it’s (naturally) going to involve getting transparent and vulnerable.

I’m looking for:

20 volunteers to own their transparency and vulnerability on Instagram today.

It’s first come first serve, so just head over there now if you want in!

What to do:

Write a post about YOUR superpower.

Write as much or as little as you want in your post, but start it with “——- is my superpower.”

I’ll be checking for your posts and will probably re-share one or two that I like throughout the day.

Use the hashtag #TransparentTuesdays and be sure to tag me so I can see them!!

Sending you courage and light,

<3 Jessi Kneeland Get strong. Feel confident. Look amazing.

PS If you’re interested and looking for more information on vulnerability, I suggest checking out Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly

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