My body tingled and my stomach floated into my chest.
The mushrooms were kicking in.
I sat in a dimly lit apartment in Brooklyn with a couple of friends. We’d planned to chill out and listen to music but I was distracted. I’d been going through the most difficult period of my life.
My father had two heart attacks and was forced to close our restaurant. We lost our apartment. I left behind college and my full scholarship to support my family.
My best friends all moved across the country for college and work. Then my girlfriend of two years broke up with me.
Every time I though I’d catch a break, there I was getting beat down again.
So I did the only thing I felt was right. I spent years closing myself to the world and pushing people away. I was an insecure wreck trying to cope.
And it finally caught up to me.
I sobbed. “What have I become?”
Table Of Contents
Facing My Flaws And Insecurities
“I feel like I’ve lost everything and have no direction in life. I snap at my father because I’m afraid he’ll see me as a failure. All I ever wanted was to make him proud.
I was a controlling, jealous asshole in my last relationship. I didn’t let my girlfriend see or hang out with anyone else because I was afraid she’d leave me. Coincidentally, that’s exactly what made her leave me.
I’m finally meeting new girls but every single connection is shallow. I pretend to be someone I’m not. Every girl who’s shown interest towards me has liked some bullshit mirage. They don’t know me.
The worst part of it all? I’m disgusted with who I’ve turned into.”
A funny thing about psychedelic drugs is their power to bring down your protective mental barriers. They fuel self-reflection. They prod your mind to question your motives, actions, desires, fears, faults, and insecurities.
You’re completely vulnerable.
Committing To Being Honest
These were the painful subjects I had been running away from. Now I had to confront them — while tripping on mushrooms.
Then something incredible happened…
For the first time in a long time, I felt relieved. I wasn’t hiding myself. I wasn’t running away from my problems. I wasn’t pretending. I was coming to terms with everything about me — good and bad.
It was empowering. The others in the room felt it, too. It encouraged them to drop all defenses and share themselves openly.
That’s when I decided vulnerability was the only way to become secure with myself.
To speak and act with honesty at my core. To look inside myself even when it makes me uncomfortable. To always show my true self regardless of what the world may think.
What Is Vulnerability And Why Is It So Important?
For decades people believed confidence had to do with social status, dominance, sexual prospects, and external success.
For men, this meant being “tough” at all times. If you were a guy who would talk about his feelings or get emotional, you were deemed weak.
Now, leading social scientists such as Dr. Brene Brown are proving the opposite. Through years of analysis she discovered that real, lasting courage is rooted in vulnerability.
She defines vulnerability as:
“Uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.”
Any time you push your comfort zone, take chances, go after what you want, express your true emotions, or show someone who you really are – you’re being vulnerable.
Most people do not live with this kind of honesty because it scares them.
What they don’t realize is that a lack of vulnerability leads to frustration, resentment, and self-hate. You will never feel secure when you’re disconnected from your core. You will only reinforce that you as you currently are isn’t “good enough”.
This breeds weak relationships. Hollow connections where no one knows the real you. Where expectations are never met and communication suffers.
How can you expect to love or be loved if you’re closed off?
Practicing vulnerability is necessary to sustain confidence, happiness, and healthy relationships.
How Vulnerable Are You?
Although my experience had a profound effect on my life, you don’t need drugs to embrace vulnerability. All you need is self-reflection and forward action.
You must be aware of the ways you avoid vulnerability. Consider these questions:
- Do you often hide or change your opinions in fear that they are stupid or will be judged?
- Do you avoid emotional subjects such as fears, insecurities, passions, and embarrassing moments with people – especially with those you just met?
- Do you regularly avoid situations that are uncomfortable or have a potential for rejection?
- Do you struggle to accept criticism without taking it personally?
- Do you do or say things that are incongruent with how you really feel in order to gain approval or validation?
- Do you push people away, attack, or sabotage connections when someone gets close to you?
If you answered yes to some of these, you likely fall into patterns of invulnerability. But don’t worry, we’re about to change that.
Become Secure Through Daily Vulnerability
To break any pattern, you must replace negative habits with positive ones. You have to consistently challenge yourself to be vulnerable. Building security is a daily practice.
“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”-Dr. Brene Brown
Choose one challenge below that you have a difficult time with. Commit to implementing it this week.
- Go to a social event or meetup and introduce yourself to a new person.
- Introduce yourself to someone you find attractive.
- Apologize and ask for forgiveness.
- Thank someone, show gratitude, and explain how they impacted your life.
- Tell someone they disrespected or crossed your boundaries.
- Go to the doctor or dentist already!
- Text the number of a new girl or guy you met. Ask them on a date.
- Share your career or career path with excitement to a new person.
- State a disagreeing opinion without being confrontational.
- Drop all canned lines or routines when meeting new people – permanently.
- Ask someone for help even if you’re afraid of being seen as imperfect.
- Cut someone negative out of your life.
- Express your romantic interest using physical contact.
- Break it off with a partner you’ve been staying with for the wrong reasons.
- Say no to someone.
- Go for a kiss on a first date.
- Share a piece of writing, drawing, or song you created.
- Admit you were wrong.
- Ask someone a personal question you want to know.
- Express your sexual needs or fetishes to a partner.
- Tell someone you love them for the first time regardless of whether they will say it back.
- Exercise in public – an outdoor jog, swim at the beach, or hit the gym.
- Take up a hobby you’ve never tried before.
You Need More Exposure, Not Less
We all feel insecure at times. The solution is to be even MORE vulnerable and STILL act rather than let it control you.
For me, sharing the story above took vulnerability. So does most of everything I write on this blog.
Why? Because I know that with every article comes vocal critics. I know there are people who won’t enjoy my writing or will disagree with my advice.
But mostly because it’s my personal life made public forever.
And every single time, I still click “publish”.
It takes a secure person to ask for help. Let’s have a free consultation.