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Welcome to today's episode of the Mind Set Mentor podcast, I am your host, Rob Dylon. If you have not yet done so, hit that subscribe on since you never miss another podcast episode. Today, we're going to talk about emotions. We're going to talk about how to take your emotions and turn them into your superpower. And one thing we're going to talk about very, very deeply today is vulnerability.
Yep. We're going to go there. Why? Because we're so afraid. Every human is afraid of vulnerability in some sort of way. And the reason why is because in people's heads, we think of the word vulnerability and we think vulnerability as weakness.
We think it's a dark emotion.
We think vulnerability at its core is fear and anxiety and shame and disappointment and the most difficult emotions that exist.
But also at the core of vulnerability is love and joy and happiness.
And it's hard nowadays because we see all of the ads on TV that tell us that we're not good enough. We see, you know, little girls nowadays in magazines that show them what perfectionism actually is. People get on Instagram, children get on Instagram, teenagers get on Instagram and they see everybody Photoshopped in some sort of way. It is so easy to edit yourself on your iPhone right now. And so what do we do?
Because in fact, we look around us and we think, oh, everything, everybody else is so perfect. That person's not I'm not. We numb ourselves. We numb vulnerability. And we don't want to open up because we don't want to be disappointed. We want to stay in our armor because opening up makes you feel naked and it makes you feel like you are coming out of your skin. And it's only gotten harder with social media because obviously everything's so edited and then people are looking at how many likes they get.
And if they don't get as many likes as somebody else and they don't feel like they're good enough in all of advertising and social media makes us feel like we're not good enough. We're not good enough. We're not pretty enough. We're not smart enough. We're not fit enough. We're not successful enough. We're not thin enough.
And it makes it so hard because then we're looking at our imperfect selves because everybody's imperfect and we're comparing ourselves to standards that are basically impossible to achieve unless you have a computer to fix it. Right. Women see ads and people are unattainably skinny. And through Photoshop they have perfect skin, quote unquote, perfect skin because they can edit everything out. So then they start comparing themselves and comparing their lives to near perfect standards. Right. And then you watch movies and you see marriages and love stories and rom coms that have these perfect lives in these perfect love, in these perfect marriages that ours can never compare to, to how great they are in the big skin on the big screen.
So what do we do? We hide and we try to make ourselves not be seen because we're not that we're not that perfect person, the advertising. We're not that perfect person that's on Instagram. We're not that perfect relationship, that perfect love that we see in all of the movies. So what do we do? We hide from everybody.
From ourselves, from our friends, from our family, from our significant others, because it's easier to hide, so we hide behind an armor and we never let anybody see the real us.
We hide all of our blemishes. Women hide their blemishes behind makeup. Men hide all their bald spots, but behind hats.
And we get into relationships and we get into friendships and all of them are just surface level and they never grow and they never become deeper. And really deep relationships are really deep friendships because everyone is just afraid of possibly letting somebody in and possibly being let down. And it's easier just to hide than it is to go into hiding, to never be let down than to truly open yourself up for possibility in what could be and then be let down.
So we don't even enter the race because we're afraid that we might lose it.
So we close off. We close off and we close off more and more and more as we get older. But here's the problem with that, in order to experience the best emotions as a human, we have to experience vulnerability in order to experience true love, true joy, true happiness, true hope, true authenticity. We can't experience those without allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. But the problem is this.
We see vulnerability as weakness. We see vulnerability as weakness. It shows us being weak. It shows us being imperfect. It shows us not being as good as everybody else. But when you're open and you're honest and you're vulnerable and completely emotionally naked, do you want to know what people actually think of you? Think about it for a second. They think, wow, that person's courageous. I don't know how they just did that. I wish that I could open up.
So what's interesting is, though, we think courageous being stepping on and being a step beyond and being vulnerable is weak. Other people view as courageous.
And I think that one of the main problems with being vulnerable is that it leaves us open to uncertainty. Most people are uncomfortable with uncertainty. Most people want certainty. They want deficits in their lives. You know what, if we love someone and we open up to them, we show them our true selves, what who we truly are behind all of the armor and they see it and they don't love us back, or what if they judge us? That's what we worry about.
It's too risky. We don't want to open ourselves up and possibly be hurt, that's just going to hurt even more. So we stay close, we keep our armor up, and it's not just love and relationships. It's many, many things. You know, vulnerability is many things. Vulnerability is starting. A business vulnerability is finding your passion and following your passion. Vulnerability is doing what other people think that you shouldn't do, sharing an unpopular opinion, calling a friend who might have cancer that's vulnerable, saying I love you first, saying, you know, that you have art that you want to share with someone sharing your music with somebody trying something new, exercising in public when you're overweight, being accountable, having faith, admitting that you were wrong at some point in time, asking for forgiveness.
All of those are vulnerability as well. In the word vulnerable, just so you know, comes from the Latin word Venera, which means capable of being wounded, open for attack. And that's what we feel like when we think of the word vulnerable. I could possibly be wounded. I could possibly be attacked. And we want to be strong. We want to be courageous so we don't allow ourselves to be vulnerable. We don't allow people to sit outside of us.
And we think it will open us up for some form of an attack with the possibility of being emotionally wounded. And that sounds hard.
It's emotional exposure, we want to hide behind that, we don't want to get out there and let other people see us, but in reality. When you're vulnerable, you're not emotionally weak, you actually become emotionally stronger. No one looks down on someone who's vulnerable. They look up to them. To be vulnerable is to truly be alive. And it all starts when you're a child. When we come into this world, we're vulnerable. Children don't care what you think about them.
They don't care. You don't care about how close they were.
You know, Dean's child was over here. He's a year and a half years over here. This weekend, kid was walking around the house naked, did not care about anybody seeing him naked, didn't even pop into his head, right shoulder, no care. They they are vulnerable.
They're the epitome of vulnerable. But then as they get older, they get reprimanded. What they should and shouldn't do, they learn what they can and cannot do in the world. And what happens is they realize what they can't do and what they can do.
And they start to close off because they're like, oh, that's who I truly am. I'm not allowed to be that. So they close off an elementary school, you get older, you share secrets with a friend thinking that they'll never tell a soul and they tell people and then you get made fun of. So what do you do? You close off. You learn to close off from these things because it's easier to close off than is be made fun of.
That's also why breakups are so hard, right, you find your first love, you show them your true self because you don't know any better. You allow yourself to be emotionally vulnerable with this person. And it makes you so happy. It makes you over the moon in love with that person, love and happiness and all of that good shit. But then you see that person kissing someone by the locker and you feel like your heart's been ripped out, whatever it is.
Right, it's emotional treason is what it feels like, so you learn to close off. I don't want to show my my true self anymore, right.
So it's raw, emotional years that we learn to close off rather than being hurt. So we're certain that if we close off that we won't be hurt, so we want certainty over uncertainty. A lot of times if we open up, it allows us to be hurt and possibly be scarred by somebody else. But everybody has to deal with a vulnerability at some point in time, not just not just a few people.
We all have to figure out that vulnerability is something that we need to embrace or die without truly being seen as who we are. See, we're human. We all struggle with feelings of of not being good enough. We want to feel loved. We want to feel like we're good enough. We want to feel like we're good enough and smart enough and pretty enough and successful and happy and thin enough and fit enough, whatever the hell it is that you want.
We want all that stuff, but to be vulnerable, to be alive and to open yourself up, to being seen, to open yourself up to being happy, open yourself up to being loved, to open yourself up to possibly being hurt. And if we want to truly be happy, do we have to figure out a way to embrace that vulnerability? So how do we invest and how do how do we possibly allow ourselves to be open to those things?
Well, vulnerability is the only real thing that's going to allow us to set us free to love truly and to be loved. And typically, we tend to run from it. So we need to learn to be comfortable with letting our armor down. It's like anything else. It becomes hard the very first time, but it becomes easier with practice.
As adults, we need to learn to be calm and speak.
You need to learn to be courageous, to follow what our purpose is, to find a connection, to feel what true love is, to see what true love is in in relationships. Vulnerability is the last thing that we want other people to see in us. But it's the very first thing that we want to see.
And then. Think about that for a second. Isn't that interesting? It's a very last thing they want people to see in us, but it's a very first thing we want to see in them. We want to know the real them. We want to see the person that they hide from everyone else.
But we don't want them to think that were weak. We want them to think that we're strong, right, but some people have been wearing a mask for so long that they don't even know who they truly are. They don't know who they are because they've never been that way in front of friends, in front of their family, in front of their kids, in front of their partner. So they don't know who the hell they are, but one of the things that makes us so much more advanced than animals is our emotional capacity that we can constantly expand that emotional capacity, capacity and.
We can't worry about not being accepted. We have to step out into the unknown. There's a quote that really works well with this, and it's be the change that you want to see in the world.
You have to realize that in order to have true deep connection relationship with someone, that you actually might have to be the first person to open up. You might have to be the first person be vulnerable. You're the one that's listening to this episode. Not then. So maybe you have to be the first person, the first person that opens up that's vulnerable in the relationship that you're in.
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Di A.l. The first step is really being open and vulnerable is to believe that you are enough, that you are good enough, that you are pretty enough, that you are fit enough, that you are successful enough, that you are smart enough, that you are thin enough as you currently are. Not to say that you couldn't get better, but as you currently are, you have to be open to just loving yourself and accepting yourself as you are because you might not be where you want to say physically.
But it doesn't mean that you can't start looking at yourself as if you are fit enough right now and tell yourself that you are enough. Because when you believe that you are enough, it makes it easier to be vulnerable because you truly believe that your enough as you are and you don't need someone else to accept you because you are good enough as you are, that you are worthy enough, that you are comfortable with the way that you look, that the way that you feel that you're comfortable with that, and you learn to be more comforting yourself and you don't need anybody else to tell you how you are, how you look, how you feel.
That's one step to getting more confident with being vulnerable is being confident yourself. And when you look at yourself, you can be happy with the way that you look and with the way that you look and you're happy with it. And you can be vulnerable and you're confident, you can be confident showing it to others, knowing that you're perfect just the way that you are. You allow yourself to be happy and you stop you stop hiding. Like when I first started this podcast, one thing that was so terrifying for me was that I remember writing down a piece of paper that I was going to be true and authentic and real and raw and vulnerable.
And that was scary for me because I never really practiced vulnerability. Like when my father passed away, passed away on a Thursday. I went back to school either Monday or Tuesday. Right. I didn't tell anybody I was 15 years old because what 15 year old boy is allowed to show emotions, especially around his friends? I didn't tell anybody. So I always struggled with opening myself up.
And when I started the podcast, I was like, you know what? I'm going to actually talk about it. I had so many friends that didn't know my father passed away, didn't know my father was an alcoholic. I never talked about it. And I went, you know what? I'm just going to go ahead and start saying it to people. If I can be open, honest and vulnerable, then people maybe can listen to me and go, you know what?
Me too. Maybe I can connect. Maybe they can connect to my story in some form of a, you know, some way or another. And in turn, it will help them deal with whatever it is that they're dealing with. Right. What I can tell you now that I'm almost nine hundred podcast episodes in is that having a podcast and saying these things out loud.
Has been one of the most cathartic things that I could possibly do. It was so hard to record podcast episodes in, say, some of the shit that I had really gone through my life say some of the really stuff that was really hard because I hid it from everybody for years and years. For 15 years, nobody knew any of that stuff. It was hard for me to be vulnerable. Guys are supposed to be vulnerable.
That's what we're told. Right. And I was reading a book called Daring Greatly by Bernie Brown.
And I saw it and I was like, you know what, this is, right? I do need to try to actually try to be more vulnerable and to actually share what I thought was my, quote unquote weakness. And what was interesting about it is as I shared my story, I started getting so many emails from people that were like, oh, my gosh, I love this. I connect my story with yours. Thank you so much for being vulnerable and courageous in all of this stuff.
And the funny thing was, is that people started reaching out to me, these podcasts, and I was so afraid to put out so afraid to talk about, you know, my my father's issues, my father's death. I did a podcast episode. Literally a few days after my grandfather passed away, and I remember literally crying in the episode and I was like, I'm going to put out anyways now it's terrifying. And then I get so many emails that people will be like, thank you for being vulnerable, because it gives me the confidence that I can go and be vulnerable is what shows me that a confident person can be vulnerable.
Right. And some people don't even let anybody know that side of themselves. Some people don't even know that side of themselves. Some people, Joy, is something that they don't allow themselves to experience. Vulnerability is something they don't allow themselves to experience in. The happiest, most amazing moments in your life, the happiest, most amazing feelings in an emotion that you want to feel are all being held back. If you can't feel your lowest lows and you definitely can't feel your highest highs, so you're restricted emotionally if you can't fully open yourself up ever.
Right. In some people, the most joyous moments of their lives are held back because they're still too worried about what could possibly happen.
And they have armor up like a good example. I always think of us as parents. They see their kids on the first day of school and they worry about when they're going to be 18 years old and leaving for college instead.
Of just being in that moment and thinking about their child going to school, right, or they see their child going to school for the first time and instead of being like, oh, my God, this is a beautiful moment, they immediately start thinking about, oh, my gosh, what if what if they're bullied. Right. Or they watch their kids sleep. I've heard this many times. And they think about instead of thinking about how beautiful they are and how amazing that child is and how lucky they are to have them, they interrupt those what could be beautiful thoughts with worrying about losing them.
So instead of having a moment of joy, they have that moment, they hold that joy back with worry of what could happen if that person's not always around. They ruin great moments because they worry too much about being vulnerable of what could possibly happen.
They don't enjoy the moment too much because they think about what could maybe, possibly someday down the road happen in that area with that person. They don't let themselves fully experience joy.
They don't let themselves fully experiences joyous moments and fully become alive because they don't want the possibility of somebody leaving them dying, something happening to them. So once again, they put up the armor.
You have to allow yourself to be happy. You have to allow yourself to feel joy. You have to allow yourself to be OK with where you currently are. You have to allow yourself to be vulnerable. Stop trying to be perfect. As a self admitted perfectionist in my past, that's a hard one for me to realize that I will never be perfect right then as quote unquote perfectionist, which really perfectionism. If you heard my podcast episode not too long ago, perfectionism is just a mask that you're wearing the cover up of fear and insecurity.
We believe that we have to do things perfectly so we avoid and minimize all of the things that could possibly give us judgment or shame or any of those things because we have to be perfect, right?
Perfectionism is not self-improvement at its core. Perfectionism is trying to earn approval from others by looking perfect. Perfectionism is not the key to success. It actually hampers your success. And it's correlated with depression, with anxiety, with addiction, because we try to be perfect, but it's literally impossible to be perfect, there's no way to do it. Perfectionism is self-destructive and it is an unattainable goal.
And it will hold you back from being vulnerable because you're like, I'm not perfect, so I can't show people who I truly am. You will never be perfect. Nothing that you ever do will be perfect. Nothing that you ever create will be perfect. Remember, this quote done is better than perfect. Just do whatever you need to do, another thing you need to do in order to feel more vulnerable and to be able to open yourself up, stop numbing yourself.
What do I mean by that? I mean smoking. I mean drinking. I mean working too much. Keeping yourself too busy to actually feel the emotions that you feel.
So many people work their asses off or work too much so they don't have to feel feelings. So many people drink so they don't have to feel fear and so many people smokes. They have to feel so many people eat so they don't have to feel feelings. People smoke, they drink, they eat to minimize the feeling that they have of just being this vulnerable object that's floating through space on an organic spaceship that's going to die one day. And I don't just mean like alcoholics.
I mean the casual like, oh.
Today was a stressful day, I need to take the edge off. Take a drink or have a smoke, right? I'll just have a glass of wine to relax. Think about that for a second. Why can't you just mentally relax and you have to have some sort of substance to relax you? There's something going on behind the scenes or oh, I'll just have a piece of cake to relax. I deserve it after a hard day. Right. Sorry to say it, but that in itself is hiding.
You're hiding from something. You're running from feelings. You're running from emotions. Believe me, everybody does it. I do it myself. I'm not perfect. But we need to be aware, numbing the feeling of the real world because the real world is too much for us to handle at the current moment. So we can start by opening ourselves up.
If we can start with the steps, we can start to feel a real connection between us and other people, because it's what makes us human. It's what makes us different. You know, it makes what makes our species different than all of the species is the ability to make real deep emotional connections. And we as humans, we're hardwired to want to feel those connections, to feel emotion, to feel spirituality, to feel physical touch. We want to feel do we want to be seen?
We want to feel heard. We want to feel that be valued. We want to give and receive without feeling judgement. But in order to do that, we have to learn to become vulnerable and realize that vulnerability is something that's going to be powerful for us, not something that's going to open us up for harm. We need to learn that it's necessary. It's a necessary thing to be truly happy, to allow yourself to be seen, to allow yourself to be open, to allow yourself to be vulnerable, believe that you are enough, believe that you have enough, believe that you're perfect just the way that you are in order for you to make real deep, lasting changes in your relationships and your life.
Realize that somebody needs to be the first to have courage, to wake up, to open up, to step up and to be vulnerable and have the courage to say what needs to be said. Don't be afraid of being looked down on. Being vulnerable is never a weakness. Being vulnerable is always a strength. People always look up to someone who's vulnerable. People always want to want to be courageous and want to be vulnerable as well. So if you are going to change your life, you're going to have to realize you are going to have to be OK with letting your armor down, because letting your armor down is the only way that you're truly going to feel what you need to feel in this world.
So realize that vulnerability is courageous, vulnerability is power, and vulnerability will never, ever be weakness. So that's what I got for you for today's episode.
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Ah, and I'm on leave the same way I leave you every single episode. Make it your mission, make someone else's day better. I appreciate you and I hope that you have an amazing day.