Are You Suffering a Vulnerability Hangover?

Posted July 29, 2013 by Monica O'Connell in Life After Five

You’ve all heard me rave and rave about Brene Brown. I love this woman. I love her stuff about shame. I love her stuff about courage. I love her stuff about authenticity. She’s exactly right about it.

Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.

It’s the catalyst for the lives we want to have.

It’s the starting place of making our lives different. You’ve been there. That place where the risk of saying you don’t know, or you’re in pain or you want it to be different. It’s the chat with your best friend where you finally admit this big dream you’ve got tucked in your pocket.

  • Being brave enough to be vulnerable is hard work.
  • And it’s necessary.
  • Vulnerability is such a risk that it opens us up.
  • It shows our soft underbelly.
  • It’s us, standing naked, in front of everyone.
  • Putting it all on the table
  • Showing up with every part of us. Not just some. Not just a little bit.

And I’ve found, once you do it, once you’re vulnerable, you do it more. And more. And more. And more. And before you know it, you’re constantly opening yourself up because you’ve learned that Brene is exactly right. It’s the starting place of truly being in our lives and finding joy.

Meanwhile, the work of taking these risks can be exhausting. I call it a hangover. After showing up and being vulnerable, the next few days require a little extra TLC. Some symptoms include feeling extra tired, cranky, maybe even a headache. Sound like a hangover? It might also look like feeling more emotional; there may be an increase in tears, quarrels with loved ones or impulsive decisions.

Pay attention to these. They’re signs you need to increase the way you take care of yourself. It might mean an extra long workout, an extra long nap and an extra long snuggle sesh with your best pals.

Have you noticed any symptoms like these a day or more after you’ve taken a big risk?

About the Author

Monica O'Connell

Monica O’Connell is a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In her practice, she spends her career cheering on “Career Girls” as they learn how to get the most out of life. Monica works with arguably some of the most successful, intelligent, inspiring women in the Twin Cities who tackle self-discovery, career success, and what’s getting in the way of their true desires. She shares her favorite moments as those “best described not by words but by the stomach aching, face soreness that comes from spending an entire day laughing with loved ones.”