Y ou finally did it: resignation letter signed , cubicle cleared, farewells exchanged, and maybe one too many happy hour drinks had. And then you start feeling it: something gnawing deep inside the pit of your stomach, followed up by immediate regret, topped with an overwhelming sense of panic. God, what did I just do? Many of you might be familiar with this feeling—whether it happens after leaving a job, having a tough conversation, or making a major life change. It's a confusing mix of fear and exhaustion—and it's officially called a vulnerability hangover. A vulnerability hangover is a gut-wrenching feeling that happens the moment we decide to get real about who we are, what we want, and how we express it. And though this fear may seem to physically manifest itself in unpleasant ways, vulnerability can actually be a good thing. Not so much. In fact, Brown feels that it is only when we expose ourselves that we have experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives. It is only when we expose ourselves that we have experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives.
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So it’s not a weakness?
1. Having a ‘vulnerability hangover’ is good for you
I recently told an audience of around people a very personal and embarrassing story. It was a story about a time in my life that I was so low and so lost, even though it corresponded with one of my greatest life achievements: the day I successfully completed my PhD. As a consultant, naturally my talk was accompanied by a deck, which included visuals of myself. Essentially inoffensive goofy pictures of me. Spoiler alert: I am very fun.
Oh my god the vulnerability hangover I woke up with.
We shared from the depths of our souls. Our fears. Our worries.
We are young and we are human and we are beautiful and we are not as in control as we think we are. We never know the magic that can arise between ourselves and other humans. Friends and money-lending situations is another. And that is vulnerability and shame. When you make an impassioned impromptu debate about something close to your heart, or send a scary text, or make a post for the world to see, or have a deep conversation with someone on the wrong side of midnight one of my favourite things in the world, actually. So vulnerability is not so much shied away from as much as blatantly avoided. And sometimes when we show it we feel just a bit weirded out after, and maybe slightly ashamed. So how can you live life raw without letting the world steamroll right through you in the process?