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Let’s start this article off being honest: I’d rather not be writing about this topic right now. Being
vulnerable, communicating what I need from others, and asking for help is something that I am
still learning how to do. However, I have identified vulnerability to be a key factor that can help
you and your relationships thrive. Building off my opening statement, I really struggled to let
myself write this article. Proclaiming to the internet that sometimes I struggle emotionally is
difficult and probably the last thing that I would like to write about, but I know that regulating
emotions and feelings is something that everyone has been challenged with at least once in their
life. I have found that there is so much to learn from others who are vulnerable, so I wanted to
extend my experience to my readers in the hopes of starting a chain of vulnerability.

Don’t Live in Fear

I refrain from being vulnerable with others and with quite frankly, myself, because I am afraid of
what I might uncover. What if I don’t really know myself all that well? What if this changes
everything? What if I don’t know how to solve this issue? So, I used to hide, and refrain from
facing it head on. Ultimately, this makes the fear grow even more to the point where it can be
disabling. So, the best way I force myself to get my emotions out is by journaling. It allows me
to say whatever I need, without the fear of judgement from others.

Write What’s on Your Mind

As the thoughts are flowing onto the paper, there is always one thought that will stop me in my
tracks. It usually is the thing that I have feared from acknowledging. Simply put: WRITE IT
DOWN. It may take you a couple seconds, minutes, or even an hour of hesitation, but this is the
turning point! It can be a very emotional moment, so be patient and give yourself the care that
you need to face the idea head on. I usually find that after I write down what I have been
avoiding, I feel a sense of relief and freedom. Emotional turmoil can be a lot on our mind and
body, so bask in the feeling of calmness you may feel. After this, I can reflect, unpack my
thoughts some more, and move onto a resolution that will shed a more positive perspective on
the situation.

Read Over Your Thoughts

Reading over your journal entry is a great way to go through your emotions and understand your
thought process of the situation from beginning to end. This will help you to grow comfortable
with being vulnerable. You will be able to shorten the process of being able to be open with
yourself and others. In addition, you will be able to remember past experiences and know which
paths of action are effective to help you feel better.

Growing in your vulnerability is a journey. Sometimes it will come easy, and sometimes you will
have seasons where it is difficult for you to be in touch with your emotions. I encourage you to
continue to find the methods that work best for you. Change won’t happen instantly, but you
always owe it to yourself to try your best.

Shanise Buford is a junior at Purdue studying Finance with a concentration in Data Analytics. Originally, she is from Plainfield, IL. In her free time, she enjoys thrift shopping, exploring new coffee shops, cooking for friends and family, and going for walks.
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