The power of vulnerability

Today I want to switch gears from all the food chatter and talking about something different: vulnerability. I know, I know, this is a food blog, not a therapist’s office. But hear me out. I’ve always been of the belief that health is so much more than just the physical. It’s about healthy emotions, a healthy mind, and even healthy relationships.

So do yourself a favour, and watch this Ted Talk:

Now let’s chat. How freaking powerful is that talk?

At the risk of sounding like a hot mess, I’ll admit that I was tearing up throughout it because I could relate all to well to what she was saying about vulnerability. For a long time now I’ve been closed off with my emotions, not letting anyone in other than a few close friends. Because being closed off means I can’t get hurt, so it’s obviously the way to ensure my happiness right?


Wrong. Like BrenĂ© Brown says, being human is about being connected through relationships. And it’s pretty hard to be connected when you’re closed off. Duh, that makes sense. So why is it so hard to be more open? Because that means making yourself vulnerable. And for some people, that’s bloody terrifying.

And yet, for others, it’s not. For some people being vulnerable is just a necessary step in a relationship (whether that be romantic, friendship, or otherwise) that they don’t even bat an eye at. I would love to be that kind of person, but I never knew how until seeing this talk. And when she said it, it almost seemed too simple.

Embrace imperfection.

That’s it. Know that you’re not perfect, love yourself for it, and be confident that others will love you for it too.

So guess what? I know squat about politics, and I’m not proud of it. I try to sing along to songs in the car, and then crack up laughing at myself when I realize I sound like a dying goat. I used to be overweight. I also used to be underweight. My legs never look good bare because they’re always bruised from banging into things. I climb on top of furniture like a monkey to take pictures of my food. And oh yeah, I take pictures of my food. I write a food blog even though I’m not the best writer. I consider myself a good cook, but I still don’t know how to grill meat properly. I have a weird pinkie toenail.

I am flawed and weird. And I am learning to be okay with letting other people know that.


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36 Responses to The power of vulnerability

  1. this speaks volumes with me because case in point, I struggle with having that vulnerability with people in order to build those relationships. worse, I know that about myself but still find it hard to be completely open at that point. I adored that talk, things like that really ring true for me and I get so much from just the power of words. honestly – thanks for sharing this!

    • Chelsea

      No problem! I’m glad you enjoyed it. That talk gave me a lot to think about… and I actually think it may have helped me open up more recently!

  2. I saw her on Super Soul Sunday a few months ago and now I’m excited to watch this. Opening up is something I struggle with too, but a practice that I’ve been working on intensely for several months. So far, I’ve learned that a lot of magic happens when you begin to stand in your own truth and speak up about what’s important, what you want, and who you are.

    I’m hoping to share more about this on my blog soon, because I feel like I have a really great story brewing….

    • Chelsea

      I hope you got a chance to watch it! I struggle with opening up too, but I seriously think this talk has helped push me towards being more open.

      I can’t wait to read about your experiences on your blog!

  3. Love this Chels. Opening up is really hard. And yes it opens yourself up for getting hurt. But life is meant to be lived!

  4. It’s our flaws that make us interesting and unique! I’m singing alongside you in that car ;)

  5. Danielle @LabelsAreForTinCans

    I’ve always loved this video. I think once you start embrace imperfection you also become a whole lot happier and just nicer to be around – or so that has been my experience!

  6. I’m only about halfway through the video, but I’m already touched. I definitely have issues with closing myself off to people out of fear of getting hurt, but we lose so many opportunities that way. Nobody is perfect, so we really need to work on embracing our ‘flaws’ that make us unique.

    And the ‘dying goat’ comment made me laugh out loud. You’re not the only one there ;-)

  7. Again, thank you for sharing this. My personality type (ISFJ) is known to keep our emotions and inner self hidden. It’s funny though, because I can easily open to my blogging friends (perhaps you/they are just easier to talk to) than my closest friends who I see often or certain family members.

    I must remind myself that my flaws make up who I am. They are just as much me as the things I am good at. And opening up about them makes me a real person.

    • Chelsea

      I’m INTJ, I’m pretty sure. I think the “I” in us definitely makes us more prone to keeping things bottled up. Luckily it’s something we can change with some conscious effort!

  8. I have a weird pinky toenail!! I’m so glad I’m not alone. :) The lady who does my pedicures assured me there are others with the same thing and now I know she wasn’t BS’ing me.

    • Chelsea

      Hahaha thank you for the reassurance! I’ve always been weirded out by my toenail, but that’s good to know I’m not the only one!

  9. Absolutely beautiful, love, and something I relate to all too well. Opening up and letting others in is one of the most challenging things we do as humans (I think), and Brene is absolutely right that embracing our imperfections makes it seem a lot less scary. It’s something I’ve worked on over the last two years especially, and it’s made me a lot happier and closer to the people in my life….still have a ways to go with it, but I’m better than I’ve been in years not shutting people out. Totally with you on the singing in the car and laughing at the awfulness….favorite time of my day ;)

    • Chelsea

      Even in the past few weeks since listening to this talk, I’ve been getting better at opening up. I’m so glad I listened to this to give me that push I needed!

  10. I absolutely love Brene and this Ted Talk. I tend toward an introverted nature and definitely have a hard time opening up to people, but coming out of my comfort zone and embracing being vulnerable is always SO worth it.

  11. Great post, buddy- we all have imperfections and different levels of comfort and although it shouldn’t be forced, being vulnerable and seeing how we tackle it head on can actually be therapeutic! If you sound like a dying goat well….that’s a step up from me ;)

  12. One of my favorite TED Talks of all time. Thank you for sharing it again as it’s been a while since I’ve listened to it and I truly get something new out of it every time I hear it. Such a powerful message.

  13. I love this! I’ve had a hard time opening up on my blog, it’s so scary! I’ve been thinking about being more open and posting about some of those “imperfections.” This is definitely inspiring me to be more open and honest in my posts. Thanks!

  14. Chelsea, I’m not always commenting but I’m always reading. But today I just had to say I love this post. I don’t know if you know, but yours was the first blog I ever followed. You sorta played a role in me taking the leap into recovery. You may be imperfect (and so is everyone) but you are pretty damn awesome. <3

  15. You hit the nail on the head with everything you said in this post. It applies to me so well, I will definitely need to watch that video. My aversion to vulnerability has handicapped my relationships over the past 5 years and I really want to work on that. Thanks for taking the time to post about this!

  16. I LOVE this! I shared a quote via Instagram (and on the blog today!) from the movie “Eat, Pray, Love” about embracing the true you… “It’s better to live your own life imperfectly than to imitate someone else’s perfectly.”

  17. Chelsea I love this so much and it’s something I’ve really been working on. I’ve been hurt a lot in the past by friends and relationships alike and vulnerability is not something I do easily. But this post was so beautiful I almost teared up from it alone :) I will have to watch that TED talk when I go home.

    • Chelsea

      I hope you enjoyed the talk! Watching it has actually really helped me start to open up more in the past few weeks – you might find it does the same for you! :)

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  19. I think this is ONE of my favorite posts you’ve ever written (right up there with your muffin top one from last year)…if I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were describing ME…right down to the weird pinkie toenail (or really an almost lack thereof in my case!). I actually first saw this video over the summer when Jamie forwarded it to me in an email…and I bawled my eyes out. It used to be so easy for me to open up to people. I was shy as a kid but even with that (and not much of a sense of self-esteem), I had a trusting spirit and always saw the best in people. Then I grew up and had that trust betrayed, my heart broken and now it’s not so easy. Sometimes I feel like I’m bordering on cynicism. To counteract that, I have to make a CONSCIOUS effort to open myself up now…especially to the opposite sex…because well, you’re only hurting YOURSELF by closing yourself off from the love/care of others. We are human and we are not meant to live our lives in solitude.

    • Chelsea

      It’s funny because you said I was describing YOU in this post, and I think you were describing ME in this comment – twins much?!

      I have to make a conscious effort to open up too and I’ve been really working at it these past few weeks. So far, it’s been completely worth it. :)

      • Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli

        Awww!! I am SO happy for you, sweetie! So SO happy! Seriously, there aren’t enough people in the world like you…genuine, kind, beautiful! <3

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