Insecurity vs. Vulnerability

Insecurity vs. Vulnerability

photo by Susan Hopping
photo by Susan Hopping

I was challenged by my therapist today to reframe my insecurities as vulnerabilities. While on the surface it seems like a mere shift in language, at a deeper level it is a total shift in language. (bearing in mind that language is the tool we use to put our abstract thoughts and emotions into a tangible, relatable context. Changing the language, in many cases, means changing the thing.)

Being the astute, up and coming academic that I am, I was looking forward to digging into the meanings and origins of each of those words, to disect their implications on what goes on in my head and how changing the word I use in my own thoughts could lead to an intense paradigm shift in my life and self image.

But instead I just googled it. (I’m between terms in school – my brain needs a break).

One of the first headlines that caught my attention: “Insecurities are Unattractive, Vulnerability is Sexy”

This was intriguing as I am very insecure about my attractiveness – by that I mean my physical appearance is a point of vulnerability for me. (yea – see what I did there!)

Ok, here are my thoughts on why this is a good idea – independent of googlefluence (please reuse that word – I just coined it and it needs to catch on) or academia.

  • Insecurity is a fearful awareness of our shortcomings; vulnerability is an acceptance of potential areas of growth.
  • Insecurity implies that something needs to be corrected or fixed; vulnerability is something that we embrace as part of our character and learn to live around.
  • Insecurity is a safeguard intended to keep people out; vulnerability is a point of relating to people with an awareness of our exposure to potential hurts.
  • Insecurity is an intense emotion that manifests in timidity, nervousness and paranoia; vulnerability is a state of existence that exudes confidence, self connectedness and internality about life.

All in all its worth the shifting of a word.

goog-le-flu-ence: noun; the intentional or unintentional effect of random internet entries on our beliefs, opinions and world view as they present themselves in various search engines.

3 thoughts on “Insecurity vs. Vulnerability

    1. I’ve been diagnosed with major depressive disorder, social anxiety, complex PTSD and gender dysphoria . But I have made such great progress in the last year, it feels more like I’m dealing with life than any specific condition.

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