Accepting and Embracing Vulnerability

When you accept and embrace vulnerability, you reap emotional benefits including enhanced self-confidence, stronger relationships, and a willingness to take risks. Let’s analyze the actions of a handful of people who went through a process of self-examination and went public with their vulnerabilities:

Carl Nassib. The Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman became the first active NFL player to come out as gay, making history and inspiring many others after speaking his truth to the world. In his Instagram post, Nassib stated, “I have been meaning to do this for a while now, but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest.” Nassib’s acceptance of vulnerability gained immediate support from Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner, as well as his teammates.

Naomi Osaka. The tennis star withdrew from the French Open after revealing that she had suffered from long bouts of depression since winning her first Grand Slam title in 2018. Osaka commented that “anyone who knows me knows that I’m introverted, and anyone that has seen me at the tournaments will notice that I’m often wearing headphones as that helps me dull my social anxiety.” After being fined $15,000 for not speaking to the media, Osaka had this to say, “I am not a natural public speaker and get huge waves of anxiety before I speak to the world’s media.” Support from Osaka’s fellow athletes has poured in including NBA star Seth Curry who commented on her gutsiness.

Kyle Beach. The Chicago Blackhawks draft pick revealed that he was sexually assaulted by video coach Brad Aldrich during the team’s run to the Stanley Cup in 2010. “I buried this for 11 years. It destroyed me from the inside out. If these things happen to you, you need to speak up,” stated Beach in a television interview. After the assault, Beach used alcohol, drugs, and other “stupid things” to mask his pain. It was not until he learned that Aldrich had also sexually assaulted a Michigan high school student that he had the courage to come forward. The willingness of Beach to reveal his suffering brought admiration and support from millions of people around the world.

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