The Gift of Vulnerability

Posted December 19, 2022

Humans are born innately curious beings. As children, we ask why to learn new things about ourselves, our surroundings, and to understand the purpose of both. Somewhere along the journey to adulthood we begin to lose that sense of curiosity as the burdens of adulting become a reality. And, since March 2020, our opportunities to explore new places, try new things, and meet new people have diminished significantly. Our day-to-day lives are a bit more predictable as we embrace work-from-home or hybrid jobs, remain somewhat limited in our human-to-human encounters, and continue to maintain a partially socially distanced lifestyle.

New experiences are good for our physical and emotional health and trying new things results in a more fulfilling life. Studies show that people who pursue new activities are generally more happy, positive, and healthy. If trying new things is paramount to the human experience, how do we prepare to embrace discovering new things and opening ourselves up to the unknown again?

A new year is a fresh start on the calendar, full of hope and potential – aka, the perfect time to try something new. As we prepare to ring in 2023, ILLUME offers the gift of vulnerability in hopes that we can all find the courage to embark on new adventures, connect with new people, and spark new passions. The benefits of vulnerability are vast, and we came up with five reasons why we want to make trying something new a habit in 2023.

  1. Reveal New Strengths: Vulnerability is the origin of creativity and innovation. Opening yourself up to try new things unlocks the door to grow more confident and gain new skills. Whether you want to learn a new yoga pose or explore a new neighborhood, taking on a new challenge fills the empty spaces in our lives which in turn boosts confidence and helps expose our authentic strengths.
  2. More Life Experience: Pandemic life meant surrounding ourselves with the same people, routines, and Netflix trailers each day. Did you know it is possible to burn out from boredom? Routines and monotony are the enemy. Shaking things up and being vulnerable to taking new adventures (beyond a new route to the kitchen coffeemaker) will activate your brain and teach meaningful life lessons while expanding your friend circles and perspectives.
  3. Increased Appreciation for Others: Being vulnerable enough to learn a different language or sample a new cuisine opens our minds to learn about other cultures and other people. Albert Einstein said, “The only source of knowledge is experience,” and the more insight we gain into the lives of other people, the more we can appreciate and value their experiences.
  4. Appreciate the Value of Time: Learning new things takes time and often forces us to focus on being in the moment. Slowing down to appreciate our surroundings and the challenges of learning something new brings contentment and meaning to our lives.
  5. Discover Your Purpose: You will never know your capabilities if you do not try new things. Can you imagine if you never tried to dance, sing, ride a bike, or read a book? Happiness is finding success, even after failure. Being vulnerable enough to get back up and try that dance move again or get back on the bike after falling can be scary, but we promise the reward for trying again is worth the risk. Learning a new skill is a great way to keep your brain healthy and open the door to new possibilities.

The new year ahead is full of opportunities for new adventures, emotions, and interests. Cheers to the memories we plan to make in 2023!