Do You Fear Being Vulnerable?

The ‘V’ word, yes I am talking vulnerable, is uncomfortable for many. Yet when we allow ourselves to feel it, be it – it’s highly rewarding. It gives us a reset, a measure of courage and growth. Being vulnerable at any age is something we inherently fear. It’s not a natural state and something in our bodies react when the brain sends that message.

Afraid of Being Vulnerable As I get older, arguably more mature and willing to accept that being vulnerable is a part of knowing myself much better, I reflect on the times I have asked for support. My own blocks coming from my cultural upbringing – a double whammy – born and raised in the West Indies and with Asian parents steeped in “don’t air dirty laundry”.

At 40 and running a successful business in SE Asia, I was surrounded by corporate solders and primarily male decision-makers who were the clients. It was rare that I could allow myself moments of vulnerability. I felt compelled to do it all without showing the human side of making mistakes or asking for help. In fact, self-care was completely foreign to me until 15 years ago. Something flipped, however, as I hit the mid 40s. The light switch went on and I scrutinized myself as well as the people in my life.

I asked myself how I had achieved and built on successes over the past four decades. Importantly, how did I recover from failures that I had made along the way?

My friends and an amazing network of people who have supported my life and my decisions in generous, selfless ways…they had provided a powerful mesh of strength and resolve for me.

Vulnerable At Forty Five As difficult as it may feel sometimes, vulnerability serves a vital role in life. It brings us closer to humility, checks our egos and taps our inner critic ever so sternly on the nose! Now in my glorious 50s, I am being vulnerable and opening my heart to someone. It’s damn scary but I am committing to be brave.

Look around you and acknowledge the wonderful people who have been on your team. Being able to share our humanness with each other is priceless – over an impromptu conversation, a warm meal, a glass of wine, a cuppa, or a scheduled mentorship session, we rely on each other to see our successes and failures in relation to the growth and learning they give us.

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Karen was born in Guyana to immigrant parents. She was raised in a West Indian environment – a culture of harsh truths, no-nonsense parenting, and brutish competition at all levels from the playground to the classroom. Recognizing her strength early as a young woman to look at situations from an impartial viewpoint and her ability to be straightforward and honest, Karen worked towards a fulfilling and resonant life from marketing communication roles to becoming a successful entrepreneur and a published author.

At Forty Five Vulnerable
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Karen lives in Vancouver, Canada. She embodies and advocates living a larger and fulfilling life through her work impacting inclusion for the growing immigrant population. Karen provides coaching and mentorship for private clients internationally, entrepreneurs, startups & business students at the University of British Columbia (UBC), and through non-profit organizations in the Vancouver area.

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Karen Flynn
Karen Flynn

I am a passionate coach who work with clients from diverse backgrounds, to find clarity and improve their performance to achieve their best lives. A published author, my book Go Beyond Resilience was launched on 31 July 2019 and together with my tagline, Colouring Outside the Lines - it showcases my philosophy for growth, curiosity, and bravery.

A magazine for women 45+ who want to own aging with spirit and joy. For those of us rediscovering who we are & exploring what we want next. And. We. Want. More. Health, wealth, happiness, & fulfillment. Join women around the world as we share knowledge and life experience while navigating the best years yet.