This post is from the 37th episode of my podcast and if you’re die hard then you know that 37 is my favorite number. When people ask me why it’s my favorite, my response is always “It’s the universe’s way of communicating with me.” I’ve made a personal sign with the universe and it uses that number to talk to me at the most random times. 37 simply represents my connection with a higher power.

So I thought it was going to be really difficult picking a topic for the 37th episode because that number means so much to me. But, since it’s falling on the week of my elimination it made it very easy for me to decide that this week I’ll be talking about vulnerability.

To me vulnerability means that you’re an open book. You walk around life, living it, loving it, being in it without fear of others’ judgments. There’s probably not a single person in the world who is 100% vulnerable. If that person did exist, I guarantee they would be the most influential person known. 

There is something so inspiring about someone who walks fearlessly in life.

There are people out there who are just themselves through and through and embrace every inch of their uniqueness. Those people inspire me. Because let’s be real, it’s so hard to put yourself out there, because if you do, and someone doesn’t like you, that’s when you experience rejection and judgment.  

Rejection is painful. No matter how big or small the rejection is, it still takes so much courage to accept that there are people out in the world that won’t like you. I’ve been on reality tv for four years and I’m just now getting used to that feeling. Four years of interviews, clips, relationships, competitions, little wins, and big losses. My entire life is practically a reality show. People know about my relationships, my break ups, my scandals, my cat, my headboard, and other specific details about my life. After four years, you’d think I’d be a pro at handling public opinions, but I promise you I’m far from that. Criticism is painful, especially when it’s regarding you as a person and your character. 

Sometimes I wake up and I literally think, “Fuck this, judge me world. WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT FROM ME?!” And other times, I become extremely reclusive. I hibernate in my room and binge Netflix and won’t even answer my phone for my sister. Vulnerability is so hard. 

But if you find the strength to achieve it it has so many benefits. When you allow yourself to open up and expose your decisions and emotions to people, you show people that you’re willing to look soft.

Being soft or feeling lesser than or imperfect is so difficult in the world that we live in today. EVERYTHING HAS TO OPERATE SMOOTHLY. If the train is late we blame the system, if a singer’s voice isn’t auto-tuned to the perfect note we are unsatisfied, and God forbid our bodies aren’t chiseled like a statue then what right do we have in being comfortable in it?

But, when someone is vulnerable and they show us that happiness can exist in a world of imperfection, we are in complete awe. How fucking inspiring. One woman alone who stands out to me is Sarah Nicole aka the Birds Papaya on Instagram. She owns every ounce of her being and puts it all out there for the world to see. She fearlessly takes on the criticism of others, embraces herself, acknowledges her truth, and consistently shows up. 

I want to be like her. Sometimes I have moments where I feel like here. I’ll post a picture of myself just as is, no filter, no edits, just me. And when I do that I feel strong, because I’ll get feedback from people who uplift that within me, and hold onto those comments with everything in me. 

In order to be vulnerable, we have to be willing to take the risk that others are going to accept us the way that we are.

I can tell you from personal experience, I have become so much more comfortable and confident in my vulnerability because of you guys. I’m sure if you’re reading this then you’re probably not a troll, this blog is too uplifting for those kinds of people. So if you’re reading, you’re probably a supporter. Someone who is interested in my way of life and encourages me to just be. You are the reason I am able to put myself out there when I do. 

I get messages from people constantly saying that they relate to either a podcast or a post, or my break up, and in that moment I realized that I’ve formed a connection. We’ve formed a connection. You let me be vulnerable. 

Vulnerability is one of the best ways to become closer to one another on this loop around the sun. 

It’s honestly crazy how little grace we show to  one another in our society. We all have completely different stories. We were born in different places, by different people, with different cultures and yet we expect one another to be completely perfect. 

We’re setting ourselves up for failure with that mentality. We’re inhibiting growth when we think with that mindset. We love throwing tomatoes from the crowd but have a difficult time showing compassion to one another when we make mistakes and rarely let people grow. Vulnerable people are so inspiring because of how hard it is to live a life without fear of what people think. 

One of the main benefits of being vulnerable is that it will increase your self worth. When someone has the ability to admit they’ve made a mistake and they own it, they are able to see themselves as they truly are and that’s when real growth happens. You were not born in this world a perfectly functioning adult, you make mistakes over the years and you learn priceless lessons from every single one! If someone were to make a mistake, and not admit to it, and act proud, then they would never grow. And in my opinion, growth is the only real purpose for us being here.

Also, when one person lowers their guard and shows their vulnerable side, they prove to others that it’s okay to make mistakes too. When we are fully ourselves, we show others to be themselves too.

Authenticity inspires authenticity.

So, if you want to be around people who are truly themselves then you have to be truly yourself. 

Vulnerability is also a huge component in inspiring compassion. When someone shows us their vulnerable side and they open up, it pulls on our heart strings. We develop compassion for that person by feeling their pain and putting ourselves in their shoes! Like i said early, we all have completely different stories, therefore we all have completely different reasons why we do things. When we listen to someone’s story, and their confessions as to why they feel a certain way or did something, we feel for them. Compassion is one of the most amazing traits a person can have. 

And last, people can sense when someone is being honest or not. Have you ever heard someone be called “Fake”. People know when other people aren’t being honest for the most part. So instead of just being accountable and owning your shit, you then become a person who comes off as dishonest. Would you rather be disliked for being the real you, or for being fake?

I think for me, that’s the most important thing that I’ve learned when it comes to vulnerability. Once you accept that there are people out there that are going to dislike you either way then it makes it easier to just want to be yourself.  

Also, when you’re yourself and people actually do like you, then it’s so rewarding! Because when you know for sure that the people who are in your life see you and hear you and believe in you as a person. That builds confidence.

Becoming more vulnerable and finding out who you truly are is the experience of a lifetime. We should all be focusing on self discovery in this lifetime. I’ve recently watched the movie SOUL on Disney+ and it really made me reflect on how much fun it is to find our spark in life! What we’re interested in as individuals is what makes us special.

So let’s proclaim ourselves! I’ll start and you can comment yours below:

I’m Tori! I’m 27 years old, I love learning about outer space, cats are my favorite animals, I love to travel, I love competing and making my body stronger, and I’m so grateful so be alive I’ve made countless mistakes, I’m going to make plenty more, but I promise to always reflect, grow, and be myself. I am committed to being the real me.  

Proclaim yourself. Who are you! If you feel so inspired and want to type up your proclamation and comment it below, I WOULD LOVE TO READ IT! 

Let’s praise each other for being our authentic selves! Let’s put vulnerability on a pedestal and show more grace to people who speak their truth.