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If someone feels “vulnerable” and doesn’t post about it on (delete your) Instagram, will the Universe recognize their bravery and reward it with quantum abundance and gratitude?

Ehh . . . I fear that an answer to that one may require a blood sacrifice to the ancient writhing things and gently humming stones.

But let’s chew a little on this glob of gristle anyway and see where it takes us.

These days, it’s trendy to muse about embracing “vulnerability” like it’s a cosmic cheat code—one weird trick for awakening your essence and owning your superpower.

Really? That’s it? Openly wallowing in anxieties, insecurities, and failures is the gateway to the good life? Glory be! 

Look, vulnerability is indeed vital to virtuous and productive living, but it doesn’t involve whinging about weakness or making excuses for missteps.

Announcing that we’re not perfect may feel uncomfortable, but so does exposing ourselves in front of JCPenney. Point being: while all growth involves some degree of discomfort, not all discomfort produces positive growth.

Those of us who aren’t monsters all have doubts and worries. We all know that we all have doubts and worries. Admitting as much isn’t inspiring or noble. Acting courageously is—the crux of authentic vulnerability, which comes in many flavors: taking ownership of negative circumstances instead of blaming others, asking for advice instead of pretending like we have it all figured out, and doing the right thing even when it costs us something.

Bogus vulnerability, on the other hand, seeks approval and sympathy. It elevates fragility and disability over confidence and excellence. It glorifies who we are over who we can be. 

These two types of vulnerability can appear similar in practice, but they’re actually as different as oxygen and a picture of it. One sustains and the other suffocates. So choose carefully.

If you want to hear more of my musings on mastering the inner game of getting fit so you can be all you can be, check out my book The Little Black Book of Workout Motivation.

Think of it as my personal—and 100% practical and hands-on—blueprint for personal transformation, inside and outside of the gym.

In the book, I share wisdom and insights from hundreds of scientific studies and scores of legendary artists, authors, entrepreneurs, philosophers, generals, and conquerors, as well as my own biggest “a ha” moments that have helped me overcome the things that were most holding me back.

Go for it!