On Vulnerability


Starting a blog is something I’ve been considering for awhile. My yearning for a creative outlet which was more than just thumping away on the keys of my laptop, for my own eyes, has been strong for many months (arguably years) before I pressed publish on this here blog of mine.

And the thing that was stopping me most was my ego, and its outright rejection of being remotely vulnerable. My ego did not under any circumstances want to risk garnering public humiliation, condemnation or rejection, as a result of putting my thoughts ‘out there’. Which is entirely possible when you start anything in the public domain.




During the time I was considering it, I had many internal conversations with my ego, in a continuous loop. A bit of an argument, and it went something like this:

Me: I’m going to do this! I’m going to start a fabulous blog called Pockets of Peace! It’s going to be authentic and reflect my inner truth and talk lots about all of the things I find are awesome for tapping in to my pocket of peace, and which may also help other people do that too! Yay!

Ego: Oh no, no you won’t be! There are so many reasons why you shouldn’t I don’t even know where to begin. But I will (begins ticking off a long list of why-nots).

Me: You know I’m going to do this, right? The compulsion to do it is very strong, and although you may be making me procrastinate about it now, I will bite the bullet and get this shiz done in the new year.

Ego: Nuh uh. Think of what ALL OF THE PEOPLE might think! Or better yet, think of what NONE OF THE PEOPLE will think, you likely won’t have any readers save for your mum and a handful of your besties, if you’re lucky.

Me: So basically, what you’re trying to tell me is that I may have heaps of readers, and that will be scary and crap because, well, JUDGEMENT. And also to beware because it’s likely that no one will read at all.


Me: But I still want to do it. Seriously. Damn the consequences.

Ego: Okayokayokay, I see you’re being quite persistent with this. If you really must, consider doing it anonymously.

Me: Well, that kind of defeats the purpose of being authentic, doesn’t it?

Ego: …

Me: So I’m going to do it, and I’m going to put my name to it.

Ego: Okay, alright. If you’re serious then you have to write in a sensible academic manner, all blogs fully referenced to credible sources, with immaculate grammar, syntax and style. And you MUST paint a picture like everything is always rosy for you and you generally skip through life with the lightness of a forest elf throwing rainbows and smiling and whistling happily to all and sundry.

Me: Hmm, yes, yes, you definitely have a point there, ego. I certainly don’t want my credibility to crumble, nor do I really want certain people (read: old boyfriends/school friends/superficial acquaintances) to think anything but great things of me.

Ego: Phew, I was getting a little worried for a second.

Me: But..

Ego: Ugh, no.

Me: The main challenge I’ve set myself this year is to be authentically me. Embrace vulnerability, which includes any and all of the things that I muck up, and really live my truth. Surely worrying about what other people think of me is counter to this aim? And, also, blogs are supposed to be conversational, easy to read chunks of info. They don’t need to have any epistemological merit whatsoever. I can’t write academically or I won’t have any readers at all.

Ego: No no and no. But yes to that seven syllable word you used, that sounds impressive.

Me: But…

So here we are. I won out over my ego, and she will lay claim to any of the great things that come from this blog, and kick me in the ass if something doesn’t go right.

But the point is this – I’ve started doing it. Embracing my vulnerability, seeking to be authentic, and connecting to my true self. In all its scariness, it’s a truly liberating thing too.

One of my favourite TED talks is by Brene Brown, who talks about courage being born out of vulnerability, not strength. And it was certainly an inspiration to me when I finally bit the bullet and decided to start Pockets of Peace. It’s well worth the watch, if you haven’t seen it yet.

I would like it to be noted that vulnerability has not always been a concern of mine. One of my fondest memories is the pride and joy a couple of my besties and I had at deciding to choreograph an entire singing and dancing advertisement for McDonalds in our home town of Singapore.

With the benefit of youthful naiveté, we were absolutely convinced we’d get the gig on their next ad campaign. And this would surely happen if we took our act down to the local McDonalds in Queenstown to show them our genius production. So perform we did – to the bemused cashiers and patrons waiting in line for their happy meals and quarter pounders with cheese, no less.

Unsurprisingly, we didn’t get the gig. But I still remember the unabashed and ridiculously ecstatic glee I felt in that moment.

And embracing vulnerability is worth it, to catch a glimpse of that feeling again.

How do you feel about vulnerability? Does it freak you out at all? Has there been a situation in which you’ve embraced it? I’d love to hear from you! Pop your thoughts below.


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  • Jessie Wells

    Thanks so much for these thoughts and for the link to Brene Brown’s insightful TED talk. It makes so much sense in relation to all of life, and is really helpful right at this moment as I try to find my way through new fields of research and Indonesian language and society, and all the uncertainties and vulnerabilities this involves.
    Looking forward to visiting pockets of peace often!

    • Carly

      Thanks, Jessie! So glad you enjoyed this and Brene’s TED talk. It’s so wonderful to hear that you’re pushing beyond your comfort zones in Indonesia, and embracing the fears that can arise when you do that. You’ll do a fantastic job of it all, I have absolutely no doubt. Can’t wait to hear all about it. Thanks again, for your support xx

  • Daile Kelleher

    Carly – this is wonderful. I think most of us struggle with vulnerability on a regular basis. It’s easy for me to be loud, energetic and sing and dance my heart out with little abandon, but when I first started my blog I felt the same vulnerability you have opened up to here. It is a very difficult thing to expose yourself and stand on the rooftops shouting “This is ME!” I’m a lot better at accepting myself and being proud of ‘doing’ rather than just thinking about it.
    I have decided this is my year for great things and wonderful acheivements, and I have a feeling this is your year too!
    Much love to you my dear and I will be an avid supporter of this lovely blog xx

    • Carly

      Oh divine Ms Daile, it certainly does feel like we’re standing on rooftops, bellowing! It’s both thrilling and frightening standing up there. Nice to have someone to hold hands with while doing it though, hey?

      I am totally with you on going big this year, and I look forward to reading and supporting your blog too!

      Love xx

  • Christopher Fitch

    I like this! I really enjoyed the conversation between you and your ego. So so true with most of us hehe. Xx

  • Thrilling Me! | Pockets of Peace

    […] know by now that I’m a Brene Brown fan girl tragic. One of my very first posts was on Vulnerability, and I linked to her extraordinarily popular TED Talk on that topic. Basically I can’t get […]

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