How Being Authentically Vulnerable Turned Me Into A Braver Person

Bianca Hofman
Bianca Hofman is a Dutch ultrashort-story writer, based in Barcelona, Spain. She writes super short stories about dating, culture and career. But who is Morris? Morris is Bianca’s imaginary muse, her yin, her alter ego, whatever you want to call him. "Y" means "And" in Spanish, in case you didn’t know. Yes, Bianca&Morris. Bianca has a passionate relationship with the city she lives in. Together with her sister she founded Barcelona Hofman, a flash fiction collaboration. The sisters launched Barcelona Hofman, May 2016, with an exposition during the open art gallery weekend in Barcelona. Facebook: Instagram: Twitter: @biancaymorris and @Bianca_Hofman

Are you scared? Nervous? Hurt or lonely? Just say so. Many times we attempt to brighten our demeanor and undermine our feelings with the “I-am-tough-happy-and-I know-it-all” filter.

But when it comes down to it, isn’t it better to be real? To have the balls to be vulnerable?

Around seven years ago, I quit my job as a communication project manager in the Netherlands and moved to Barcelona without any plan. Four years ago, I published an autobiographical book. This year, I had my first flash fiction exhibition in Barcelona. But let me tell you a secret…

I was scared when I moved to Spain. I am convinced the English translation of my autobiographical book is shit. I was worried that nobody would show up for our exhibition.

Like anyone,  I can be very insecure every once in a while — worried about what other people think and scared to show my failures or lack of knowledge on certain topics. It may not make sense. It may not be necessary, but it’s true.

If I did keep all of my vulnerabilities to myself, I would probably be too scared to take risks or publish a story. I would stay in my comfort zone.

But where is the fun in that?

I prefer an interesting life, so I try to write. I talk about my vulnerabilities. I cry when I want to (because it is my party) and ask for help instead of acting like the tough, independent single woman who can do everything on her own. When I don’t have an answer or opinion, I don’t pretend I have one.

Expressing your vulnerability once in a while helps you grow, and you realize you’re not the only one who feels like that. And being real helps you connect with others — a key to success not only in your personal life, but also in your career.

And yes, sometimes I fail completely. Sometimes I even fail at being vulnerable and “forget” to say I am scared, nervous, hurt or lonely. Or I pretend to have an opinion about the soccer strategy of FC Barcelona. But hey, I am not perfect, and I’m vulnerable enough to say so.

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