ifIknew is a health initiative for young adults that uses a multi media approach, including social media and in person programs, to address the contemporary issues that impact the well-being, self-image, careers, and relationships of people in their 20's and 30's.

If I Knew is a prevention education project that raises awareness about risky behaviors that can profoundly impact lives.

Why Vulnerability is Crucial

It isn’t always easy to ask for help. Depending on what I am asking for, it can make me uncomfortable. I don’t want to make anyone go out of their way. I don’t want to intrude. Asking for help can make me feel vulnerable—like I’m naked in front of a large crowd. While recovering from my concussion, I had to ask for help constantly. I couldn’t drive or cook for myself, so I had to get comfortable with asking for assistance. I felt exposed and at risk of being rejection.

We are taught from a young age that being vulnerable and asking for help are signs of weakness. In Brene Brown’s groundbreaking book on vulnerability called, Daring Greatly, she says, “Vulnerability isn’t good or bad. Vulnerability is the core of all emotions and feelings. To feel is to be vulnerable. To believe vulnerability is a weakness is to believe that feeling is a weakness.” What’s interesting is that it’s often much easier for us to be the helper than the one asking for help. But, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable is how we build connections. It’s why we live. Brene states, “To foreclose on our own emotional life out of a fear that the costs will be too high is to walk away from the very thing that gives purpose and meaning to living.”

It takes great courage to show your vulnerability and it is hard work. It takes courage to wait for the doctor to give you your test results. It takes courage to stand up for a friend who has been bullied. It takes courage to say I love you first without knowing if the other person will say it back. When we display acts of courage like these, we also attract the support that we never thought possible because we show others the real us. Learning how to ask for help taught me that showing vulnerability takes great courage and is absolutely crucial in building meaningful relationships.