How To Build Confidence Through Vulnerability

Risha Bharathan
4 min readMar 13, 2022


(Hey, if this is the first article of mine you’re reading, please check the links in the conclusion first to better understand Amber and her journey.)

“Confidence is like a pile of chips at a poker table. The one who has more of it is ready to risk more and place more bets than the player who’s low on chips.”

This quote was something Amber heard in a YouTube video a while ago but has still stuck with her.

While Amber was devastated after her breakup with Dave, she realized she deserved better. She finally started seeing that no human being should ever go through what she went through.

Amber needed to build on her pile of chips. She needed to find a way to win back all her lost confidence.

Amber Needed To Wake Up

As Amber decided to become more assertive in her relationships, she discovered that the problem wasn’t just limited to her relationships.

Her insecurities dictated the kind of friendships she’d have, the type of coworkers she’d spend more time with, the kind of jobs she’d have, and every other relationship in between.

How many times have you found yourself in a similar fate? One fine day you suddenly almost wake up and see that you’re stressed every day because of the kind of friendships and relationships you have.

You want to talk to someone about your problems only to realize that you have no one who would understand you. Yes, people are empathetic.

However, because you, too, like Amber, don’t share your struggles with the people close to you, you find yourself all alone when you desperately need someone on your side.

Amber decided to take charge of her future. She decided she would no longer be a victim of her circumstances but a victor of her days ahead. Of course, Amber goes to Google.

Blog after blog, she scoured through the internet day after day. She bookmarked blogs, watched all kinds of videos, found new coaches on Instagram, found a list of affirmations on Pinterest, and found a few podcasts she loved.

Amber’s journey into building self-confidence

Amber realizes that “Fake it till you make it” is the worst advice you could ever receive to build self-confidence.

As Brene Brown says, “Vulnerability is the cornerstone of confidence.”

What would vulnerability look like, Amber wondered.

Does it mean I go and share my story with everyone in the world? And risk being judged by them all? God, no.

Decoding true vulnerability

Many a time, we forget about ourselves in relationships. We tend to neglect our needs and wants only to keep the other person in the relationship comfortable.

Amber’s ex-boyfriend Dave (refer to my previous article) made her feel miserable every time she spoke about her needs and wants in the relationship. Now, this is an extreme case but ask yourself these questions:

  • When was the last time I didn’t tell my friend I was not okay with the way they behaved?
  • Why didn’t I tell my boss their strategy wouldn’t work because of ABC reason?
  • Why didn’t I tell my dad it wasn’t alright how he spoke to me?
  • Why did I not tell my relative my life is not their business?
  • Why didn’t I order whatever I wanted on that date instead of letting them choose for me?

See, we betray ourselves all through the day without even realizing it. We choose to:

  • Stay with school friends even though we’ve grown apart only because we fear we’ll be the bad one to end it.
  • Stay in relationships that are becoming toxic because of “what if I try harder, and they’ll change?”
  • Let go of snide remarks by our relatives about our life choices because “we don’t want to create a scene.”
  • Stay in bad jobs that don’t bring us joy, only fearing, “what if I never get anything better than this.”

In these tiny moments, we betray ourselves. We tell ourselves it’s okay for us not to take up space. We reinforce the idea that the other person is more important than us.

How then can we build on confidence? We do it by being vulnerable.

Vulnerability is:

  • Setting a boundary with that insensitive relative saying, “I don’t appreciate the remark you just passed.”
  • Standing up for ourselves in front of our boss and saying, “While ABC is a good idea, here’s where I think we might face some troubles. How about we do this instead?”
  • Finding the courage to call that school friend and say, “Hey, I care for you, but it looks like we’ve drifted apart over the years. I think it’s time we take a break.”
  • Telling our partner, “what you said deeply hurt me. I will not accept you calling me names anymore.”

Vulnerability isn’t playing the victim. Instead, it’s observing how you feel about a particular instance and honoring that feeling — standing up for that feeling.

Vulnerability comes from self-love, and it fuels self-love. This cycle means the more you learn to rever your feelings, the more you tell yourself you’re worth it. The more you tell yourself you’re worth it, the more you fill your bucket of self-love.

Before You Go

Amber worked hard on setting boundaries and standing up for herself. I’ll share her progress in the following articles. Additionally, I’ll give you more tips on building your confidence. The exact advice that helped Amber, so you get tried and tested strategies to build self-confidence.

The best is yet to come. This article is part of a series on Amber’s journey to gaining confidence. Check out the sequence here:

Keep track of your progress here:

  1. Amber’s Story
  2. Amber’s shift in mindset to confidence
  3. Amber’s tested tools to building confidence Part 1
  4. Amber’s tested tools to building confidence Part 2
  5. Amber’s tested tools to building confidence Part 3

In the meantime, comment below; what’s your biggest takeaway from this article?



Risha Bharathan

My copywriting skills can help you seamlessly integrate stories (heart) with today’s digital marketing best practices (head). A unique mix that Google adores.