Mental Matters Column: Vulnerability is where true success lies

One of the UK’s top motivational speakers and ex-MK Dons footballer Drewe Broughton talks about vulnerability, which comes from the Latin word for ‘wound’.

Vulnerability is a state of being open to injury; physically, mentally and spiritually. If we’re not open to injury then we’re closed to it. Anything closed is shutting the door, turning your back on your truth.

All of my 17 year playing career I believed I needed to be stronger, work harder, be faster, eat better; control, control, control. The thought of losing or never achieving my potential was unbearable.

I just couldn’t show weakness. I trained in a t-shirt in minus temperatures, I could never say I was tired if I was. I was dishonest really, and that was all born through fear of somebody seeing the true me; my vulnerability.

I work with some of the toughest spirits I’ve seen. They’re tough, tough beings but they’re human and vulnerable.

It’s that vulnerability I tap into. The undeniable. I’ll leave the scientists doing their thing. I wasn’t chosen for that journey. I want to tap into the spirit.

I abandoned mine many years ago because I had no solutions for my nakedness and my vulnerability. Flesh cuts, bones break, muscles tear, vessels bleed, loss hurts, grief debilitates, we die.

We are, by the sheer nature of being human beings, extremely vulnerable. We can build our bodies physically to show the appearance of power and invincibility but one disease, one cancer, one bullet, one hurricane, one drunk driver, and we can be wiped away.

We can grow our brains with knowledge and we can hide behind our title or PhD, but we still can be wiped away from the world easily. We are vulnerable, so, so, so vulnerable. We’re nothing really, just a spirit locked in a bag of bones and some muscles, with the controls to gather data until old age, disease, famine, hunger, accident or war kills us.

I learnt through much pain and much searching about vulnerability. It was terrifying. Everything I had to protect me was taken away. Physically, the roof over my head, the money, the career.

I was so vulnerable. In a world where mental illness and suicide is at an epidemic level, we must continue to remain in a state of acceptance around our vulnerability and not create a false self to ‘survive’.

For further information, visit or drop an email to Drewe at

This feature was published in the October 2019 issue of Celebrate:MK lifestyle magazine. Read the full magazine above or by clicking on this link.

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