Be Vulnerable

This blog title caught my attention this evening:

Being vulnerable about vulnerability.

This is my first introduction to Brené Brown and I read the interview first, watched the latest video, then watched the first one from last year.  These are entertaining 20 minute talks that I want to share. So here’s how her story progressed, in the correct sequence:

2010: The power of vulnerability

… there’s not a (TED) talk I’ve seen where people really touch lives and made a huge difference where they were not excruciatingly vulnerable.

(Speakers admit to numerous failures prior to success and will focus on the struggle as being necessary for the achievement.)

2011: Listening to shame

… what I realized over the last year is, if you don’t understand shame and you don’t have some shame resilience and awareness, then you cannot be vulnerable.

2012: Q & A with Brene Brown (the interview that caught my attention)

(Here’s just one poignant quote relating to the practice of how we are judged from grades in school to job performance and more. )

Are people engaged? Are people engaged parents, engaged employees, engaged leaders?

And I don’t think engagement can happen without vulnerability, and I definitely don’t think it can happen in the midst of shame. If you think dealing with issues like worthiness and authenticity and vulnerability are not worthwhile because there are more pressing issues, like the bottom line or attendance or standardized test scores, you are sadly, sadly mistaken. It underpins everything.

Brené Brown has received a lot of criticism since her first talk but it’s helped her increase her own understanding of her topic. As she stated in the first video in 2010 one way we numb our vulnerability is “we make the uncertain CERTAIN….I’m right, you’re wrong, shut up.”

Earlier today I read How To Handle A Scathing Review by Kristina McMorris.  The internet and social media is a wonderful thing but it has also empowered the hateful, who are certain they are right and the author should shut up. This encourages others to step forth with tips and tools for improving the experience of public connections.

While this post may seem like a downer of negativity, I feel it’s a very positive example of change. Science is now measuring how courage and vulnerability are emotional tools for becoming whole hearted, and this is the birth place of joy, love, creativity, and innovation. By understanding shame we can develop resilience and tools to dilute the grasp for power from hateful trolls who are certain of being right.

Each generation is hard wired for struggle and is wholly worthy of love, joy, and connection. As humans have evolved through history we have always created the tools we need to help us on that journey.

6 thoughts on “Be Vulnerable

  1. Pingback: The difference of a decade « Terri Patrick's Blog

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