Enquirer Digest #0011 Appropriate Vulnerability
This edition's subject will be vulnerability. I am sure most of you when I say vulnerability will rightfully think about Brené Brown . Rightfully this edition will be about how she dispels some myths about vulnerability. Let's dive in. As always, the link to the podcast is below.
The main myth is that vulnerability is a weakness. Brown argues that we have been brought up and taught to be not vulnerable. We were taught not to put ourselves out here. It was defined as an uncertain behavior full of emotions and it was deemed risky. This is especially true for work where there's less trust and confidence and the fact, we try to become someone different than who we are.
So how do we let go of putting up defences and having the courage to be vulnerable?
Brown goes on to explain that the armor we build around our traumatic experiences no longer serves us in midlife and prevents us from being seen and growing. She suggests that in midlife, we need to identify the armor and the weapons that kept us safe and let go of those that no longer serve us. Brown further recommends working with professionals if necessary to peel off the armor and shift the goal from proving and perfecting to stretching and learning. This will allow us to try new things without fear of failure and experience growth.
One of the ideas that resonated with me was the leadership aspect of vulnerability. Brown makes the argument that not everyone wants brave leadership, because brave leadership puts demands on people to also be courageous, and to also be self-aware. This in turn puts more importance on getting things right than being right. Being a courageous leader, as well as following a brave leader, is not easy and requires strength and determination. So, it's not obvious that everyone wants courageous leadership.
What I really liked in this podcast and what really made an impact was what "appropriate vulnerability" is. Learning about something is of course important but understanding how to implement it is unbelievably valuable. Sometimes you may be in a sensitive position, and you may need to be vulnerable, but the question is who to be vulnerable with? So, in essence just because vulnerability helps to build trust doesn't mean we should share everything in all situations with all people.
What would this sharing look like? Well, you might say
"I'm really struggling right now. I've got some stuff going on for me, support for me looks like being able to share this with you and being able to bring it up with you when it's helpful for me, but I don't want to share all the details to it."
This is enormously powerful and empowering as it relieves the pressure and provides a sense of control. This is a big relief because feeling the need to share when you really don't want to share as much creates pressure. Further to that sharing to share because there was an expectation to share is an act of fitting in rather than belonging. Very liberating to say the least.
To conclude, true authenticity requires more work than just being vulnerable in front of others. Vulnerability is about understanding and seeing people as individuals with unique experiences and perspectives. The goal is to create a space where everyone feels they have a place and can be their authentic selves.
In relation to this week’s subject the podcasts to listen to is:
“The strongest love is the love that can demonstrate its fragility.” ― Paulo Coelho - Eleven Minutes
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