I’ve just finished Brené Brown’s book, The Power of Vulnerability. Just amazing. I listened on audio book as she broke down years of research, covering in essence, the things that block happiness – shame, guilt, ‘cool’, fear, perfectionism and more. If Eat, Pray, Love was the book of my Twenties, then The Power of Vulnerability can have my thirties.
I absolutely recommend that you read or listen to this. In fact, I’d listen to it rather than read. Brené’s speaking style is so honest, self-deprecating, authentic and sometimes humorous, I found myself making excuses to do the housework or drive the long way around, just so I could listen to more of her.
Not convinced? Try her TED talk on for size.
For a long time, I had a really deep fear of vulnerability. Much of my social anxiety, particularly when it came to public speaking, was fueled by an intense fear of appearing vulnerable in front of others.
I felt that if people could see how nervous I was, they could see how vulnerable I was… and for me, this meant that I was weak, unworthy, less than.
Yet, as Brené says, “In order for connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be really seen.”
And I really, truly believe that. I know it, in fact.
I know that in order to connect with the audiences I speak to; the friends, family and loved ones around me; to who I really am in my day to day experiences of life; I need to be honest and open about who I am. I need to allow myself to be vulnerable sometimes.
As difficult as this might be, the journey is a worthwhile one.
If you’re always closed off – if you’re always pretending to be cool, brave, confident, funny, when you’re really not feeling those things – then you’re missing out on what it really feels like to be alive.