Happy 2018 – Day 339 – Vulnerability: weakness or strength?

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.

Because as Brené says, “Vulnerability is the core of shame and fear, but it is also the birthplace of joy, happiness, creativity, belonging and love.”

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