Running From Vulnerability

Brené Brown has spent years researching courage, vulnerability, empathy, and shame. In her book "Daring Greatly - How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead" there is a remarkable passage which struck a cord…

"My greatest personal and professional transformations happened when I started asking hard questions about how my fear of being vulnerable was holding me back or when I found courage to share my struggles and ask for help. After running from vulnerability, I found that learning how to lean into the discomfort of uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure was a painful process.

I did believe that I could opt out of feeling vulnerable, so when it happened I controlled things. I managed situations and micromanaged the people around me. I performed until there was no energy left to feel. I made what was uncertain certain, no matter what the cost. I stayed so busy that the truth of my hurting and my fear could never catch up. I looked brave on the outside and felt scared on the inside."

Wow…and it goes on…

"Slowly I learned that this shield was too heavy to lug around, and that the only thing it really did was keep me from knowing myself and letting myself be known. The shield required that I stay small and quiet behind it so as not to draw attention to my imperfections and vulnerabilities. It was exhausting."

"Nothing has transformed my life more than realising that it's a waste of time to evaluate my worthiness by weighting the reaction of the people in the stands. The people who love me and will be there regardless of the outcome are within arm's reach. This realisation changed everything."

If you'd like to read more, buy Brené's book from your local bookstore or Amazon. I also encourage you to check out her TED Talk about 'The Power of Vulnerability'.

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