Friday, January 7, 2011

Excruciating Vulnerability

Brene Brown gave a TEDTalk about the power of vulnerability. It reminds me a lot about when I was thinking about the words vulnerability and courage, which is interesting because even she separates the difference between courage and bravery. I highly recommend you watch the video in it's entirety (she's fun), but if 20 minutes is 20 minutes too long for you, below are some quotes and thoughts from her talk.

Through her research, she found that "people who have a strong sense of love and belong believe they are worthy of love and belonging."

You have to let go of who you think you should be, and be who you are." Fully embrace vulnerability. What makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful.

Is it comfortable? No. Is it excruciating? No. Is it necessary? Absolutely. Do something that has no guarantees. Be the one who says 'I love you' first.

If you don't think that vulnerability is as big or significant as Brown sets out, I invite you to visit PostSecret, a project where people anonymously mail in their personal secrets which are then shared publicly. I was thinking some time ago how much courage it takes for someone to share their secret with someone they know.

Brown goes on to say that we numb vulnerability. I quickly think of one of my favourite movies, Equilibrium, where the idea of suppressing emotion really does mirror real life in a way I didn't think of before.

She concludes with a challenge. A call to be seen, vulnerably seen. Something I discovered last year to help in this direction is through Twitter. A small project I heard about second-hand is trying to convey yourself in a way that promotes transparency and realness. Hash tag #sincerelyme is a way to express your identity with your vulnerability. Imagine the courage in that?!

Remember that "you are imperfect, but you are worthy of love and belonging." Do you know a person who thinks this of you? I promise you there is such a person.

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