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Dare to be vulnerable

Updated: Aug 22, 2023

Have watched the Brené Brown, The Call to Courage (movie on Netflix) twice in the last 24 hours. This resonates so strongly with me!!!

Brené Brown The Call to Courage
Brené Brown

Brené's seminal work into Vulnerability and Bravery was truly ignited after she happened upon Theodore Roosevelt's speech:

The Man in the Arena, Teddy Roosevelt quotation
Teddy Roosevelt quote

Here I share some of the salient points I took from the movie (although I must really recommend you watch the full movie or see some of Brené Browns TED talks, such as the Power of Vulnerability

COURAGE is when you show up and are seen even when you can’t control the outcome…. it is not about winning or losing, it is when you feel emotionally exposed, at risk (of being shamed, mocked) and uncertain (fearful and anxious) and yet you still stand up and are seen. Vulnerability is NOT weakness, there is no courage without vulnerability. Vulnerability is discomfort but results in creativity, growth and innovation; It is the birthplace of Love, Belonging and Joy! To love is to be vulnerable, to risk greatly…. you give someone your heart knowing you could be hurt, rejected betrayed or you could lose the person you love (break-up, divorce or death). We are neuro-biologically hard-wired to form connections. The opposite of belonging is "fitting in". Belonging is authentic and speaking your truth and never betraying your values or lowering your standards for others. you belong to yourself first and are comfortable in your own skin and are grounded or rooted, you do not change who you are for others but can BE who you are with others. Fitting-in, on the other hand means you are constantly assessing, acclimating and conforming, you live by the rules, according to the status quo and are most concerned by how you are perceived whether you fit into the norms and live up to others expectations. What you say, how you act, your roles, your fashion sense, the car you drive, the watch you wear are all about trying to reflect what society classifies as success and your objects of desire are status symbols and your success and fulfilment are dependent on other peoples approval. Joy is something we sabotage or deny most because we believe we don’t deserve it and if we are too happy something will be taken away. The vulnerability of joy is that it fills many people with a sense of foreboding, we dress rehearse tragedy with catastrophic case scenarios. We hold our newborn baby and suddenly we have this vision of her having some incurable terminal disease....our daughter goes off on her first date and as they drive away you envision a head-on collision. It has been found that people who are the happiest share one thing GRATITUDE! They awaken in the morning and don't say "Today I have to...." but rather, "Today I get too...." because they choose, are in control and see life as full of opportunities to achieve something, rather than chores. When challenges arise they don't ask "why did this happen to me?" but rather "why did this happen for me?" and see it is an opportunity to learn and grow rather than being a victim of circumstance.

If you are unable to embrace your vulnerability and aren’t in touch with it, you are defensive and land up working through, off-loading and taking your sh!t out on others… When people cannot face their demons and embrace their vulnerability they are unaware of the war they wage within and they then battle themselves vicariously through others. They believe they can go it alone and don’t need anyone…. but relationships are the cornerstone of our lives and the quality of our life is only as good as the quality of the relationships we keep. In the absence of love, belonging and connection there is ALWAYS SUFFERING! Vulnerability is not about self-disclosure, flaunting and exposing yourself…. that is exhibitionism. Vulnerability is about daring to share yourself with those who have earned the right to hear your story…. those who have earned your trust…. Vulnerability is doing the brave thing, standing up for the underdog, realising kindness is sometimes more important (and achieves more) than winning or being right, it is saying “I LOVE YOU”, showing up when you know the risk of failure is huge or even inevitable, it is sticking your neck out because being an ostrich is not who you are…. it is about recognising that risk is better than regret.

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