Monday, July 27, 2015

Monday Quotable

I participated in my first live chat on Twitter yesterday for a podcast called Where There’s Smoke. The topic was vulnerability. You can find some of the responses by searching #WTSchat.  Some of the responses, including my own, got me to dust off the work I did towards becoming more vulnerable a couple of years ago. In looking at my file (yes, I have a file geared towards growth/self-help), I came across today’s quote from Brené Brown—arguably the queen of vulnerability research.

The quote is a good reminder for me about the work I’ve done in recent years. It also reminded me of places in my life that could still benefit from vulnerability. I believe I’ve dropped my walls a lot and I’ve seen the benefits. That said, there are places where I’m not comfortable showing my true self.  Usually, those places are ones where there can be consequences for being anything outside of the norm—work, for example.  

Ultimately, I think life is a journey towards vulnerability.  In my mind, vulnerability leads to the most open life—for better or worse—and allows you to be at peace with yourself and by association the world’s response to your true self.  I’ve done the work but like I said, there are still areas that require further growth. I’ve built walls in new areas that have me mired in the land of “stuck.”  I’ve also kicked down a few walls in relationships where I desperately needed to be free to be my true self. In some instances, I lost friends. In some instances, I found a closer bond.

If nothing else, last night’s live chat reminded me that getting comfortable can be the greatest challenge to vulnerability. It can make you forget the lessons you’ve learned and lead you back to old wall-erecting habits. You have to take a step back every now and then, dust off the resource file and do the work again but it is worth it. In the end, who wants benefits from a life of rigidity created only to ensure a sense of control?  I emphasize “sense” because the things that keep us from being vulnerable will be there whether our walls are up or not. We cannot possibly be in control of all things.  Knowing that, why not go through the challenges and good times as our authentic selves?

What prevents you from being vulnerable? When has vulnerability led to more meaningful moments in your life? What tips do you have for people who fear being more vulnerable? 

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