“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren't always comfortable, but they're never weakness.”
Vulnerability means uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.
You might love someone, for example, and in doing so expose yourself emotionally; but you can never be certain that they'll reciprocate, thus you risk being rejected. Like any other feeling, love entails vulnerability.
Embracing our vulnerability can help us to learn and develop, both professionally and socially.
If you ignore your vulnerability, or you're simply unaware of it, you might end up increasing it.
As one study demonstrated, people who believed themselves to be invulnerable to the persuasive power of advertising were, in fact, the most susceptible to it; participants claiming to be unaffected by commercials responded more to them than those who acknowledged their own suggestibility.
"As adults, we realize that to live with courage, purpose, and connection…we must again be vulnerable. We must take off the armor, put down the weapons, show up, and let ourselves be seen."
In order to remove our armor and put down our weapons, it’s necessary to identify how we are masking our shame and protecting our vulnerabilities.
The three major shields that we use to protect ourselves:
The powerful disarming strategies for freeing ourselves of these masks:
Talking about our feelings of shame and naming them often diminishes their power. In fact, verbalizing our shame actually makes us resilient to it.
This is because shame gains power through being unspeakable: the less we talk about it, the more control it has over our lives.
The problem is that it's natural for us to keep our shame to ourselves. Shame doesn't even require the presence of other people: most of us are likely to be our own worst critics and maintain a stockpile of shame to draw from.
Leaders in education, work, and society as a whole should combat disengagement by encouraging.
Such a culture of worthiness and openness towards vulnerability can combat shame-based problems, and if we learn to engage our own vulnerability we can transfer the same values and concepts to our workplaces, schools, and families. vulnerability over shame.
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