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How to Unlock the Door to Vulnerability

April 11, 2017

When was the last time you allowed yourself to truly be seen? I get it, it’s frightening. People of all ages, genders, cultures, and religions, struggle with vulnerability as it is often considered a sign of weakness.  However, many of today’s leaders are turning the perception of this universal condition around, by choosing to exhibit vulnerability for what it truly is– a form of courage and growth.

At SHIFT, we ask our clients to walk into vulnerability by discussing their fears, challenges and expectations for their companies. We believe this is essential to driving growth and development, personally and professionally. At our recent all-staff meeting, our CEO bravely demonstrated vulnerability which helped drive home my belief that vulnerability can be our greatest asset, a tool in every aspect of our lives.

I personally struggle daily with my ability to allow myself to be vulnerable.  Over the years, my fear, shame, and the feeling that I just wasn’t worthy prevented me from being the best version of myself. In order to change my perception, I had to unlock the door to vulnerability.  However, for those that struggle with allowing others to see them in that light, we know it’s just not that easy. So how do we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, how do we open that door, that for many, has been locked for so long?

It can be done – always checking in on our mindset, step by step and day by day. Here’s how we can STOP, START, SHIFT as we explore the path of vulnerability, as suggested in Brene Brown’s TedTalk, “The Power of Vulnerability:”

  • STOP perfecting everything and everyone. No one and nothing is perfect. It’s just not possible and more importantly, it’s not necessary. For me, every person and interaction is an experience, a beautiful addition to the collage of my life. Let’s SHIFT our mindsets and START believing that every varying perspective we encounter can help us learn, create, and build.
  • STOP pretending that our choices and our lives don’t affect others and the world around us. We must be ALL IN and take responsibility for our actions and decisions. Let’s START coming together to help each other and our communities build and grow.
  • STOP making everything 100% certain. It’s okay to be unsure, to just be. START saying yes and be willing to do something without any guarantees. Sometimes uncertainty fuels our creativity and leads to our greatest innovations.

About 4 years ago, I slowly unlocked the door in front of me and honestly, I wasn’t impressed with what was on the other side.  It wasn’t paradise, but rather, a path. I continue to choose this path every day, taking it step by step, unlocking doors along the way. I’ve reached out to others because I know this isn’t something I can do alone. We must be willing to welcome and accept others on this journey of vulnerability. Together we can celebrate both successes and failures, all to remember that it’s about the journey– the scenery and stops along the way are invaluable.

“Vulnerability is not knowing victory or defeat, it’s understanding the necessity of both; it’s engaging. It’s being all in.” – Brene Brown

So far, my greatest success has been finding a workplace to call home.  An environment that continues to push me outside of my comfort zone, encourages me to learn, and motivates me to be more, do more, and give more.

Go– be vulnerable, it’s worth the risk.

Topics: Awareness, personal growth