The importance of being vulnerable

Over the past couple of weeks, I have constantly come across this term of vulnerability. Why is it important? Why should we be vulnerable in front of others, when we really don’t have to be?

I have seen it a lot at work, where people are certainly not vulnerable. As lovely as they can be, they appear to be the complete opposite of vulnerable. They are almost ‘too cool’ that you don’t get to see this other side, and now they have put themselves under more pressure to be correct. The problem with this is that if you’re always showing this uber cool side, this persona that you’re never wrong, and in fact something does go wrong, who are you going to fall back on? It will still be you.

There is nothing wrong with being cool, calm and collected, which is how I try and be when I manage difficult situations at work. However I’m not afraid to come across as stupid at the same time. If there’s something I don’t know, I’ll ask. This is one example which shows my vulnerability, admitting that I don’t know everything, I will never know everything, but I am always willing to learn.

Tom Bilyeu’s ‘Power up’ on being authentic, an inspiration for this post. Brene Brown, who is mentioned here has done extensive research on vulnerability, which though perceived as a sign of weakness, is the key to an ‘extraordinary life’.

What I love about being vulnerable is that if you apply it correctly (i.e not become a pushover), you’ll find that this persona you’ve been holding onto drops, and you become more authentic. When you’re more authentic, the people around you find you more approachable, they come to you for advice not just because you’re nicer, but because you’re real, you’re not a fake. You start to build trust. Does vulnerability expose you to being harmed? Well possibly yes, but isn’t that what makes you real also, standing up to that?

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