What makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful.” ~Brene Brown
I have to admit after spending literally all day on the computer doing homework I wasn’t very enthused with the idea about watching another TEDTALK tonight. I had a “to do List” that needed written out that was distracting my desire to keep plugging away at assignments. Somehow I decided that I could multi task and do both at the same time. While I was listening to the TEDTALK my plan was to write a “to Do” list and “key terms” list heard from the speaker. Seemed like a great plan… I quickly discovered that I wasn’t giving either task my full attention. I quickly wrote down the word connection while adding items to my packing “to do” list. I heard the word “connection” thrown out again and this time when I heard the word I circled it on my paper. As I was circling the word it occurred to me I had no idea why I was circling it? What was the TEDTALK even about? Here I am trying to connect to two tasks at the same time and I am failing at completing either of them successfully. It didn’t take me long to decide to finish my “to do” list while the video sat on pause. I knew that to complete each tasks I would have to commit to stop the multi-tasking Frenzy.
I restarted the TEDTALK this time with the focus of connecting to the topic of vulnerability. To be honest vulnerability is a something I have a double standard with. Personally I run away from vulnerability. I do not like others to view me as weak or needy. Somehow my past experiences have taught me that when I show vulnerability I get hurt or taken advantage of. The double standard comes into play because, I encourage people to share their vulnerabilities with me. I feel like I am an amazing sounding board. I am also a great problem solver and love giving others a resource or solutions to help with challenges they are facing. Actually, I truly admire the fact that people can ask for help or resources. I am envious that others are able to use vulnerability as a tool to gain strength in their circumstances. I am jealous that they are willing to open up to others without the guarantee that they won’t be judged.
As I was listening to Brene’ talk I found myself connecting with her personal journey of avoiding vulnerability. I am very private person when it comes to sharing about myself, my beliefs, my feelings, my struggles, or my success. I have bottled up ideas and emotions that never get expressed. I have bottled up struggles that are still waiting to be solved. (I was raised with a “suck it up attitude”. I think that is why I learned to hide my vulnerabilities). I felt like watching this video was a ½ hour therapy session. Brene’s message is that it is important to us as individuals that we embrace our vulnerability. According to Brene’ vulnerability is basically “uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.” She shared her personal journey of learning to “lean into the discomfort of her vulnerability”. She shared that by not showing our vulnerability it is limiting our ability to find fullness in love, belonging, trust, joy, and creativity. Eventually Brene’shared that she was able overcome her feelings about vulnerability, by doing this she was able to make meaningful connections with others. I learned that hiding behind vulnerability limits us in finding purpose and meaning in our lives. .
Did a bomb just go off, because I feel like in my head it did. Here I think that I am well put together person who finds comfort in the wall I have built around my emotions. I have created a “dark side” folder that holds my vulnerabilities tucked away nice so no one will notice. I did not realize my lack of expressing vulnerability, is actually me feeling that I am not “good enough”. Brene’ shared the variable that separates people who have a strong sense of love and acceptance and the people who struggle for it “is that the people who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe they’re worthy of love and belonging. That’s it. They believe that they are worthy. For most of my adult life I have felt that hiding my vulnerabilities makes me feel secure and brave, but according to Brene’ I have missed opportunities to make connections, to feel like I belong, to find trust in others, and experience comfort and peace all because deep down I feel that I am not good enough….
After this talk I am not quite sure how to move forward. I certainly now realize I am missing out on having emotional experiences with others in life because of the wall I have ever so carefully constructed to keep my vulnerabilities hidden. I have been missing opportunities to connect with others, opportunities to grow as a person and I have limited myself. Honestly, I am left feeling a little stunned…. I am wondering what happens next for me, will this new awareness help me change my self-perception and allow me to find security in being vulnerable? Can I develop the attitude that I am good enough and that my “suck it up “attitude is a sign of my weakness?