Up until recently I perceived vulnerability as a weakness. But I've learned differently. I now know that weakness is not truly a choice. Weakness is when you are in a state of not having control of your thoughts and actions. Weakness is when you are emotionally and physically drained.
On the other hand, vulnerability is a choice. When you are vulnerable you are aware of your weaknesses and you have nothing to hide. When you are vulnerable you have a clear understanding of who you are and know there is always a lot more to learn.
Since my discovery of vulnerability and its power in helping me make my life exactly as I want it, I have spoke about it in my podcasts and asked for it from future employees in my past blog Dear Future Employee, and I'm sure it will appear many more times in things that I share.
Brene' Brown interviewed Kevin Surace, the CEO of Serious Materials. She asked him what he felt was the most significant barrier to creativity and innovation? And he replied, "The fear of introducing an idea and being ridiculed, laughed at, and belittled. The fear of failure and being wrong."
I've worked in education most of my life, which has shifted from working in silos to working more collaboratively. This means teachers opening their classroom doors for others to visit, observe, and provide feedback -- not just for evaluation purposes, but for professional development. Every teacher I know wants to be better and do better, and yet not very many immediately jump on board with inviting in other teachers or instructional coaches for improvement purposes. Why? Because it's scary. Like Kevin spoke of, when you open yourself up for growth, you are also opening yourself up to the possible feeling of failure.
Vulnerability is a choice. And it is a difficult choice. What we all tend to do is focus on what we already do well rather than putting ourselves out there. Instead, we need to normalize discomfort. Growth and learning is uncomfortable. Accept feeling that way. Once you accept it you will decrease your anxiety about it.
The sooner you realize the benefits of vulnerability, the sooner you will begin to experience advancement and opportunity. Let me know when you felt vulnerable and how it helped you to achieve the best you by commenting below.