Dr. Brené Brown on “The Power of Vulnerability”

Thanks to Carol Fishman Cohen for flagging this 20-minute TedX Houston talk from Dr Brené Brown.  As you are working through your e-mail, reading through blogs, twittering, I encourage you to listen.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Connection is why we are here; shame is the fear of disconnection.
  • In order for connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be seen — really seen.
  • People who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe they are worthy.  Those who believe they are worthy:
    • Have the courage to tell the story of who they are with their whole heart, the courage to be imperfect; the compassion to be kind themselves first and then to others.
    • Embrace vulnerability; they are willing to say I love you first; to do something where there are no guarantees; a willingness to invest in a relationship that may or may not work out.  Vulnerability is the birthplace of joy, belonging and love.
  • One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is to let them know they are imperfect and are meant to struggle, but they are worthy of love and belonging.

As I shared with you in a prior post, I had surgery earlier this month.  I had to decide whether to let neighbors know I was having surgery (non-life threatening, but surgery nonetheless) and if I would accept or rebuff offers of help.  In the past I have rejected offers, and when the help didn't come (because I had pushed it away!) I was hurt.  This time, I chose to let myself be seen more than usual; to receive help and well-wishes.  To my surprise, rather than feeling uncomfortable or embarrassed, I have felt very loved.  I wonder if when we dream we have to make a similar choice:  decide if we are willing to see our imperfect self, try something around which there are no guarantees, make ourselves vulnerable to our dream.

What did you think of Dr. Brown's premise?

Have you recently been willing to embrace vulnerability?  To show more of yourself than you usually do?  What happened? 

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