Thursday, October 10, 2013

Vulnerability: The Key to Wholeness?

I watched the OWN Lifeclass on Sunday with Brene Brown discussing her revealing research on our inadequacies with Vulnerability.  My first thought was that I would likely not get very much out of it but wow, was I wrong! 

Within the first five minutes I scrambled to my office to get my journal and pen to take notes!  I was so blown away by what was shared that I wanted to share some of the notes I took and also share some of the tools they mentioned that can help you on your vulnerability journey.

You can choose courage or you can choose comfort but you can't have both.
You get from this life what you have the courage to ask for.  There will always be someone who wants you to fail.  Press on anyway.  Even if only you and God believe in what you are doing, continue to believe.
We are often the most afraid to be vulnerable because we use armor to protect ourselves from hurt.
Armor we use to protect ourselves:
  • Perfectionism:  when perfectionism is driving, shame is always riding shotgun and fear is the annoying backseat driver.  It is a way of thinking "If I could look perfect, live perfect, work   perfect then I can minimize criticism, ridicule and shame.  There is a difference between healthy striving and perfection.
    • Healthy striving: internally focused and wanting to be the best I can be
    • Perfection: Asks and is driven by what will people think of me
  • Numbing:  using outlets such as food, drugs, gossip and social media to numb fears and put on armor.  Asking for help is a bid for connection (vulnerability) and is asking "I am in pain/trouble, can you make space for me." 
  • Forboding:  joy is a vulnerable emotion we experience; if you can't tolerate joy, then you start dress rehearsing tragedy...for example, you stand over your sleeping child and think "I love you" and then your mind starts to think of a tragedy.  People who can Lean In to joy and settle into present moment and fill yourself up with gratefulness is exhibiting vulnerability.
  • Cynicism, Criticism and Cool:  the biggest armor is disengagement...our world is experiencing this at unprecedented levels due to anonymous social media comments, etc.  You also have permission to live in the moment and be is an armor. 
Why should you care about dismantling your armor?
Armor truncates the story of your life
Again, you get from this life what you have the courage to ask for and it comes down to worthiness.  There are no pre-requisites to's AS-IS.

Wholeheartedness is about engaging with the world from a place of worthiness.  To be a person who believes they are worthy, you have to go back to "Where did that come from?"
So how to do you take steps to get rid of "Gremlin" (negative, unworthiness) thinking?
  1. Know what you triggers shame for you
  2. Reality check the Gremlins
  3. Reach out and share your story (with trustworthy people who have earned a right to hear it)
  4. Speak Shame (counterintuitive but talk to yourself like you would someone you love; secrecy, silence and judgment are three things that shame needs to grow exponentially)
Our collective loss of capacity for vulnerability comes from the need to believe that everything is supposed to be comfortable and happy all the time...that is not the way we are built.
One key step to take your vulnerability journey suggested by Ms. Brown:  every morning tell yourself "Courage is my value and it could get uncomfortable today".
To find a helping professional certified in Brene Brown's work, go to Daring Way
Oprah and Brene are partnering to bring a six-week eCourse titled "The Gifts of Imperfection" which starts October 20, 2013.  You can sign up here

I've started my journey to vulnerable living by starting with the simple question "Where did that come from?"...I hope you join me/us.
Curva-Lish Team