TOPIC: EMBRACE VULNERABILITY
GUEST SPEAKER: LISA FISCHER
…that’s what I see when I hear the word Vulnerable. It means taking off the mask, the armor, and opening the curtains into YOU. It can be scary. No mask, armor, and curtain means you have upped your chances of getting hurt, but it also means you have upped your chances of feeling truly free. You upped your chances of feeling alive.
Vulnerability is an invitation to own your life. Check out our live chat with Lisa Fischer, who broke down vulnerability in such a powerful (tear shedding) way. It’s a place where valuable lessons have to be learned. When I lived in Brazil and was being taught English I just MEMORIZED what I had to in order to get the “A” I wanted. When I moved to the U.S. my life changed. I had to learn the language because it was now my life.
When you practice vulnerability, you have no option but to:
A pool of Verbs we know we should swim in but won’t unless we are pushed in.
“THE POWER OF VULNERABILITY”- BRENE´ BROWN
When searching for images to include in this article, I typed “Vulnerability” and only images with a negative story or feeling popped up. I could not find anything that represented Vulnerability as a positive thing. It’s clear our society looks at VULNERABILITY as something weak and negative.
Brené Brown is a researcher and incredibly inteligent woman. She gave this great presentation on Ted Talk and she called it “The Power of Vulnerability”. AMEN!
-VULNERABLE People. VULNERABLE WORLD.
I encourage you to watch and listen to the Ted Talk video I shared above. Here are some of my favorite takeaways from it.
We are vulnerable beings, and we live in a vulnerable world. Asking that person out, asking for a raise, asking for help, etc. Brené Brown was doing research on shame. What was meant to be a 1-year research turned out to be a 6-year research. Thousands of interviews, case studies, and focus groups, she argued that “shame” is universal, we all have it. “People who don’t experience shame have no capacity for human empathy or connection.” And the less you talk about it, the more you have it.
The ability to feel connected gives us humans purpose. Shame unravels connection. Shame, simply put, is the fear of disconnection. ‘If people know this about me, I won’t be worthy of connection.’
I’m not _____ enough.
In order for connection to happen we have to allow ourselves to be seen.
She divided all the people she researched into 2 groups. In one group were the people with a strong sense of worthiness, love and belonging. The other group were people who struggled with this sense of worthiness, who were always wondering if they were enough.
DIFFERENCE: 1ST GROUP BELIEVE THEY ARE WORTHY OF LOVE AND BELONGING.
She took the interviews from the 1st group, put them in a manilla folder, and labeled it “WHOLE-HEARTED”.
The Whole-Hearted had 4 characteristics:
THEY HAD COURAGE,
Courage is different from Bravery. Bravery comes from the latin word COR meaning heart, and the original definition was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart. The courage to be imperfect.
THEY HAD COMPASSION.
They had the ability to be kind to themselves and consequently pass it on to others.
THEY EXPERIENCE AND PRIORITIZE CONNECTION.
Connection is a result of Authenticity. “They were willing to let go of who they thought they should be in order to be who they were.” This is a must in connection.
THEY EMBRACED VULNERABILITY.
“They believed that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful.” They didn’t treat vulnerability like it was something easy nor something excruciating, but something that was necessary. Being vulnerable means you’re willing to take the first step, to say ‘i love you’ first, to do something when there are no guarantees to invest in a relationship that may or may not work out. “They thought Vulnerability was fundamental.”
BLAME IT ON
As a researcher, who by definition studies a phenomena for the explicit reason to control and predict, Brené learned that to be vulnerable means you must stop controlling and predicting.
Some of us deal with vulnerability by numbing hard feelings- shame, fear, discomfort. The problem with that is that we aren’t machines. We are humans whose emotions cannot be selectively numbed. You either feel everything or numb everything, including the good feelings of joy, happiness, gratitude. Next time you try numbing those hard feelings know you are also numbing the good ones. The result: you feel miserable and look for purpose. We wonder why we reach for that comfort food, that beverage, or those pills looking for farther numbness.
“We are the most in debt, obese, addicted and medicated cohort in U.S. history.”
In research, BLAME is described as a way to discharge pain and discomfort. We perfect. We perfect our children. They’re hard wired for struggle when they get here.. We tell them they are perfect and do everything we can to keep them perfect. Our real job, instead, is to tell them “You’re imperfect, you’re wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.”
Imagine the world we could live in if a generation of children were raised like that?
We pretend ‘what we do’ doesn’t have an effect on people, when all we need is to be authentic and real and say “I’m sorry, I’ll fix it”
“Vulnerability is at core for shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness, but it appears it is also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love.
“Vulnerability pushed. I pushed back. I lost the fight, but I won my life back.”
INVITATION TO ACT
‘I am enough’
Repeat this to yourself daily and Believe these words. Maybe you need to say it to yourself a couple times a day. Save it on your phone, and post it on your story or use it as a screen saver.
When you operate from that belief you will stop screaming and start listening. We are kinder and gentler to each other and to ourselves.
Listen to our Live Talk with Lisa Fischer
Our guest speaker, Lisa Fischer, talks about Vulnerability and how she uses it to navigate her career and to show up to what matters to her in life.
ABOUT OUR GUEST SPEAKER
Lisa Fischer is a two-time Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter with a distinguished career as a first-call background singer who has toured with Luther Vandross, The Rolling Stones, Sting, Tina Turner, Nine Inch Nails, and countless others. Fischer earned her first Grammy Award as a solo artist in the Best R&B Vocal Performance category for the single, “How Can I Ease the Pain.” She is featured on projects by Lang Lang, Yo-Yo Ma, and Billy Childs, has collaborated with the Alonzo LINES Ballet, and has a lead role in the Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom.
Let yourself be seen. Deeply seen. Vulnerable seen.
To love with our whole hearts even though there’s no guarantee. Excruciatingly difficult.
Practice gratitude and joy in the moments of terror. To be able to stop and instead of creating the most horrible scenarios in your head to say instead ‘I’m just so grateful because to be vulnerable is to be alive.’
Next week we will talk about Knowing Failure but pressing Forward, anyway.
Be Good to Yourself.
Written by: Ferly Prado