OK. I have to admit it. I’m a sucker for those gifted souls that can make learning fun. That can almost turn a talk into stand-up comedy. But then bring you back to earth with a heart-wrenching thump. Leaving you desperately wanting more.
So I’m going to allow myself to live a little. And share with you the second of Brené Brown’s talks on TED: Listening to Shame (see the link below). Because I believe this is just too good to miss. You’re safe from here on as there are only two right now.
She follows on from her previous talk on the power of vulnerability, sharing her own insecurities of having made that presentation to 500 people, her fear of what she’d said and her fear of even more people seeing her talk on YouTube. As her friend told her – she was an awful role model for vulnerability! Little did she know that 4 million people would soon see her talk and to date it’s well over 8 million.
So what has she learned since that first talk back in 2010?
Many people think of vulnerability and weakness as synonymous terms.
Let’s paint a picture. Think of walking up to the podium for your next big presentation. You’re putting yourself out there. You feel vulnerable. And your greatest fear is that you’ll look weak.
Then consider your audience. Put yourself in their shoes. If you look vulnerable do you think they’ll think that you’re weak? Heck, no. They’ll see you’re stepping outside your comfort zone and applaud your courage for doing it.
Learning #1: Vulnerability is NOT weakness.
Vulnerability IS about emotional risk, exposure and uncertainty. Vulnerability IS our most accurate measure of courage. Vulnerability IS the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.
It’s all about daring greatly and having the courage to be in the arena.
Learning #2: when we talk about vulnerability and courage, then we have to talk about shame.
Shame is fed by secrecy, silence and judgment. It’s the dark, smelly, rotting, swampland of the soul. It’s not guilt. Guilt is that ‘I did something bad’ – it’s about behaviour. Shame is ‘I am bad’ – it’s about self.
Shame is the gremlin, the critic laughing at you in your head, that says you’re not good enough or who do you think you are?
If you’re a woman shame can rear its head when you believe you can’t, yet you must, live up to the – do it all, do it perfectly and never let anyone see you sweat – model. It’s about unattainable, conflicting expectations of who we’re meant to be. For men, shame is all about being seen as weak.
The antidote to cure shame is EMPATHY.
How are you going to embrace your vulnerability and dare greatly today?
- Leaning into Vulnerability: Lessons from a day spent learning how to ski (benourished.typepad.com)
- Vulnerability is a strength (imperfectlady.typepad.com)
- Daring Greatly Giveaway (aliedwards.com)
- Oprah Winfrey Talks to Dr. Brene Brown About Her Latest Book ‘Daring Greatly’ on ‘Super Soul Sunday’ (tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com)