The power of vulnerability and feeling worthy

Mar 17, 2012 9:43:00 PM / by Vu Long Tran

As usual, I've been inspired by another TED talk (I love TED talks!) . This one that really hits the spot with some of my recent thoughts on the meaning of life and how we each live. 

This was presented by Brene Brown on "The power of vulnerability" and how we each need to feel worthy to connect with ourselves and others. It's quite interesting and definitely worth the time to watch.

Here is a summary of key highlights and messages that I found from her speech:
  • We fear being disconnected from others - Connections are part of who we are as humans and we strive to stay connected with others. We often feel shame and fear when we feel that we may become disconnected from others. 
  • We have to allow ourselves to be seen - To be seen lets us build that connection with others and often means that we may find ourselves 'excruciatingly vulnerable’ showing ourselves (you could say the spirit behind the ego).
  • To be worthy is to believe you are worthy (Worthiness) - People who believe they have a sense of worthiness and belonging also believed they were worthy.
  • We often try to:
    • We often try to make the uncertain certain
    • We often try to be perfect – This applies to ourselves and even our children – where we can often hard wire them to struggle. When really we should be telling them that yes that are imperfect, but you are worthy of loving and belonging
    • We often try to pretend – We pretend that what we do doesn’t have an affect on other people. When we should say that we are sorry, and this is what we’ll do to fix it.
  • What we should try do is:
    • We have to let ourselves be seen
    • We have to love with our whole hearts – even if it means that we are seen
    • We have to practice gratitude and joy - particularly in moments of terror and uncertainly, where we should remember that to feel vulnerable is to feel that I’m alive.
    • We need to believe that we are enough (i.e. ‘I am enough’) - Where we can stop screaming and start listening and be kinder to the people around us.
  • What people who felt worthy had in common was that they had:
    • Courage (cour – means heart) – They had the courage to be able to tell their story with their heart.
    • Compassion – They had the compassion with themselves and that allowed them to be compassionate with others.
    • Connection – To have a connection, they needed to be willing to let go of who they thought they should be, in order to be who they truly are.
    • Vulnerability – They believed that ‘what made them vulnerable made them beautiful’, and they felt that this was necessary. Especially as what people can often do is numb feelings of vulnerability through addictions (such as alcohol, drugs), but what that does is numb everything – the good and the bad, not just the bad things. Numbing everything means that the good is lost and that can put one into a bad cycle.
So we have the courage to allow ourselves to be seen even if it means we are vulnerable. To do so allows us to have compassion to connect with ourselves and others.
Vu Long Tran

Written by Vu Long Tran

Solutions Engineer APAC @pymetrics . ex-@Forrester consultant. Tweeting on #cloud, #cybersecurity, #equality and #tech tinkering!

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