Has someone close to you ever come to you hurting and you didn’t know how to comfort them and actually felt uncomfortable yourself? This is because for many of us being vulnerable and seeing vulnerability in others is a foreign and scary feeling.
Brene Brown is a well-known keynote speaker and researcher from the University of Houston. She specializes in the study of being vulnerable, finding courage, and embracing our flaws against today’s societal constructs. Her keynote on vulnerability is one of the most viewed TED talks on YouTube and her recent research talk on Netflix, The Call to Courage, has taken everyone by storm.
In her viral TED Talk, Brown gives us five ways we can bring joy into our lives by being vulnerable.
- Be specific about people whose opinions matter to you
Brown states you cannot take personal criticism and feedback from people who are not invested in your growth. Take criticism and feedback from people who care about you because they know and appreciate your imperfections while wanting the best for you. They are the ones who know the whole you and have seen you be vulnerable and vice versa.
- Take risks
Brown says it can be really hard to be vulnerable, but not as hard as ending our lives asking, “What if?” A lot of people would rather not take the risk of being vulnerable to avoid getting hurt. This mindset prevents us from ever feeling joy to its most extreme extent.
Brown uses an example that hits close to home for a lot of people—“What if I would have said I love you?” Allowing yourself to be vulnerable in situations like this opens your life up to possible heartache, but more importantly extreme joy.
Brown states we should always put effort into our work and take a chance even if it means being vulnerable. This is the only way we’ll discover creativity and innovation.
- Never settle for comfortable
Comfort seems to be the answer for most people. However, the only way to overcome our shame, failure, and heartbreak is by choosing courage over comfort. Brown uses the concept of comfort to define vulnerability.
Vulnerability is having the courage to show up when you can’t control the outcome. It’s about stepping outside our comfort zone. Brown uses the example of diversity in the workplace and how organizations avoid the conversation because it is uncomfortable. Majority groups are responsible for stepping out of their comfort zone to deal with diversity issues minorities don’t have the privilege of bringing up.
- Show gratitude
Sometimes, we don’t truly appreciate what we have until we lose it. On the other hand, we spend time worrying we’ll lose the things we love and enjoy: our friends, family, health. The answer is to be thankful and enjoy everything in the moment. Enjoy a morning cup of coffee, your friend’s laughter, or getting up early to go for that morning run. Don’t take things for granted because everything is temporary in our lives.
- Love your livelihood
In order to have a joyful, happy life, we must enjoy our work because we are at work more than half of our adult lives. It can be hard to be vulnerable at work, but you have to be, or else you are going to feel isolated in the workplace. Vulnerability at work opens the door to friendships with coworkers, making this part of your life more enjoyable.
The content writers at BigSpeak Speakers Bureau are Experts on the Experts. They hold doctoral, masters, and bachelors’ degrees in business, writing, literature, and education. Their business thought pieces are published regularly in leading business publications. Working in close association with the top business, entrepreneur, and motivational speakers, BigSpeak content writers are at the forefront of industry trends and research.