Let me tell you about vulnerability. Vulnerability is model walking at my fullest Victoria Secret strut with my friends watching from behind me. Vulnerability is telling someone how much they hurt me (especially when it really hurts). Vulnerability is looking someone in the eyes and saying “I’m sorry” (especially when I really mean it….Don’t judge! YES I’ve said it when I didn’t mean it and you know you have to!) Vulnerability is crying in front of my closest friends. I’m not talking the tears that I put out at an emotional movie. I’m talking the tears I cried after my Mom died. I could cry those tears in front of strangers and care less but when you know me and see me cry, I’m vulnerable.
First things first, lets rename vulnerability. We are doing this for a couple of reasons. The first is that many people associate vulnerability with weakness so I don’t want to get this confused. It’s also a harder word to type so we will use the word “POWERFUL” (and other forms of the word power).
The message I want to make clear in this blog is that we are all “POWERFUL”. The ability to be “powerful” isn’t exclusive to one person or another so get rid of that idea. We also need others to dig deep and identify the areas of ourselves that are the most “powerful”. Exposing our sensitivities and asking others for help highlights our SUPERPOWER (for me that’s stomping to the sick beats of a great song down a runway).
I’m currently reading the book Daring Greatly by Brene’ Brown. Man-o-man this woman knows how to reach my soul. I swear her words are like honey on a warm biscuit…. they HIT THE SPOT! At one point Brene’ is describing herself and how she’s dealt with tough situations and her ability to be “powerful”.
I did believe that I could opt out of feeling vulnerable, so when it
happened – when the phone rang with unimaginable news; or
when I was scared; or when I loved so fiercely that rather than
feeling gratitude and joy I could only prepare for loss – I controlled
things. I managed situations and micro managed the people around
me. I performed until there was no energy left to feel. I made what
was uncertain certain, no matter what the cost. I stayed so busy
that the truth of my hurting and my fear could never catch up. I
looked brave on the outside and felt scared on the inside.
I mean it’s like she watched the movie of my life and wrote a paper on it. REALLY?! If you know me well then you know this to be true. I’m a great actor until you put me on camera (for any agents reading this please ignore that sentence, LOL). It’s so much easier to distract, delay, and deflect how “powerful” you are at times because that requires you to LEAN IN to your feelings and OWN THEM. It requires you to look in the mirror and see that which creates your “power” is also the same ingredient that will connect you with all the other superheroes in your life. We need the rest of our SUPERHUMAN team for synergy.
Brene’ tells a story of a time when her daughter learned about her “powers”. Her daughter’s 3rd grade teacher put a clear jar out and told the class that every time they are collectively making good choices she would put marbles in the jar. When they were breaking the rules or not using their best judgement, they lost their marbles. Brene used this to teach her daughter that she could use that same measure when she’s learning to share her “powers” with others. Those people who stand up for you, invest in you, remember your name, remember your birthday, these are the people that are putting marbles in your jar. As you continue to learn that your “powers” don’t make you weak, or alone, but that they make you incredibly brave and courageous, you will need these heroes in your life. Learn to share your journey with these people as we are all just waiting to show our powers off!
Brown, Brene., (2012). Daring Greatly. New York, New York. Avery.
Okay, now I’m confused… “Power” was used in place of “vulnerable”, yes? If so, I can say I’ve never felt powerful when vulnerable.
You aren’t the only one to feel that way either which is why I changed the word to “powerful”. Vulnerability is actually quite courageous because it means you are opening yourself. Sometimes it might not be voluntary but how we handle it is our choice.