Vulnerability: the permission and courage to truly be ourselves, and be open to uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure
You’ve probably experienced the reinvention of yourself in some way… whether it be losing a bad habit, taking on a new skill, launching a new career or showing off a new style for your brand. So, you know, the creation of something new, the essence of innovation, is not driven by comfort. It’s just the opposite; It will feel uncomfortable if you want to see change.
When you do something brave, like speaking for the first time, pitching a new product or starting a new business, you will bust through that comfort zone, you will feel vulnerable. It may not be easy, but to get what you desire it must be done.
Some great advice from experts interviewed by INC Magazine, and I’ve also heard this echoed on Podcasts, like EntreLeadership: Create a culture in your life, and in your environment (company) where discomfort is normal and accepted. It may seem like a lot to ask of someone, and maybe it is, but if you want forward thinkers in your midst this won’t seem such an odd thing for them. When you adopt this philosophy as part of your culture, then discomfort is normal, accepted and even welcomed. Vulnerability becomes your BFF!
Replace fear of failure with acceptance of it.
We have likely all heard the quote by Thomas Edison,
“I have not failed; I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” (Regarding the invention of the light bulb.).
But, did you know Edison created the first talking doll? It didn’t go all that well. It was March of 1890. He had crafted a smaller version of his phonograph and put it inside dolls he imported from Germany.
They flew off the shelves. Then, almost immediately, they began flying back.
Consumers complained they were too fragile and broke easily in the hands of young girls; Beyond that, the dolls didn’t exactly sound like sweet companions—their voice was, apparently, frightening.
By April, less than one month after launch, Edison pulled all dolls out of stores. He went on to other things. The move was one of the strongest indications of Edison’s attitude toward failure and how he operated when faced with it.
Edison didn’t stop innovating and creating because of failure. We shouldn’t either.
Vulnerability and the ability to accept it and even welcome the feeling, can open us up to many opportunities for growth, both personally and professionally.
If there is still a part of you that worries about being “soft” when you are vulnerable, I leave you with this quote from author, C JoyBell C:
“It’s the hard things that break; soft things don’t break. It was an epiphany I had today, and I just wonder why it took me so very, very long to see it! You can waste so many years of your life trying to become something hard in order not to break; but it’s the soft things that can’t break! The hard things are the ones that shatter into a million pieces!”
See Sandra Dee’s Facebook Live on this topic:
Vulnerability in relationships and leadership is explored in Sandra Dee’s extraordinary partnership with horses in her Equine-assisted coaching practice as well as her approach to training speakers and presenters. For more on Sandra’s mission to empower leaders naturally, visit www.SandraDeeRobinson.com and/or book a consultation call.