Shame and vulnerability
Shame and vulnerability. Perfect combination or not? Do we live in a world where we are not allowed to tear down our mask called shame and show our real emotions? I believe we do! Brene Brown is a researcher of courage, vulnerability, shame and empathy. She is also an author of a best seller in New York times. She also opened one of the TEDx talks stages in Houston. During her talk on this stage, she chose to be vulnerable. Why? Walk the talk theory! She talked about how she was scared of vulnerability and how she hated when it showed up unexpectedly. She had an actual breakdown on the stage while talking, that is bravery. Before she knew it, it was all over social media and even on the news. She had to deal with the negative feedback of viewers with courage.
The call to courage
There is a phenomenal speech of hers on stage (which you could watch on Netflix), called: “the call to courage”. The timing of the talk is evermore right! We all face moments during which we have to be brave! Especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic. So many people lost their jobs during this hard time. It takes so much courage to become an entrepreneur especially now. When we want to do something outstanding, we have to be ready to be ridiculed by the world, just because we are brave to do the unknown. It is up to us whether we want courage or comfort. We either know failure, or we play it safe. Where there is room for failure, there is room for growth.
As she went into her dissertation, she quoted: “the best way to describe shame is the feeling that you would get if you walked out of a room, that was filled with people who know you, and they start saying such hurtful things about you that you don’t know you could ever walk back in and face them again in your life”. After the comments she read about herself online, she started to play it smaller instead of playing it big.
She spent her day watching “Downton Abbey: leading her to the epic masterpiece Quote of Theodore Roosevelt: “it is not the critics who count. It is not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done it differently.” The credit belongs to the person who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs, who comes up short again and again. Who, in the end, while he may know the triumph of high achievement, at least when he fails, he does so daring greatly”.
“Vulnerability is not about winning. It is not about losing. It is having the courage to show up when you can’t control the outcome”. That is the outcome Brene Brown had based upon years of studies. Obviously one of the research methodologies they used is asking people about their definition of the emotion. One of the answers they had were “my first date after my divorce. Or “trying to get pregnant after my second miscarriage, saying I love you first”.
“You cannot take feedback from people who are not being brave with their lives”. This I absolutely salute! How many of you have a full-time job during which your “boss” constantly downgrades you or makes you feel less of worth? Why are you accepting it? It is just because you need the money to keep life going? Or, is it because of the lack of confidence? From what I have learned from Brene it would be the second option. The negative energy would actually affect your productivity, which keeps you in this everlasting cycle. In other words, it of high importance to know who to take criticism from.