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vulnerability


I’ve been thinking a lot this week about vulnerability. (I’ve been teaching on this topic in my Facebook group, The Writing Circle – you can join us here.)

I’ve also been obsessively watching The Crown on Netflix.

And I’m noticing a tidal wave of cultural change when I compare these two seemingly disparate things.

The old paradigm is the values exemplified by the monarchy in the early years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign: say nothing, do nothing, show no emotion; present a facade of perfection; this is how you remain safe and secure.

The new paradigm is vulnerability.

This is what the businesses of the future will be built on.

This is what relationships and connection require.

People today are starving for connection. Strangled by stress. Burned out by professional expectations to be “always on,” our addiction to technology, and the fact that we’re often raising our families without the local, in-person support of our own parents, siblings, and friends we grew up with.

The old ways of being – stiff upper lip, suck it up and push through – are crumbling.

A new way is being born.

The new way looks like this:

We are honest about how we are really doing. (The baby hasn’t been sleeping well and I am really starting to feel the effects.)

We ask for help when we need it. (I hired a babysitter for Sunday afternoon because Simeon has a work event.)

We take risks to form new relationships. (For me, this means inviting a new mama I met at daycare out for our monthly mom’s night.)

Vulnerability, as Brene Brown teaches, isn’t predicated on the amount of information you disclose. She says, “Live tweeting your bikini wax: not vulnerability. Vulnerability minus boundaries is not vulnerability. … You measure it by the amount of courage to show up and be seen when you can’t control the outcome.”

In a world that’s starved for belonging, vulnerability is the only solution – in our workplaces, our homes, our schools, our relationships and our businesses.

How will you practice vulnerability this week?

December 6, 2019

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