I re-watched the Brené Brown TED Talk, “The Power of Vulnerability” for the millionth time. And yet again, it struck me how powerful her words are.
Her research showed her that people either had a sense of worthiness (which she defines as “a strong sense of love and belonging”) or they don’t. And when she dug deeper, she concluded that the people who have this strong sense of love and belonging believe they’re worthy of it.
But this is where the talk gets very awesome. She looked at what these people with a sense of worth had in common and distilled it down into something more practical.
She said they had the courage to be imperfect and the compassion to be kind to themselves first, and then to others.
We can’t practice compassion with other people if we can’t treat ourselves kindly.
That they let go of who they thought they should be, so they could be who they were. Their true, authentic self. And that’s how they built connection. That they allowed themselves to be vulnerable, whether it was a comfortable experience or not, and saw that vulnerability as necessary and fundamental.
The examples Brené gave were (taken from the transcript)… the willingness to say, “I love you” first … the willingness to do something where there are no guarantees … the willingness to breathe through waiting for the doctor to call after your mammogram. They’re willing to invest in a relationship that may or may not work out.
Vulnerability is the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness, but it appears that it’s also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love.
She also finishes the talk, with something I really struggle with, but keep coming back to:
believe that we’re enough
Watch the video here:
Licensing: CC BY – NC – ND 4.0 International