The Art and Practice of Vulnerability

Recently my delightful twenty-something daughter shared with me the following TED Talk by Dr. Brené Brown, in which Brown reminds us that the most important thing in any of our lives are the connections we make with others, especially our friendships. As I move through the second half of my life, I appreciate this truth even more. What I want in life now is not more stuff, but more people with whom I can share open, honest relationships.

For this to happen, says Brown, one must be open to being vulnerable. Indeed, she has spent the past twelve years studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. What she has learned is that vulnerability is necessary if we are to form meaningful connections and care for ourselves. This is scary because we don’t like to expose our naked selves!

As Boomers, we have relied heavily on our striving and success in the workplace. We have touted our achievements, our academic degrees and awards, even hiding our true selves behind them. Learning to be vulnerable, especially after a lifetime focused on productivity and super-achieving, can be tough and even frightening. But the personal transformation it promises us, is well worth the struggle!

Enjoy Brown’s TED Talk below. If you are like me, you will be impressed enough to order her book:  Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead.


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