Bravery and vulnerability are two terms you wouldn’t put together to equal success. Except, Brene Brown, researcher, author, and pioneer for women says we need these two characteristics to be successful. I follow the beliefs and actions of the many strong and successful women before me. I have learned from them that success does boil down to this paradox of bravery and vulnerability.
What is Vulnerability?
Vulnerability is defined as the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally. So with every vulnerable professional or family action we take we are at risk of being harmed.
But it doesn’t stop there, being vulnerable also means there is room for growth, strength, and success. Think about lifting weights. It’s ripping your muscles during lifting that cause them to grow.
What is Bravery?
Bravery is defined as courageous behavior or character and is a noun. I am highlighting that “bravery” is a noun which described a person, place, or thing. Think about it. You are not acting as a brave person, you are a brave person.
It takes bravery to be vulnerable. The quintessential picture of bravery in my mind are people going into war. What a vulnerable position to be in. Even with shields, armor, and weapons they are still brave and vulnerable as their life is at stake. I can also think of babies as being completely vulnerable except in this situation they lack bravery and require others to help them on the road of independence and survival.
Vulnerability + Bravery = Success
When I opened my first business I was so nervous and worried about if we would have any success or not. This was a huge risk and in retrospect I have no idea where I conjured up all the bravery to go out on our own from the ground up. And although I couldn’t determine the etiology of my bravery I was so committed to the growth and exposure to vulnerable situations to see the business succeed. My vulnerability and bravery allowed me to grow as a professional and for my business to grow –which allowed us to help more people in our community.
By the way, 4 years later it has grown more than I could have ever imagined!
Today, I am forwarding a gift in the topic of bravery and vulnerability. Its the TED talk from the vulnerability guru herself, Brene Brown.