The V Word: Vulnerability
Vulnerability is not the most popular topic of conversation. However, one very brave lady named Brene Brown opened up the world’s eyes with her fascinating TED talk about vulnerability back in 2010. It’s had over 10 million views. This is obviously a topic worth talking about and boy did she make an impact.
I watched her talk a couple of months ago for the first time and it really hit home. After making the move from Melbourne to Brisbane, I couldn’t have felt more vulnerable at the time, and still do as a matter of fact. It’s been over six months since I made the move and I have been telling myself that I should have it all sorted by now. Job – tick, house – tick, the essentials such as a car and my Queensland license, everything’s peachy except for one thing; connection. Moving away from friends, from family, from familiarity, I didn’t realise how much of a toll it would really take. Yes I have the support from my boyfriend and regular Skype dates with my family, but one thing that I have learnt about myself is that feeling connected and a sense of belonging is pivotal.
As Brene says “connection is why we are here”.
Unfortunately it hasn’t been as easy to make friends. When you’re twenty-something and over the drinking scene at the local pub, how else can you feel connected and meet like minded people? Don’t get me wrong, I have met some wonderful and incredibly lovely people and I am so grateful that I have made these connections, however what I am struggling with is the whole “being vulnerable thing”. I should have it all together! I should have my posse by now and be able to hit up the Valley for dinner and drinks, or have coffee catch ups at Carindale (the equivalent to Doncaster or Chadstone for Melbournians), but it hasn’t quite happened like that. The fact that you’re in this wonderful city doesn’t make it any easier when you can’t drive down the road to visit the family, or dance around and be your complete stupid self with your friends. Plus the feeling of being so far away from the people you once spent so much time with – it is pretty easy to start feeling sorry yourself!
We live in such a fast paced, incredibly busy world and as soon as you stop to take it all in, you forget how much these connections shape who we are. So you might be wondering why I have posted this to the world and not my personal diary, but what is so fascinating is that even writing, speaking or talking about being vulnerable scares the living daylights out of us! Trust me, it will probably take me at least twenty minutes to pluck the courage to actually publish this post, but if over 10 million people viewed that TED talk, surely this feeling isn’t uncommon.
We don’t want to be perceived as weak, we don’t want to put ourselves out there for fear of rejection, or constantly feel plagued by doubt – however without this vulnerability, we would never get to do, see, think, or feel pure joy. The moments of vulnerability often lead us to much greater things than we could ever imagine. Brene just sums it up perfectly.
“Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection.”
So I guess in this time of resistance or struggle, embracing vulnerability may not be such a bad thing. Let’s make the v word a part of our regular conversations, ask that person on a date, try a new sport – put yourself out there – because life’s too short not to.