Fearless Performance by Jeff Nelsen

Be Vulnerable

One of my favorite TED talks of all time is Brene Brown's "Power of Vulnerability".  In it, she talks about how being vulnerable is one of the most difficult things we ever do in our lives.  

What does it mean to be vulnerable? We all have different ideas of what this means.  The definition in an online dictionary is, "Capable of being physically or emotionally wounded. Open to attack, harm, or damage."
Isn't it interesting that in a dictionary and in our society we see being vulnerable as a negative thing? Why is this?  Do you see vulnerability as something negative?

I believe that being vulnerable means being completely open.  Not only does this mean we are open and honest with ourselves, but also with the people close to us.  I fight back a ton, but also learn the most when I pry myself open to hearing what the people who I love and respect might think about who I am, what I'm doing and ultimately how I can become a better version of myself.  Vulnerability is absolutely necessary if we want to connect and grow. 

 "Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change." 
Brené Brown ("Listening to Shame" TED talk)

In looking at what could be better or different in our lives, we get to see that our imperfections are really a problem only if we are not vulnerable to them. We are born and will die imperfect. Our imperfections inspire and guide our work...our lives. What if we were to redefine "perfect" in how we see success?  What if everything we are, share and succeed at, is perfectly imperfect?  Sure, we can definitely be too imperfect to hire, but fearing this drives me to get up early and practice better.  Also, remember that an audition doesn't have to be "note-perfect" in order to win it.  I have missed notes in every audition I have won.

In your life, how do you think you can be more vulnerable?  What might help you connect and grow with others?  

One little way I am working on my own vulnerability every day is by letting others finish their sentences.  That might sound small.....but ohhhhhh am I learning how to be better at this! Often, I catch myself "jumping-in" for fear of forgetting my thought.  Sometimes I think that I already know what the person that I'm talking with is going to say, so I want to get us there more quickly. I end up rushing the conversation.  When I am more vulnerable to being present and let go of more control in conversational settings, I actually end up having much more fulfilling interactions.
This week, take the time to notice how you view vulnerability.  If you see it in a negative way, try turning that around.  Try to appreciate your imperfections. Be open to being wrong.  The earth was very recently flat, so what else are we going to discover we're totally wrong about? 
Even more important than appreciating your imperfections, be vulnerable to being great.  Don't sell yourself short.  Be open to being the best version of yourself. In doing this, you will be wonderfully open to and end up getting the successes you deserve.
Live. Love well. LET GO.

Jeff Nelsen
Jeff Nelsen


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