Brené Brown on The Power of Vulnerability

This week we wish to share a very engaging TED Talk from researcher, professor, and storyteller Brené Brown. Brené’s research focuses on courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy.

Brené’s TED Talk on The Power of Vulnerability was particularly well-received, and appeals with its humour, relatability, and insight.

(Length 20:02)

Here, Brené discusses her experience with an exploration of connection and belonging. She highlights shame as the fear of disconnection, underpinned by excruciating vulnerability.

Connection is vital to the human experience. However, for this connection to happen, we need to be seen.

Her research found a distinction between those with a strong sense of love and belonging, and those without. Importantly, this distinction was moderated by the belief that we are worthy of love and belonging. Fear that we are not worthy of connection remains a barrier to achieving the love and belonging we desire.

Those with a sense of worthiness were found to have the courage to be imperfect, the compassion to be kind to oneself and to others, connection as a result of authenticity, and, crucially, vulnerability. This vulnerability was not described as comfortable or excruciating, but necessary. It is the necessary willingness to do something when there are no guarantees in the pursuit of connection. It is the necessary willingness to stop controlling and predicting.

Vulnerability is not only critical to connection, but is also the birthplace of joy, creativity, belonging, and love. However, we too often avoid such uncomfortable emotions and seek to numb them to cope.

But you cannot selectively numb emotions.

When you numb vulnerability, you also numb joy. You numb happiness. You numb love.

For this reason, it is important to consider why and how we numb.

We make the uncertain certain. We blame. We perfect. We pretend.

But Brené suggests another way.

To let ourselves be seen. To love with our whole hearts, even when there’s no guarantee. To practice gratitude and lean into joy. And, at the heart of it all, to believe that we are enough.

Thank you for joining us this week. If you wish to explore more of Brené’s work, please feel free to check out her website:

https://brenebrown.com

Wishing you a wonderful week,

TCS Team

Image credit: https://unsplash.com/@kellysikkema

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