Now, here's a great TEDTalk by Brene Brown on her quest to deconstruct vulnerability. Her analysis of connection and authenticity is based on thorough qualitative research and a deeply personal journey. Vulnerability is the way to go, she argues—a conclusion that goes a long way for all of us in the multiple roles that we take on in both our professional and personal lives.
We live in a vulnerable world and one of the ways in which we deal with it is by numbing our vulnerability. Nonetheless, research shows that you cannot selectively numb emotions without numbing other affects. So when we numb our inconvenient emotions, we simultaneously numb joy, gratitude, happiness, and creativity. Which leaves us feeling miserable and looking for purpose and meaning: “We feel vulnerable but instead of exposing our true selves we have a beer and a banana nut muffin”.
Truth is, according to Brene Brown, that connection—or the ability to feel connected—is the neurobiological reason why we are here. Alternatively, shame is the fear of disconnection which is underpinned by excruciating vulnerability: in order for connection to happen, we have to put ourselves out there and allow ourselves to be seen.