Compassion—the Power of Vulnerability

I’ve learned a lot about myself in the conversations at AgileCoachCamp US. I talked with Michael Sahota, Dave Sharrock, Siraj Sirajuddin, Pascal Pinck and others about various topics, a prominent being the influence maps that Siraj had multiple sessions on during the camp. Today, Gerry Kirk posted a TED talk by Brene Brown that gave me further insights into the source of my happiness:


Brene talks about the personal ability to feel connected. She identifies shame as the fear of disconnection, not being worthy of connection. In order for connection to really happen, we have to allow ourselves to be seen. She found in her research there are two groups of people:

  • one with a sense of worthiness, feeling worthy of love and belonging, and
  • one struggling for love and belonging.


[amazon asin=”1592403352″ template=”simpleimage”] What do these people who feel worthiness have in common? She found they’re whole-hearted, they have a sense of courage, the courage to be imperfect. They share the compassion to be kind to themselves first and then to others.

These people have connection because of authenticity, and they fully embrace vulnerability. They share a willingness to invest in a relationship without knowing if it will work out.


To me, her talk boils down to: people who realise that vulnerability is important, who say, “I’m enough”, surrender and walk into it, will be happier. Because:

You can’t selectively numb emotions. If you numb your vulnerability, you numb joy, gratitude and happiness too.

Real Options

To me, this connects with Real Options. Allow uncertainty back into your life—accept you have real options, and that these have value. Stop being certain, start having open conversations. To do that, you need to be vulnerable..

1 Comment

  1. Samantha Laing
    September 28, 2011

    I watched Brene’s presentation earlier this year, and read her book. It was very inspirational. I find that I know allow myself to be more vulnerable and open to people and instead of them abusing that (the fear I used to have) the majority have stood behind me and helped me to reach my goals.

    Hopefully you will also have some amazing experiences with this 🙂


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