Vulnerability: Where Courage Meets Fear
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.” Brené Brown, Daring Greatly
How does Vulnerability Feel?
In her latest book, Daring Greatly, Brené Browns lists a number quotes that she got from people during her research. When being asked “How does vulnerability feel?” she got (among others) these two answers:
- Vulnerability is where courage and fear meet.
- Vulnerability feels like you are halfway across a tightrope, and moving forward and going back are both just as scary.
These inspired me to draw this:
Courage Meets Fear
You’ll notice the wholehearted human being on the tightrope, having half-crossed the scary void. Courage increases while you walk across the rope. Fear decreases as you become more confident. Safety increases inside you, so your dependency of external safety (of which the tightrope doesn’t provide much in the first place) goes away.
I like this picture because it nicely displays the dynamics of safety as they play out in uncertain environments, and which role trust in yourself plays under these conditions.
I’m currently reading and conceptualising more of Brené Brown’s work. Expect more posts to come. Please comment to engage in a conversation around vulnerability and how understanding it better, practising it more, may liberate us and decrease the need for external structures in our society and workplaces. To me this is the core of what we need to do to make liberating practices like agile truly work. We need teams and organisations of and for people who know who they are, and what they want..