In this Instagram filter world we’re living in, seeing someone be truly vulnerable is a rarity – in life and business. Everything is so polished and perfect, 24/7; from the parents who have been for a 5k run and cooked a gourmet gluten free breakfast before 7am, whilst looking like someone off the cover of Vogue! To the small business owners who have it all figured out, and never seem to have any problems. It’s demoralising and soul destroying, because try as we might, we live in a society of comparison.
I’ve spoken about this before, but it’s something I find truly upsetting. We’re losing sight of the real ‘us’ – the people behind the lens who have a wobble, don’t always look brilliant and contemplate opening the wine at 3pm. And you know what? Those people are who I want to know! They’re more interesting, content and real.
I try and show my vulnerability, on this feed. I want to show that you can be successful and vulnerable at the same time. It means, I’m exposed but I must be authentic. I have to ‘walk the walk’ and not just ‘talk the talk’. This is something I believe strongly in my life.
I read a great book recently by Brené Brown called ‘Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead’, which deals with this very subject. Vulnerability at its core is uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. Brené says, ‘if you are alive and in relationship, you do vulnerability. If you are alive and in relationship and in business, you do it hourly.’ I think we can all relate to that statement!
Vulnerability is not a weakness – rather, it’s a strength. There’s a sense of fear that comes with being your whole self – being exposed. Fear that you might not be accepted, fear that leads to shame. To be vulnerable, is to show up and be seen, which is vital as a business owner.
Brené says, “shame is an epidemic in our culture. Like everything in life, shame has an opposite, an antidote – empathy; the one thing that extinguishes its grip. Shame can’t survive against two little words – ‘me too’. I’m sure you agree, that the world would be a much brighter place if we all had more empathy and made ourselves more vulnerable. Who’s with me?