Embracing vulnerability

Over the past few years, I have spent a great deal of time understanding and clarifying the purpose of Coaching Ink. In answering the question; why do we exist, two themes continue to be central to our purpose:

- To create high-performing, flourishing and thriving workplaces
- To help individuals and teams create the a mindset of resilience, engagement and confidence

Having reached this conclusion it was time to start communicating the purpose of Coaching Ink to the wider community. After all, its one thing to be passionate about what you do, but if others don’t know you exist, what’s the point?

Since creating the goal to invest more time in PR, I have been interviewed and featured in a number of publications. [YAY!] However, what surprised me most was my personal reaction to what can only be described as successful goal achievement.

When I first decided to set my goal, I anticipated how excited and proud I would be if I was quoted in a magazine or featured as an expert. But, in reality, when I was mentioned in an online publication, quoted in CIO magazine, and featured as a career expert in Latte Magazine, the last thing I felt was excited and proud.

I felt utter dread and embarrassment!

So much so, I quickly glossed over the magazine, not wanting to read the article!

So this got me thinking, what was happening here? And why is it that I am embarrassed and fearful about publicly expressing my opinions?

The answer to these questions came to me from my husband, in the form of a text message. After sending him a picture of the glossy publication with a comment “Eeeeek!”, Rupert replied, “Remember what you were telling me about being comfortable?”

What Rupert was referring to was the idea of vulnerability. 

Brene Brown best describes this sensation in her book, Daring Greatly: “Every time we are introduced to someone new, try to be creative or start a difficult conversation, we take a risk. We feel uncertain and exposed. We feel vulnerable”.

Seeing myself and my opinions in the public arena made me feel incredibly exposed – perhaps my responses weren’t interesting enough, maybe my ideas lacked creativity. What if, what if, what if…

However, what I have learnt about vulnerability, is that it can be a strength that allows us to not only show-up and be seen, but it can help us create a much more meaningful and purposeful life. In Brene’s words: 

“You can be comfortable or you can be courageous, but you have to choose because they are mutually exclusive. There is nothing comfortable in courage. Vulnerability is not about winning or losing, it is about showing up and letting ourselves be seen…. it is the birthplace of creativity and innovation”

And with this new found understanding of vulnerability I will continue to write, continue to put forth my ideas about flourishing workplaces and continue to share with my clients ways that can help them thrive.

Want to know more about Brene Brown and her research? Check out her popular TED Talk.