In the many years I have been developing myself as a leader and a business owner, and the many consecutive years I have been supporting other artists in honing their leadership skills...there is one value many have struggled with time and time again. This value is often misconstrued in its meaning and impact. Because of this misconception, not only do people struggle more than they should have to, but they miss an amazing and freeing opportunity to strengthen their artistry and their business. This value is vulnerability.
When people hear the word "vulnerability" they often think weakness, or exposing the underbelly of who they are such that they become susceptible to being taken advantage of. The most unfortunate misconception is that vulnerability requires us to trust people that could be considered “dangerous”. But in truth, being vulnerable can be one of the most powerful ways of being that will have people trust YOU.
Two nights ago I realized how far I've come with practicing vulnerability while on a conference call with some of my most esteemed body painting colleagues. We are planning a project together that - if successful - will bring a great deal of awareness to true artistry in NYC. I was to propose my ideas prior to our call so we could discuss it during our phone conversation. For me, us working together and agreeing on a vision and concept was of the highest importance. When getting on the phone with them, I was given feedback that although the concept content was exciting and had potential, the details and ideas I had come up with were not quite there...lacking of utmost potential for impact. I will admit my ego stung a bit for a second and in a moments choice I took on vulnerability and opened my heart and mind to a bigger possibility. In truth my ideas were not fully in alignment with what I wanted to convey...and if I kept my ground out of stubbornness and protecting my ego I could have not only missed the mark but also lost the interest and respect of my peers. By the end of the call we were all pumped and agreed on a concept that excited all of us.
So how do you become aware of and practice the benefits of vulnerability? Brené Brown, a storyteller and researcher has examined vulnerability from the inside out. Her TED Talks presentation shows her personal journey in understanding the power of vulnerability. Some great insights for anyone looking to grow exponentially in personal potential, creativity, and business.