Many of us try time and again to really connect with people- whether it`s a first date, integrating into new social circles or even having a family chat around the dinner table. Sometimes it feel superficial and like we are only talking about the week`s weather forecast. So, what`s the missing link to boost these conversations to the next level?
Vulnerability. It’s the key to connecting with another human being. Being vulnerable means letting others see who you really are not who you think you should be. Vulnerability is the catalyst for authenticity which in turn breeds deep connection. Brene Brown teaches us the impact vulnerability can have on connection.
What she said:
Brene’s lesson: Connection is why we’re here. It gives purpose and meaning to our lives.
My Takeaway: My heart expanded when I heard this. Brene put into words what I had been feeling the entire time whilst backpacking the world. Many people believed I was travelling the world to’find myself’ or for a vacation however the journey was something entirely different for me. I had come from a role and place in life where I felt disconnected. Disconnected from my values, disconnected from my loved ones and disconnected from myself. My journey was about connection. I found connection in the most unassuming places- like 15, 000 ft in the New Zealand sky or sweaty on a dance floor in Colombia or in an overheated bus speeding through the backroads of Bali. I reconnected to myself by living my values. I connected with others by giving myself permission to listen wholeheartedly and non-judgmentally to their stories. And it expanded me. What are areas of your life where you feel particularly connected? Take a moment to think about what makes you feel this connection. How can you grow this connection or apply this method to areas where you feel slightly more disconnected?
Brene’s lesson: Courage is to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.
My Takeaway: To be courageous, you must be vulnerable. It`s shivering, wet-your-pants scary. Yet, truly being vulnerable can let our guards down and give another person a window into our soul. It requires us to remind ourselves that we are in fact, not perfect. That we have flaws and tiny or huge imperfections that infuse us with uniqueness. To be vulnerable enough to show this to another human being is to be wildly courageous. It enables us to put ourselves out there, to reach out to another with the intention of connection. It`s risky. The behavior of the other person is totally out of your control yet, the very act of you being vulnerable enough to do it, may be the only measurement of success that you need.
How Brene Brown connected with us:
She lives by example. She tells her story exposing her vulnerability- openly speaking about her breakdown, challenging her own personal deep rooted researcher beliefs and losing the battle.
She is courageous enough to be herself in front of thousands of people- funny, gentle and she tells it like it is.
In the first few minutes of her speech, she reveals that she is a storyteller. She tells us a story in which she is the heroine- her 10 year journey, her struggles, her fall, her triumph and glory. She educated us on so much via telling her story. A story is memorable and it immediately enabled us to connect with her. We are able to connect the content of what she is teaching us with her own story thereby making it stick in our minds longer.
I can`t wait to hear more from Brene Brown. What pearls did you take away from her work?
Share your thoughts in the comments section!