What did you think of Brené Brown’s TED talk? (Here, if you haven’t seen it.) It blew me away. She is, of course, extremely articulate and personable. She is an expert in her field and obviously dedicated to her research. For me though, what was most compelling about her talk was the story she told about herself and the way she modeled vulnerability while speaking about it. She made vulnerability look easy! But as Brown herself acknowledges, the fear of exposing oneself, of being “found out” and then being rejected is a powerful deterrent.
When I started this blog, it was my intention to tell stories. I knew I wanted to tell the stories of women I admired, but what I didn’t know was how much I wanted to tell about myself, tell my own story. It’s my blog, I said, I can do what I want with it. Why open myself up and shine a light on anything unflattering about myself? This is public, after all—why talk about myself at all? Does the public really need more self-confession, more selfies? But I realized my reticence was mainly about being vulnerable. The thought was scary as hell!
Hell or not, I kept getting called back to what was simply, myself—the only thing that I can freely give as much or as little as I want of. But giving just a little no longer feels right. No matter how tentative, no matter how fragile, I have found a platform. I can use it honestly or not. I can play with it, or be serious with it.
So? I pride myself on an appreciation of the authentic, the real, the truth. The word on the street is that people want to get to know the people whose blogs they read. I know I do. There are a lot of great blogs out there—but the best ones are the ones whose creators are willing to confess their weaknesses and tell us about their failures and ongoing battles. So, we come back to vulnerability and its assets. It seems you just can’t get away from it…