I came across this image a week or two ago, and tacked it onto my desktop in an effort to not forget its simple profundity anytime soon:
In general, I’m a big fan of Brene Brown – I believe in the message she promotes, perhaps because for so long I didn’t practice vulnerability. Instead, I hid behind various forms of shame, believing that by holding myself together, and by not just appearing but being strong, I’d found the key to leadership.
But in doing so, I kept others out.
By appearing invincible, I was far from the courageous lion I thought myself to be. Instead, I was just a squeaky little kitten, opening my mouth wide, my rawrrrrrrr mere whisper.
So I’m learning. I’m learning that there’s an art to vulnerability; vulnerability doesn’t mean opening yourself up to every stranger that crosses your path. It doesn’t mean airing your dirty laundry on social media – because we all have dirty laundry. We all have soiled garments in need of a wash, but the world doesn’t need to see the heaping pile overflowing from not one, but two laundry room hampers.
But vulnerability does mean being real with who I am, with what my insides are thinking and feeling and desiring at that very moment. It means going straight to the source if there’s pain in a friendship, and it means finding a few people I can pull out the dirty laundry in front of, and say, “Look! Look! See, I have ketchup on my shirt, too! You’re not alone!”
And it’s a scary thing to do and be. But it truly is through vulnerability that courage is so accurately measured.
That is all.
Happy weekend, friends!
What does this quote say to you? Is vulnerability truly an accurate measure of courage?