Brene Brown caused a big stir when she stood up and started talking about her own vulnerability. As she candidly put it in her TED talk, she did not think that she was supposed to feel vulnerable. Only to discover, that she actually was missing out on some of the best of life—namely intimacy—by being unwilling to surrender to being vulnerable. I am so grateful for her efforts to make the world a little more real and a little more humane.
It takes a lot of discipline to open up when you feel threatened but that is just what vulnerability asks us to do. It asks us to let go of our pride –our need to be right—and open to the greater truth of ourselves, the other, and the situation. When we are vulnerable we loose the stranglehold of our lesser selves. Vulnerability requires that we are able rely on a much deeper and stronger part of our self –one that is not caught up in our ego.
Let me describe the process:
It happens all the time! I get myself into a situation where I can feel myself armoring up. I feel judged, disrespected, misunderstood. It does not matter what the specific situation is, really. Just that I can feel it coming on. This intense desire to protect myself -sometimes, at all cost. My heartbeat goes up, my muscles tense, my thoughts start running away, taking my rational self with them.
I know that nothing good can come with this approach but, it is so automatic sometimes. Can you relate?
It takes everything I’ve got to remember that my reaction is causing the problem not protecting me from it. I remember I have nothing to lose but my pride and I let go. My breath deepens. My muscles soften. I can feel my heart open up. NOW, I can make something good happen.
Now let’s break it down step by step:
Why is this important?
I am going to give you two reasons why this is so critical to our overall fulfillment in life. First, we are unable to develop real relationships that are deeply caring and intimate if we do not allow ourselves to be vulnerable. Second, if we need to pretend that we are not vulnerable then our whole life becomes a charade. We have to work all the time to keep up appearances and in short that makes us miserable.
Short and sweet summary: If you want to be happy, learn how to be vulnerable.
Tune into this weeks Real Answers Radio for more on how to create meaningful relationships through vulnerability. The show is always live and your questions are always welcome!
I am writing you from 30,000 feet. It is 10pm and I got delayed. I should have arrived three hours ago. I’ve been doing a lot of travel this week and am hungry so naturally I am up here in the air thinking reflecting on unhappiness!
Clearly, the airline and airports made a few mistakes to get me here but the most bothersome part of the flight delay that let to my missing my next flight is that during the whole thing no one even showed an ounce of compassion. I swear they were all Zombies. I get it – airline employees deal with so many problems in the course of the day. But the degree to which these people were unhappy with their jobs and unhappy with me by proxy was astounding. So I want to focus this week on joy.
At any given time, there can be one or more parts of your life that you are less than totally satisfied with. Some of this has to do with the continual changes that we are going through –what once worked now does not. However, sometimes we never had satisfaction to begin with.
If you do not take care of what is making you unhappy, you will find yourself shutting down more and more –turning into an emotional zombie. There are some rules of thumb when it comes to being a happier person that can never hurt for us to be reminded of.
Know that you are 100% responsible for your life –every last bit of it. It may seem like this is a recipe for misery but it is a crucial component in being happier in every moment.
Take care of the things that are not working for you. When your engine light comes on, if you do not take your car to the shop it is only going to get worse from there on. Your life is the same.
Be kind to people – including yourself. This is the reminder that I got from the people in the airport. Even if you are in a bad mood, do your best to find it in yourself to be authentically nice to all the people you encounter.
These three steps alone will help you feel more energetic, joyful, and help you feel alive as you go through your life.
Do you know that the above changes can make you happier but not sure HOW? Consider working with me and get the tools and support you need to create change! www.katesiner.com
Some people will promise you the world. They tell you that, if you just get their program or learn to be more positive, then you will be able to grow your business, be fulfilled, or what have you.
But they haven’t given you the whole picture. WHO you are on the inside is just as important as what you “know” and “believe.” That is what my work is all about.
While I don’t have a magic bullet (except for the blender) I do have something that has been working for millennia to help people live richer and more fulfilling lives. Awareness.
We have learned so much in our lives. And when we have not learned something, we use whatever information might be close to right to solve the problem at hand. When it comes to emotional issues we can forget what we have learned and when we learned it. Sometimes we can even completely lose sight of what we are feeling. Whether we are aware of it or not, though, these emotions — and sometimes the avoidance of them — play out in our daily lives.
Knowing what we are feeling and why we are feeling it are aspects of our emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence is our ability to regulate, assess, and identify the emotions of our self and others. When we are unable to do this, we wind up with a whole host of problems. Most people have not learned to be emotionally intelligent. It is not taught in most schools, in most homes, or even in most coaching training programs. Without being aware of what we are feeling and why we are feeling it, we are doomed to failure. Even if our work is a success in terms of money, our lives will not be at all fulfilling.
So, what can you do about it?
You can take a moment to pay attention to what is going on below the surface. When faced with a difficult person or circumstance, ask yourself what you need that you are not getting and what this person needs that they might not be getting. Then look for solutions that might enrich both of your lives.