There’s been a lot of hype recently around “being vulnerable.” I was fascinated by this raw emotion and inspired by the stories I read of people implementing vulnerability in their lives. So much so that I decided to try it out for myself.
What I found? When you allow yourself to be vulnerable, you’re demonstrating a higher (maybe the highest) level of trust and respect for the person you’re communicating with or towards work you are pouring yourself into.
I’ve been practicing vulnerability for the past two years and most recently, I started practicing it intentionally in the workplace. In the workplace, I have seen it to be especially powerful for three reasons.
1 - It Enables You To Create Authentic, Deep Relationships More Quickly
You never know where you are going to meet a best friend, soul mate, mentor or kindred spirit. For me, I used to close myself off to the idea of having best friends at work because I wanted to separate my “personal” and “professional” life.
With my most recent job, I said “Screw that - I’m not going allow a stigma to prohibit me from creating community and potential lifelong relationships.” So I dove in deep as I would with any new friend. I asked personal questions, hung out outside of working hours regularly with my “co-workers,” shared personal struggles and victories, laughed and cried, and just let the relationships happen naturally.
Allowing myself to be vulnerable with the people I met through my job has been incredibly rewarding. My life feels richer because of this experience.
2 - It Increases Creativity
As my girl Brene Brown says, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of creativity, innovation, and change.” When you allow yourself to be vulnerable with your work, you’re smothering out fear.
This allows you to just simply create, without the little voice in your head talking negatively to you. Basically, this is when the magic happens--pages are filled with words, canvases are layered with color, the world wide web is created...you get the point.
3 - It Allows Room For Failure and Growth
We just established that vulnerability smothers fear. With the absence of fear, we can fail greatly. By failing greatly I’m referring to the messiest kind of failing. The super painful, vivid kind of failing. When we allow ourselves to truly fail, we can allow ourselves to truly learn from our failure, but without the guilt, shame, and self-doubt that fear brings.
All in all, vulnerability wins in the workplace. When you’re vulnerable, you’re inviting others to be vulnerable too which can create deep relationships, spark creativity and inspire growth. For more education on vulnerability, check out anything by Brene Brown. She rocks.