Read this if: you’re letting fear hold you back from your best self.
I am a yoga instructor and student, and in yoga the concept of vulnerability is always a recurring theme. For example, working on our inversions can bring up the fear of falling on our face. Just as experiencing the discomfort of stillness as we ease into a hip-opener can make us feel emotional. As can sitting still on our mat for meditation. Vulnerability is an uncomfortable feeling no matter which way you slice it, but as Brené Brown explores, it is more powerful than we realise.
“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”
I have admired lecturer Brené Brown for years. Her research has been relevant in all parts of my life – in my career, in my relationships and even in my yoga. I reference and recommend her material to countless people for countless reasons. Check out my two favorites – her TED Talk on Vulnerability and this animated video on Empathy (below).
It makes me wonder why and how it took so long for me to read her book: Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead.
Brown has spent over a decade studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness and shame. Her research has created numerous opportunities to alter people’s lives in a positive direction and spark consciousness within people’s daily routines.
“I define vulnerability as uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. With that definition in mind, let’s think about love. Waking up every day and loving someone who may or may not love us back, whose safety we can’t ensure, who may stay in our lives or may leave without a moment’s notice, who may be loyal to the day they die or betray us tomorrow — that’s vulnerability.”
Daring Greatly gives readers the courage to face uncomfortable situations with an open heart regardless of the outcome. In order to grow and learn, we must move through discomfort with grace (a concept also widely experienced in the yoga and meditation community).
Daring Greatly makes us ask some important questions: Should we risk losing out on something beautiful because we risk experiencing something we fear? Moreover, should we look at those potential negative experiences as something not worthy of being experienced? Or should our entire attitude be altered altogether?
“Numb the dark and you numb the light.”
Brown poses questions that encourage the reader to develop a different outlook toward vulnerability. When we can understand the opportunities being vulnerable can create, we can be open to transformation within all platforms of our lives.