May 18th, 2012
It takes huge courage to admit to either yourself or others that we are struggling or feeling vulnerable… Particularly if you are a leader. It could be that we haven’t met the goals we set ourselves or our team/organisation and are judging ourselves, that we have been made redundant or haven’t got the job we want and think we are a failure or that we didn’t get the performance rating or promotion that others have. Outside of work it could come in many forms around perceived societal measures of success or juggling home and work life.
Core to these feelings of vulnerability are a sense of shame, a feeling that you are ‘bad’ in some way. By its very nature shame drives you to hide and self judge and creates a sense that you are not good enough. It gets further compounded, if you are a Leader, with a sense of needing to be seen to be perfect and in control. Many leaders suffer from a sense of feeling an imposter or that they will be found out as not being good enough…
I invite you to reconsider whether in fact the mental self talk that you are telling yourself is in fact helping or hindering you? Could you actually be good enough already? Recognising that imperfection is being human? That presenting an image of infallibility causes challenges for those that work for you and can drive a culture of pretension and in-authenticity?
To be vulnerable in front of others is in fact to be courageous, and you might want to consider to some that
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change. ” Brene Brown
To see more of what Brene has to say, a researcher specialising in vulnerability and shame, I highly recommend having a look at her TED talk of a couple of years ago and her more recent talk this year.
By being authentic, taking risks, being vulnerable and daring to do it anyway you may well find that others are on that journey too! And, if you are leader of others telling your story, warts and all can help a more authentic and courageous, creative, resilient culture to develop.