Ever felt a little exposed, and sometimes awkwardly exposed to new environments, cultures, and experiences at your work place? Even if you feel it is the same dragging day at work packed with meetings, writing documents or simply networking with other colleagues, you do feel vulnerable with every new touch point you make. To some, it may feel, why do we really have to feel palpable with new things? Can’t it just be safe to stay in a set pattern of doing things instead of infusing alterations in our status-quo?
So here it goes: let’s first fundamentally understand vulnerability and then deduce its benefits at work.
Vulnerability to an extent is being susceptible; being influenced via various aspects; but the best definition of vulnerability, to me, is: positive disruption.
Think about it: when you encounter a sense of ‘shakiness’ – a wave of hurriedness via mix of frantic uncertainty and searing thoughts – you tend to embrace a creative tension, which, eventually, helps you arrive at a new route. Being susceptible makes you have a proclivity towards personal innovation via navigating a stream of emotions that lead to a more coherent move in your professional life (though not limited to work).
Vulnerability is the accurate measure of strength and courage – especially for entrepreneurs. When you go all in with risk, uncertainly, and emotional exposure, you apparently get the best out of a situation. Reason being, vulnerability is a universal condition, and not a choice for a vital few. It is up to you how you apply it in your personal and professional situations.
According to Sarah Vermunt, vulnerability is the key to connection. When we open our hearts and minds to genuinely ‘get’ the position of others – it could be while making amends with a person, asking for a raise or a promotion or even talking to our kids when they didn’t have a good day at school, we forge connections that yield spiritual and emotional impact in our lives. The very susceptibility that connotes weaknesses or helplessness to some becomes our unrelenting strength and courage.
This very word also springs the seeds of humility and a giving nature. You give out the best in you – be it to your spouse or at your work place – by accepting yourself for the person you are. Sometimes, when we see someone cry while giving a speech or a keynote presentation, we instantly connect (and sometimes land up crying as well): this is a real connection.
As what Dr. Brene Brown argues in her speech in TED talks, “You cannot selectively numb emotion.” She explains, we’d love to numb out the bad emotions like grief and shame and fear, but you can’t do so without also numbing yourself to emotions like joy and happiness. Feeling comfortably numb seems safer, but think of the possibilities (and not just the pain) when you courageously wear your heart on your sleeve.”
So don’t be scared of being scared, as that is how you will inch closer to be ‘you’.

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