Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of TED Talks. Listening because I usually do it while in transit or working out. One of the most poignant talks that has resonated with me was Brene’ Brown’s “The Power of Vulnerability”. She speaks about how embracing vulnerability allows us to be truly connected with ourselves and with others .
One of the things she discovered was that people who are genuinely connected with who they are seemed to come from a space of wholeheartedness. They lived with a sense of worthiness and had the courage to be imperfect.
“They had the compassion to be kind to themselves first and then to others, because, as it turns out, we can’t practice compassion with other people if we can’t treat ourselves kindly….They were willing to let go of who they thought they should be in order to be who they were…..”
I am reminded of all the retreats and seminars I have attended to discover my life’s purpose. For years I struggled with not knowing what it is that truly drives me. I envied people who excelled in what they were doing and who confidently knew what they wanted to do and to be. I think it happened over time and with age that I have come to terms with not knowing. It came with trying out different things to see what felt right for me. It also sprung from working on excellence on one thing and eventually seeing this grow into other aspects of my life. That is why running has been a gift that I am always thankful for. It is one of the things that has stuck with me and that I have pursued with fervor. Doing so has allowed me to find joy and passion in other things as well. It has also taught me to be kinder and gentler to myself even if I have failed countless times.
Fully Embracing Vulnerability
As she studied the “wholehearted”, she also found one thing they had in common.
“They fully embraced vulnerability. They believed that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful. They didn’t talk about vulnerability being comfortable, nor did they really talk about it being excruciating. They just talked about it being necessary……They talked about the willingness to do something where there are no guarantees….. They thought this was fundamental.”
To be comfortable with being uncomfortable is something that the past year has taught me. And I am still very much a work in progress on this front. I can’t believe it has been a year since I decided to take a leap of faith in my career. This was something that I have put off for several years because of the fear of uncertainty. I knew that I wanted to eventually be an entrepreneur but always thought that maybe it’s not the right time because I was not sure what I wanted to do. But it’s true that you will never know for sure until you take the plunge. Now I wonder why I did not do it sooner but I also do know that it happened at just the right time, when I was more settled, grounded and hopefully wiser.
Believing That We Are Enough
A lot of life’s hang ups come from a sense that we are not good enough. In my case it is about not being smart enough, not being driven enough, not being busy enough, not being unique enough, not being fast enough, not being talented enough, not being interesting enough….. and the list can go on and on. But who really keeps tab on our enough list and why are we beating ourselves up trying to do everything all at the same time? What the heck is enough? I also don’t know but what I do know is that it is really okay not being all these. It is not to be mistaken for mediocrity but it is more about living life according to your own terms.
“This is what I have found: to let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen; to love with our whole hearts, even though there’s no guarantee is very difficult to do…..But believe that we’re enough. Because when we work from a place, I believe, that says, “I’m enough,” then we stop screaming and start listening, we’re kinder and gentler to the people around us, and we’re kinder and gentler to ourselves.”
So I am grateful for a year of embracing uncertainty and looking forward to being more comfortable with being uncomfortable.