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Brené Brown’s Ted Talk, The Power of Vulnerability is relevant and poignant.

Fostering connection, compassion, belonging and vulnerability in the business world would be a game-changer. Corporate cultures would become welcoming, nurturing and supportive, and long-term profits would rise.

Brené's research findings are fundamental to fostering the kind of change and long-term success that would be most beneficial to all concerned. Here's what she shares:

Connection is why we are here. It gives purpose and meaning to our lives.

Connection is a part of our biology. Everyone wants to feel connected.

Shame is what gets in the way of connection.

Most people believe that there’s something fundamentally wrong with them; that if others knew or saw something about them, no one would want to connect with them.

No one wants to talk about shame. The less you talk about shame, the more you experience it.

What underlies shame is the feeling of not being good enough, beautiful enough, smart enough, rich enough, successful enough, promoted enough and so on.

What underpins it all is excruciating vulnerability.

In order for connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be really seen.

Whole-hearted people have and live from a deep sense of worthiness. They believe that they are worthy of love and belonging. They have a deep sense of courage. They know and share who they are with their whole heart.

Whole-hearted people have the courage to be imperfect. They have the compassion to be kind to themselves first and then to others.

We can’t practice compassion with others if we don’t treat ourselves kindly.

Whole-hearted people have connection because of their authenticity. They were willing to let go of who they thought they should be in order to be who they are.

Whole-hearted people fully embrace vulnerability. They believe that what makes them vulnerable makes them beautiful.

Whole-hearted people don’t talk about vulnerability being comfortable or excruciating.

They talk about vulnerability being necessary.

They talk about the willingness to say, “I love you” first. They talk about the willingness to do something where there were no guarantees; the willingness to invest in a relationship that may or may not work out.

Whole-hearted people embrace vulnerability, and stop controlling and predicting.

Vulnerability is the core of shame, fear and our struggle for worthiness. Vulnerability is also the birthplace of joy, creativity, belonging and love.

Vulnerability can be a myriad of different things, like asking someone for help when we’re sick, initiating sex with our partner, waiting for the doctor to call and so on.

We live in a vulnerable world. One of the ways we deal with this is to numb vulnerability.

We are the most in debt, obese, addicted and medicated society in U.S. History.

We cannot selectively numb.

When we numb vulnerability, grief, shame, fear and disappointment, we numb joy, gratitude and happiness.

We numb with addiction. We numb by trying to make everything that’s uncertain, certain. There is so much, “I’m right, you’re wrong. Shut up.”

Politics is a prime example. There is no discourse or conversation. There is just blame.

Blame is simply a way to discharge pain and discomfort.

We try to be perfect, but it doesn’t work. We try to make our children perfect, and that’s dangerous to their health and wellbeing.

We need to tell our children that they are not perfect and that life can be challenging.

We need to tell our children, “You are worthy of love and belonging, and I love you.” Imagine a world several generations in the future if our children were raised feeling worthy.

We pretend that what we’re doing doesn’t have a huge impact on other people. What we do impacts our friends, family and everyone in our sphere of influence. We pretend that what corporations do doesn’t have a huge impact on our future. Bailouts, rebates and cleanups are not solving our problems.

There is another way:

  • to let ourselves be deeply and vulnerably seen
  • to love with our whole hearts, even though there is no guarantee
  • to practice gratitude and joy no matter how we are feeling
  • to stop worrying and just be grateful
  • to be grateful to feel so vulnerable and alive
  • to believe, "I am enough"

When we come from a place of knowing,“I am enough”, we stop screaming and start listening.

We’re kinder and gentler to the people around us, and we’re kinder and gentler to ourselves.