17 Mar Vulnerability is Powerful
What is power? We all seek power… yet what are we truly seeking? What will the notion of power give us? Does it keep us safe? Maybe… Does it give us what we want? Sometimes… sometimes not. Yes, power is important. And, what actually gives you power? Consider the characteristics of a powerful person, how would you describe him or her?
I’m guessing failure and vulnerability didn’t show up in your list of attributes of a powerful person. Some of the most powerful and successful people in the world have been considered failures at one time in their life. Truthfully, none of us are infallible and yet most of us try to prove we are. We will do almost anything to avoid a major mistake, to avoid embarrassment, or to avoid being wrong, but does that really serve us?
I know I lived for years trying to prove I had it all together, that nothing could take me down. I’d say “Bring it on. I can handle it.” And, these statements were never really true. I appeared to most as courageous and powerful on the outside, while I was often actually quivering with fear on the inside.
I ask you, if you were evaluating potential leaders, who would you rather be led by, a leader who was so confident they thought they could do anything, and attempted to do just that, or a leader who recognized and embraced his or her weaknesses and sought advice and counsel when help was needed? We’re all leaders in certain moments, which way do you lead? Are you pretending you have it all together when you know you really don’t? Do you willingly and openly admit your weaknesses? Do you see weaker or more vulnerable characteristics as bad? When you view them as bad, how do you feel inside?
When you judge your weaknesses or vulnerabilities as bad, how does it make you feel?
When I asked myself that question, I felt quite lousy – small, insecure, lonely, sad. Then I asked, how would I feel if I saw these so-called weaknesses or vulnerabilities as acceptable and perfectly okay? I got a very different set of feelings that in one way surprised me and in another made absolute sense.
If you truly saw your weaknesses and vulnerabilities as perfectly acceptable, how would you feel?
When I asked myself this, this time I felt alive, happy, authentic, spontaneous, creative, and invigorated. Wow. When I embraced my faults and weaknesses, it seemed to generate the very feelings I most sought in life.
How different would your life be if you truly embraced those things you thought you didn’t want?
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It’s a choice. You can choose to embrace those things you wish were different about yourself, even those things you might hate about yourself.
I’m not even going so far as to recommend that you love them, I’m just suggesting that with full acceptance, you can find a place of neutrality. You can choose to simply see those characteristics as neutral parts of yourself, no better or worse than any other part. Alternatively, you can keep trying to push them away and hide them.
Which choice makes you feel more powerful? Embracing them or hiding them?
Practice: Tell someone about a part of yourself you have tried hide in the past. Tell them that you now choose to accept and embrace that part of yourself. Notice how you feel afterwards.
Your power comes, not from being everything or knowing everything, but from being all of you…. Self-denial zaps your power. Vulnerability and authenticity are essential ingredients of true power. In your vulnerability, your exposure, your honesty… all possibility becomes possible. We cannot embrace, shift or change that which we hide.
Bring all of you into the light of awareness and your power will surge.