When you hear the word vulnerability, what immediately comes to mind? According to researcher Brene Brown, after six years of science and thousands of qualitative interviews, the majority of people believe that vulnerability is weakness.
It’s time for us to shatter that myth and step into the awareness that vulnerability is perhaps the greatest form of courage, as well as an essential ingredient to transformational breakthroughs.
Brene Brown defines vulnerability as “uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.” In a world where 90% of startups fail, there is perhaps no greater risk and uncertainty than taking the leap to pursue your passion and dream. Does that make entrepreneurs masters of vulnerability? Maybe…
What I have found is that while entrepreneurs thrive with uncertainty and risk, the topic of emotional vulnerability is rarely touched. The reason is our unconscious societal belief system that if you are feeling fear, guilt, shame, or any of the other “vulnerable emotions,” then you and your company are weak.
Let’s take some examples:
How many of you let your board of directors and investors know that you are afraid and have no idea what to do in a given situation?
Do you go easy on yourself when you make mistakes or experience big “failures” that cost your company time and money?
We know how challenging it can be to admit you have no idea what you are doing to a board of directors who have the authority to replace you. We also know the pain when you spend precious cash resources and your team fails to execute on a new initiative.
However, there is not much value in keeping secrets and beating yourself up for your perceived failures. In the years that I have been coaching entrepreneurs at all stages, the ones that consistently create sustainable breakthroughs are the ones who are willing to be fully seen, heard, and felt in all circumstances. Entrepreneurs who are able to exercise self-compassion and see their mistakes as valuable learning opportunities are also much less likely to burnout, one of the biggest causes of entrepreneurial failure.
So the big question is.... Are you ready to be a master of vulnerability and take your game to the next level? If you are an entrepreneur, you are already comfortable with uncertainty and risk, but are you willing to go a step further and allow yourself to be emotionally exposed? The answer to that question can fundamentally alter your trajectory and company culture. Notice the stories your mind begins to make up as you answer that question.
Justin Milano helps mindful entrepreneurs build exceptional companies. As a serial entrepreneur and certified leadership coach, Justin uses a unique blend of business and leadership coaching to help entrepreneurs create breakthroughs and fulfill their maximum potential.