Research Paper By Pauline Valvo
(Relationship Coaching, UNITED STATES)
Allow yourself to become totally vulnerable. Only when you are willing to be totally vulnerable are you totally potent. Stan Dale
Vulnerability is the only authentic state. Being vulnerable means being open, for wounding, but also for pleasure. Being open to the wounds of life means also being open to the bounty and beauty (Russell, 1999)
Cultivating vulnerability is about cultivating a life that is fully lived and experienced. This paper will explore the definition of vulnerability as well as common myths about vulnerability. Why and how to cultivate vulnerability will be discussed. In addition, the relationship between vulnerability and coaching will be covered, and topics to include in coaching sessions are included.
Being vulnerable includes being authentic. It’s about being all of who we are and allowing others to see that.
Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are (Brown, 2010).
As this paper explores vulnerability, it also explores ways to be more fully authentic, ways to be more powerfully, potently, all of who we are. [PV1]
To be vulnerable means to be capable of being hurt. The definition of vulnerable taken from the Merriam-Webster dictionary is,
capable of being physically or emotionally wounded (2013).
Vulnerability then, is the state of being open to that potential wounding. As human beings we are always truly vulnerable to being hurt. Brené Brown, a professor at the University of Texas, has been studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame for over a decade now. Her 2010 TEDx Houston talk on the power of vulnerability is one of the most watched talks on TED.com, with over 9 million views. (Brown, 2013). As she states in Daring Greatly,
Experiencing vulnerability isn’t a choice – the only choice we have is how we’re going to respond when we are confronted with uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure (2012).
Part of being alive is experiencing vulnerability. One can hide from it, push it way, pretend it doesn’t exist, or one can embrace it, learn from it, and harness its potency. Brown defines vulnerability as
…uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure (Brown, 2012).
Uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure are all part of the human experience.
Authenticity is about being vulnerable. It’s being real. Vulnerability means being open. It’s about taking chances, and allowing the risk and uncertainty that comes with life. It’s about seeing and accepting all of who we really are, including our strengths and our weaknesses, and allowing others to see those in us as well.