I had the pleasure of hearing Brené Brown live when she spoke at a conference a couple of years ago. She was amazing and I truly admired her honesty and authenticity as she talked about vulnerability.
So I was really excited when I saw that she was on Netflix. I watched last night and was not disappointed. I started off just enjoying her humour and her ability to poke fun at herself and her foibles, but as the talk progressed, I quickly grabbed some paper so I could take some notes.
What caught my attention was when she talked about the importance of belonging and how the opposite to that is just fitting in. How many of us have joined a group, a company or club and felt like an outsider? We think it must be us, and that somehow we have to pretzel ourselves to fit in, and that we need to change.
I know I have felt that in the past with certain organizations, and I actually don’t like how I behaved under those circumstances. I felt like an imposter and that’s not a comfortable role to take on.
Brené argues that when we do that, we are not being true to ourselves, and perhaps the answer is to back away and find your tribe. Belonging is a big part of Company of Women. Women entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes, from start-up to the super-successful, but I would like to think everyone is welcome and can be part of our community.
She went on to talk about what vulnerability actually is – it’s when we are dealing with uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. Many of us, she observes, say that we “don’t do vulnerable” and that was certainly my claim when I was going through cancer treatments.
It was hard to ask for help and yet people were more than willing to provide it and in fact when I softened my exterior front of “I’ve got this” even more people stepped forward. It was almost as if they needed permission from me to cross that line and be there.
The next point she made struck home too – when people can’t express their pain, they often work it out on other people. Again I reflected on the angry people I have encountered and in hindsight, can now see that their anger was a front to what was happening and hurting inside.
Her closing comments were on gratitude and how we need to value and appreciate more of the every day moments and not take them for granted.
While much of what she said I’d heard before, it doesn’t hurt to get a dose of her wisdom. If you get a chance, check out her show on Netflix.
Company of Women
I have had an eclectic career from running non-profit organizations and being editor of a national magazine, to working for government on women’s issues. In 2003 I launched Company of Women, an organization that supports women in business. A prolific blogger, I also write for the Huffington Post, and several other online publications. I am the author of five books on women and entrepreneurship, and co-author of Good Enough. Embrace who you are. Unleash your brilliance. which is available on amazon.ca In June, 2016 I launched Full Circle Publishing offering one-stop services to get your words out into the world.