Harvard’s Top Alumni attribute their success to two things.
- Trusting their gut
Two of the strategies I use to get my ladies out of their HEAD and into their BODY.
Working with women, I hear it all the time:
- “I don’t want to sound like a whinger”
- “I am afraid of sounding stupid”
- “I’m scared my voice will quiver if I get emotional”
- “I just couldn’t share my 3 am genius idea at the board meeting”
In an age that’s giving birth to “heartfelt” leadership, it’s essential that women switch their perception around what it means to feel vulnerable. At the moment, the power of vulnerability is overshadowed by the awkward feeling of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally. It is obviously a conditioned fight or flight response that has protected us since our cavewomen ancestors navigated their clan away from the saber-tooth tiger.
There have been times that I have chosen this state of mind over the years and it wasn’t until I was diagnosed with my second form of Cancer, that I got out of my very horizontal mindset and took a dive back into myself, ready to listen to my inner guidance system and trust my gut voice, that things really changed.
But it wasn’t an easy process. I’m a Passionate, Aries woman who loves to micro-manage everything to within an inch of its life. So, this “woo woo” hippy stuff of letting go, trusting the flow of life and feeling VULNERABLE was terrifying. I get it, I really do.
To step into your skin and reverse your counter-intuitive response to vulnerability, you need to first recognise it as one of your GREATEST QUALITIES. To effortlessly lead yourself and your team to elite performance, your true feelings, raw authenticity and fear are the keys to you feeling confident and connected as a new age leader.
Well known author, Dr Brene Brown, believes that vulnerability is courage. Her quest to understand herself and human behaviour has exposed our ability to empathise, belong and love.
“Vulnerability is the core of shame, fear and a struggle for worthiness, but it appears that it is also the birth place of joy, creativity, belonging and love”
This shift in mindset is a process that does take time. If you don’t mind, I wanted to leave you with the first steps to owning your vulnerability.
- Ask yourself theses four questions: To develop the quality of vulnerability, you must first get comfortable with who you are, at the core.
- Who am I?
- What do I want?
- What is my purpose?
- What am I grateful for?
- Get curious with where your fear is coming from. Identify if the fear is real or just a default response to an awkward situation.
- The crucial word here is Before you go into any conversation, set your intention by asking yourself how you want the listener to feel? Rather than leaving them feeling unsure or unconfident in your abilities, FOCUS on how want them to feel safe, understood, empowered. But, don’t get attached to the outcome.
What does this mean? Don’t set a selfish intention for example: “I want my listener to feel safe, because I know if they feel safe, they might invest with me.” What this really means is that you are attached to the outcome of someone investing in you (maybe to buy that new pair of shoes). Your listener will feel your intention through the tone of your voice and be put off by it. They won’t articulate it, but they might think… “Something isn’t quite right”.
Feeling vulnerable and having the courage to speak up anyway, means you are able to contribute confidently, knowing that you have the choice to use your voice as a heartfelt leader.
What choice will you make to strengthen your vulnerability rather than run away from it?