Self Improvement

Courage, Vulnerability, and Self Worth (video)

Does being more vulnerable give you a sense of worthiness? I don’t know many men who would willingly discuss this, much less agree with it, and I’m no exception. But today I may have changed my mind about that.

I’ve been going through some personal challenges lately – above and beyond the usual life lessons. Over the last couple of weeks, I feel as if I’ve encountered the full range of human emotions, from loving kindness to rage, from fear to triumph, from loss to gratitude. I’ve had to do some serious rethinking of a bunch of my assumptions about life and work and money and family, and I’m still trying to get clear on what the next steps are for me – as a man, as a father, and as a citizen of Planet Earth.

So today I came across this talk by Dr. Brené Brown at TEDX Houston, in which she makes some very interesting observations about courage, vulnerability, and self worth, and it’s really got me thinking:

My first response to it is, that’s too simple, too vague, too touchy-feely.

But after I sat with it for a while, I could see the truth behind it, and to be quite honest, it’s something I’ve always known about myself – that I’m afraid of being vulnerable, afraid of appearing to be incompetent, afraid to be seen as flawed or imperfect, and afraid of feeling anything too deeply.

I don’t know what the practical steps are to changing that (and Dr. Brown doesn’t really speak to it, unless her example of her own therapy is the answer), but I’ll be taking a good hard look at that part of myself this coming year.

What are your thoughts about the issues she brought up?

Derek Markham

Things I dig include: simple living, natural fatherhood, attachment parenting, natural building, unassisted childbirth (homebirth), bicycles, permaculture, organic and biodynamic gardening, vegan peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips, bouldering, and the blues. Find me elsewhere at @NaturalPapa, @DerekMarkham, Google+, or RebelMouse.

3 thoughts on “Courage, Vulnerability, and Self Worth (video)

  • I totally believe in vulnerability is being power. I experience that over and over again in my workshops. If you have not experienced coaching, I would recommend coaching. It will help you to get in touch in the deep of who you are and that will give you power, then you will choose to be vulnerable rather then default reaction of cover up. Unless you experience it, it is not easy to know or step into it.
    I hope this helps.

  • Hi Derek. First, let me say that one of your best qualities is your willingness to be vulnerable. I’m sure many of your readers agree. But I just wanted to share some thoughts from my personal life philosophy. I believe that each person has inside them their own share of perfection – the ability to be God-like, if you will. And that most people don’t reach the feeling of nirvana and inner peace and ultimate joy that they could, because of their fears. Life is short and you can choose to live it in a constant state of happiness and joy or a lesser state, burdened by your fears and doubts. I hope that you choose to dig deep into life and drop your feelings of vulnerability.


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