I Am Feeling Vulnerable!

by Anja Uitdehaag

At work, we are programmed to act as if we know what we are doing, even in moments when we have no clue.

Managers and employees often act from the shared belief that being vulnerable at work is not acceptable, that it will result in perceptions of incompetence, lack of confidence and consequently a poor performance review.

We are often afraid to be vulnerable because it is associated with weakness. However it is a commonly experienced human feeling. None of us are exempt from feeling vulnerable at times.

Vulnerability is unavoidable at work. You’re going to feel it when you:

  • Ask for help from your boss;
  • Admit you made a mistake;
  • Apologize to a colleague;
  • Take responsibility for your part in a disagreement;
  • Take a risk;
  • Share an idea;
  • Say “I don’t know”
  • Strive for a big career goal;
  • Quit your job to make a career change;
  • Etc.

Entrepreneurship is all about vulnerability. When you meet the ones who are very successful, they all will tell you that they have learned through mistakes. It seems “the way” to success.

We all have fought with a lack of esteem at one time or another, myself included.

I (learned to) accept myself, flaws and all, since I strongly believe that fear holds back growth.

Being vulnerable has nothing to do with “being weak”.

It is about being authentic and real and having the courage to be imperfect.

As Brené Brown says:  “vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”

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