Strength and Vulnerability are two words that many may feel don't go together but in reality they go hand in hand. Resilience and perseverance don't come from undying strength, they are born out of failure, disappointment and hurt. An example are this years Olympians. None of these amazing athletes have got to where they are without failing time and time again. What makes an athlete of this standard is their resilience, their ability to get up and try again and again.
What ultimately stirs the feeling of vulnerability is shame. We feel shame when we feel we are not accepted. Not accepted because our business idea fell on its face, not accepted because we are not as clever, pretty, slim whatever it may be, it's that feeling that we are not enough. Vulnerability as an emotion is discouraged in the business world and this often extends into society as a whole. Failure is often looked upon negatively when actually the opposite is true.
We have all felt hurt and disappointment. We have all failed at something in our lives. And yet so many of us feel embarrassed when we fail, feel we are going to be judged, that others might see our vulnerability. There is an unspoken shame that lingers with many of us when we feel vulnerable. And why? Setbacks, pain, failure and heartbreak can leave us feeling powerless and we all tend to feel vulnerable when we are powerless.
Things we are personally responsible for generate much greater feelings of shame and vulnerability because there is no one else to help share the blame. The closer we are to the situation the more shame and vulnerability is attached to it. For example if a person's business venture fails they can feel more embarrassed than if their partners business venture failed. Or if your children are misbehaving you often feel more embarrassed or
powerless than if they were your nieces or nephews.
Failures and setbacks, and the vulnerability, powerless and shame we feel as a result are the creators of our resilience and strength. It is the struggle and in turn the recognition of our weaknesses coupled with a willingness to change and adapt that fosters strength. It's time to embrace your mistakes and failures, to learn from them in order to ultimately make life easier and more peaceful.
So I'll finish with the words of Diana Nyad, the first person to successfully swim the channel from Florida to Cuba; “No one ever gets through this life without heartache, without turmoil, and if you believe and have faith, and you can get knocked down and get back up again, and you believe in perseverance as a great human quality, you will find your way”.