“We too often lose sight of the fact that vulnerability is also the birthplace of joy, belonging, creativity, authenticity, and love.”
Brené Brown adds, “In our culture, we associate vulnerability with emotions we want to avoid such as fear, shame, and uncertainty.”
Vulnerability is a word with a number of meanings that can make many of us keep away or “protect” ourselves – meanings like “the inability to withstand the effects of a hostile environment” or “capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt.”
But there are also associations like “susceptible or open” which can help us be more in touch, imaginative and creative.
One of the qualities we may have as creative people, especially those of us who are highly sensitive, is strong emotional responsiveness – another quality of vulnerability.
Do you think of yourself as vulnerable or even “fragile”? Does it have negative connotations?
One artist who recognizes the positive value of these qualities is Danish writer-director Anders Morgenthaler, who commented about Kim Basinger, starring in their movie “The 11th Hour.”
“She has this special sensibility,” Morgenthaler said. “She is very, very fragile. Some interpret that as being weak, and some interpret that as being strong. I am one of these people who interpret it as being super-strong.”
From article: Kim Basinger made the time for low-budget ’11th Hour’ by Susan King, Los Angeles Times, June 11, 2015.
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“The act of making something new makes us vulnerable.”
Artist and creative business consultant Lisa Sonora Beam writes and teaches about a variety of challenges that creative people face.
Read more in Success As A Creative Entrepreneur.
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Coach and author Michaela Chung comments:
“If you are an introvert who is highly sensitive, you have probably been chastised for your sensitivity at some point.
“People might have told you to ‘toughen up’ or ‘loosen up’. You might have found that your sensitivity to other people’s emotions, as well as your own, was seen as a weakness.
“Consequently, you tapped into society’s collective fear of being vulnerable and began trying to hide, ‘cure’ or numb out your sensitivity. You lost sight of the fact that being highly sensitive is not a liability. It is a strength.”
Read why she thinks so in her post Could Sensitivity Be Your Greatest Strength?
Follow the link to read other posts and get free resources at her site Introvert Spring.
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Maria Hill provides articles and resources for highly sensitive people on her site HSP Health. She comments in one of her posts about vulnerability in the context of relationships:
“Highly sensitive people have trouble with the interpersonal bridge because often their values are different from those around them and also because they are different and experience most things differently…
“The weakness of the interpersonal bridge is something that we live with each day and it is often a source of feelings of vulnerability. We do not fit in and know it. We suspect therefore that we are unwelcome.”
In another article, Hill warns about our disconnecting from nature:
“We lose our connection with that which supports our life and begin to treat it like an enemy. Losing the wild makes us mechanical, fearful, negative, and self-protective rather than creative.
“We hate our vulnerability so much that we end up losing what is precious about ourselves.”
Certainly there are people and situations we need to protect ourselves from, but rather than struggling to always keep ourselves “safe” at all times, we can benefit from choosing to embrace vulnerability in a conscious way to be more creative.
The image at the top is from Facebook/BreneBrown.
Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston, studying vulnerability, courage, shame, and authenticity. Her quotes are from my post: The Power of Vulnerability – Brené Brown, which includes a video and information about her related online course and audiobook.