The Courage of Getting Back Up

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Dr. Brown at 2012 Texas Conference for Women

How do you get back up after a fall?

In an interview yesterday, researcher and author Brené Brown talked about the common denominators among those “who experience falls, failure, disappointment, heartbreak, get back up and have more tenacity and more courage as a result of that experience.”

Her answer? “You can’t have this discussion without talking about vulnerability.”

“Courage starts with vulnerability, the willingness to show up and put yourself out there and be seen.” Brené Brown.”

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The problem, she says, is that “most of us were raised to believe that vulnerability is a weakness,” so we run from it, pretend we are invulnerable, but at a cost. Brown’s research suggests that vulnerability is courage itself: “the willingness to show up and risk failure.”

“If you think about the last time you saw someone do something really brave,” she says, “if you look hard you’ll see vulnerability under that.” And “he or she who has the largest capacity for discomfort, rises the fastest.”

Blogging—especially regular blogging —is a good way to practice vulnerability. Even if you don’t blog about personal topics, the habit of “showing up” and “being seen” (or being read) when you have no control over your readers is a form of creative courage.

Watch Brown discuss vulnerability, courage, shame, and the “emotional landscape of falling” in the 6-minute interview clip below or at MSNBC (there is a short commercial first). Her new book, Rising Strong: The Reckoning. The Rumble. The Revolution, was released last week.

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Photo Credit: “Dr. Brene Brown at Texas Conference for Women (cropped)” by Dell’s Official Flickr Page. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons.
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