If emotion is such an integral part of being human, why are so many of us cautious about being vulnerable, authentic, and showing our emotions in public if the circumstances warrant?
Aim from the heart.
I admit that I sometimes show strong emotion during speaking engagements and workshops, particularly when speaking about my parents and other influential people who have passed. There was a time in my life when I tried to prevent those authentic emotions from leaking out; I felt incredibly vulnerable and weak. I now understand being vulnerable is okay because embracing vulnerability is a key asset of emotional intelligence.
I allow myself to be authentic and vulnerable and I let audiences know in advance that my voice may crack during a poignant story, or that I might need to pause for a second or two to calm my emotions and wipe a tear from my eye. The authentic smiles I see on the faces in front of me are a sign that they understand – we’re all human.
Being vulnerable is a key asset in emotional intelligence.
Showing your feelings should not be considered a weakness, but rather an authentic expression of emotion that others can readily understand. We must embrace vulnerability, as that is how we can increase our emotional intelligence.
Excellence arises in us when we are both vulnerable and authentic.
We need to open ourselves up to others—and it takes only a smile or a kind word to do that. I found while writing my book, Giving Back How To Find Your Personal Joy and Make a Difference to Others, sharing personal information was at times a challenging exercise that opened the door to many emotions and feeling vulnerable.
Author Stephen Russell believes that “vulnerability is the only authentic state”. In his book, Barefoot Doctor’s Guide to the Tao: A Spiritual Handbook for the Urban Warrior, he writes: “Being vulnerable means being open, for wounding, but also for pleasure. Being open to the wounds of life means also being open to the bounty and beauty.” Vulnerability empowers us to love deeper and to grow stronger.
There is no question in my mind that being vulnerable and authentic are two key traits for practicing and modeling excellence in your life. Each of us is a shining light with a capacity to give to others.