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Bounce Boosters: 5 quotes to help you bounce back in life

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Vulnerability is not about weakness

This month’s edition of Bounce Boosters is about vulnerability.

How is vulnerability related to resiliency and bouncing back in life?

In her latest TED talk,  shame and vulnerability researcher Brené Brown asks the audience, “Honestly, when you think of being vulnerable, how many of you equate it with weakness?”

The majority of the audience raised their hands.

Brown continues, “Now, when you think about the presenters you’ve seen here at TED, how many of you have looked at their vulnerability as courage?”

This time the entire audience raised their hands.

Dr. Brown looked intently at her listeners.

“Vulnerability is not weakness.”

Vulnerability creates change

Then she told a story about how, after her first TEDx talk, she received many calls from businesses and corporations asking her to come speak.

“’But, Dr. Brown, we don’t want you to mention shame or vulnerability.’

“What would you like me to talk about?

“’Innovation, creativity, and change.’”

She smiled and looked fully at her audience again.

“Let me just go on record: Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.”

So many times we think that when we are feeling vulnerable it means we are weak and being weak means we are not resilient, that we can’t bounce back.

The opposite is true: vulnerability creates change, it shows strength and vitality, and it’s really the only way to move forward in life.

I hope this month’s quotes inspire you to honor and practice your own vulnerability.

1. Elizabeth Shue.

I understand now that the vulnerability I’ve always felt is the greatest strength a person can have. You can’t experience life without feeling life. What I’ve learned is that being vulnerable to somebody you love is not a weakness, it’s a strength.

2. Madeleine L’Engle

When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability… To be alive is to be vulnerable.

3. Brené Brown

Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.

4. Criss Jami

To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.

5. Stephen Russell

Vulnerability is the only authentic state. 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. Don’t mask or deny your vulnerability: it is your greatest asset. Be vulnerable: quake and shake in your boots with it. The new goodness that is coming to you, in the form of people, situations, and things can only come to you when you are vulnerable, i.e. open.

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Bobbi Emel is a therapist who helps people in Los Altos, Palo Alto, Mountain View and the greater Bay Area manage their stress and develop their strengths.
She is effective in helping people dealing with anxiety, worry and grief; and also those who want to improve their effectiveness and performance.