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Stop Trying to Be Cool

Posted by Jody Urquhart on Tue, Feb 21, 2017 @ 11:52 AM

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The Ted Talk on Vulnerability by guest speaker Brene Brown inspired me to do more research on what gets in the way of people being vulnerable. 
After listening to several podcasts with Brene' and reading a couple articles, I found out that being cool is the enemy of vulnerability.
 
Being cool is perceived as being self-assured and in control and risking no emotional exposure. 
 
Further, positioning being hip as a valuable personality trait, has a danger. Kids will engage in very high-risk behaviors when being cool is an important value.
 
Qualitative Researcher Brene Brown suggests that vulnerability is our most accurate measure of courage.  In other words, the more vulnerable you are willing to be, the more courage you have.
 
To be brave is to be vulnerable. 
 
Brown's definition of vulnerability is uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. Cool is self-protection, like an armor we wear to stay safe and not reveal our weaknesses.
 
The vulnerability is required to learn. Only when we can be honest with ourselves and others can we relate and grow. 
 
The things we do to protect ourselves prevent us from growing. Ultimately we want to create cultures where people don't have to protect themselves and act cool but be themselves.
 
Anyone trying to be cool may seem aloof, ingenuine and cold. Cool people drastically limit their growth by acting like they have no need to grow. They play it safe so as to avoid rejection.
 
Admitting your weaknesses, telling your story, expressing your fears, asking for help and taking risks all take you on the path to vulnerability and real strength.
 
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