Shame. Vulnerability. Openness.

I had the awesome pleasure of attending a conference where Brené Brown spoke (she’s a wonderful speaker, I first watched her on a TED talk).

Speaking of shame, there’s almost a shame about talking about shame — as if anyone who acknowledges it will then be shamed as weak. Ironic?

She is open and honest about shame, vulnerability, and openness. For me, without admitting and being honest, I know I make my own life so difficult — just ask my wife.

Here’s an example: when we’re unsure of something, our mind automatically begin filling in details. I’m telling myself a story — whether true or false — to fill in the gaps. Sometimes shameful details. That’s when we need to hear from the other person: “here’s the story I’m telling myself. I need to hear from you.”

How many times someone wasn’t talking to me and I felt like they were ignoring me for some past event or action. Do I really have the guts or courage to say, “here’s the story I’m telling myself. I’m afraid you’re not talking to me because of…I need to hear from you to tell me what the truth is.” Otherwise, my brain is hardwired to make up a story on what went down.

That’s shame. That shame can be deep-rooted under decades of activities, statements, and actions. Moving forward — going past the point of no return — is where leaders are defined, refined, and found.

After getting rocked, can I really:

  1. Reckon with my emotions? Am I okay with discomfort? Do I have real emotional awareness to work through this?
  2. Can I rumble with emotion? Can I be brave about talking about this discomfort? Rumbling with truth and others is difficult — but necessary, growing, and beautifully metamorphic.
  3. Creating a revolution. My worthiness lives inside the stories I tell myself…Courage is uncomfortable, which is why it’s rare.

The bravest among us will be the most brokenhearted. The creative and innovative ones will always know failure. The physics of vulnerability is straightforward: if I am brave, then I will fail.

Originally published at

Published by Jeff Beaumont

I love helping companies scale and grow their organizations to delight customers and employees, enabling healthy teams, fast growth, and fewer headaches. Scaling quickly is wrought with potholes and plot twists. When you’re running a company, losing customers, and employees are on their way out, and don’t have your systems running smoothly, then you’ll be at your wits' end. I've been there and hate it.

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