By: Kris Macchiarola, Ed.S.-LinkedIn

Things I know to be true…

1.   When you are afraid of being vulnerable, you will fail to have great expectations for yourself. You will be afraid to try new things.

2.   We are happiest when we are learning and growing. When you ignore your vulnerabilities instead of surrendering to them and embracing them, you are impeding your professional/personal learning and growth.

3.   Vulnerability is uncomfortable and sometimes excruciating, but our imperfections are what make us uniquely human and beautiful.

4.   Our vulnerability is what makes others gravitate towards us, both professionally and personally. It’s what allows others to see us as genuine.

In the Ted Talk, The Power of Vulnerability, Brene’ Brown discusses the commonalities of people who embrace their vulnerability and are able to win the life they are supposed to have: 1) They have the courage to be imperfect, 2) the compassion to be nice to themselves and others, and 3) as a result they are able to connect with others via authenticity.

From the outside looking in, I have enjoyed much success in my career and personal life and was extremely satisfied. However, for me, it took the loss of a loved one for me to surrender to my own vulnerabilities and embrace them. It has been painful at times allowing these walls to crumble that I believed made me so strong. In fact, they were holding me back both professionally and personally. I have used the discipline of Emotional Intelligence to help me peel back the layers of those walls and to work towards becoming more than I expected of myself. As a result, I embraced my fears and started my own business in 2016, which has allowed me to navigate towards great expectations, feed my soul, and help leaders within organizations.

I believe that sometimes we lack the urgency to move from good to great because of our fear of vulnerability. Below are 10 ways that I believe ignoring your vulnerabilities inhibits your success at work.

10 Ways that Your Fear of Being Vulnerable Inhibits your Success at Work:

  1. You are afraid to negotiate for a higher salary
  2. You are afraid to put your name in the hat for a promotion
  3. You are afraid to change jobs or careers even when you are unhappy
  4. You are afraid to speak up
  5. You are afraid to ask for feedback or help
  6. You are afraid to accept criticism
  7. You pretend you don’t want more
  8. You are afraid to lead others
  9. You are afraid to apologize or admit that you made a mistake
  10. You are afraid to acknowledge others contributions

The Cost of Fearing Vulnerability

When you fear vulnerability, it doesn’t go away. It manifests in: disengagement at work, loneliness, settling for the status quo, absenteeism, depression, self-medication, and poor health.

One of my favorite quotes that has helped me in my journey of embracing my vulnerabilities is by Summer Saldana.

         ” Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about unbecoming everything that isn’t really you, so you can become who you were meant to be in the first place.”-Summer Saldana


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