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Have you ever admitted you’re struggling at work? It’s a hard thing to admit for most people. But there’s a lot of power in vulnerability. We’ll explain why.

Brené knows best

In older times, telling your colleagues or boss you’re experiencing some difficulties wasn’t perceived as normal, more so as weak. That’s why the thought of showing vulnerability scares most people.

But the conversation about vulnerability in our society is starting to shift. With protagonists like Dr. Brené Brown, people are starting to see that your vulnerability can also be your power.

In the words of Dr. Brown, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”

Let down the armor

While this “workplace armor” might keep you from feeling exposed and vulnerable, it lacks courage and authenticity — and it’s definitely not doing anything good for your personal life, business or working life.

By hiding or “numbing” our vulnerability, according to Dr. Brown, and not showing our true colors, we prevent ourselves from making real connections. And of course, that applies to business as well. Brands do best while making real connections with their customers, they probably want to build a relation. Well, do the work. It requires being vulnerable and authentic.

So, here’s how to do start working on it:

Tip 1: Practice on someone you trust

Find someone you trust at work and practice opening up: “Do you remember when I got irritated when you joked about my tardiness? I actually felt that I wasn’t good enough to work at our company. I lashed out because I got scared.”

Difficult? Know this, the more you practice, the easier it will get.

Tip 2: Develop awareness

Observe your thoughts, feelings, and emotions around vulnerability without being judgmental or feeling like you have to change anything.

Thoughts and feeling are like cars driving by. Take a seat and observe. What types can you recognize? What physically happens to you when you look at those? Does your heartbeat raise or lower? Take mental notes.

Tip 3: Be authentic

When you show up as your authentic self, you give other people the permission to do the same.

A lot of them want to open up and feel that connection very badly, but simply don’t know how to start. You can open the door for them. They might even thank you for it.

Take the initiative and send your colleague an email or text now. You won’t regret it!

Arjan van Rooijen