“Choosing to be curious is choosing to be vulnerable because it requires us to surrender to uncertainty. Its wasn’t always a choice; we were born curious. But over time, we learn that curiosity, like vulnerability, can lead to hurt. As a result, we turn to self-protecting–choosing certainty over curiosity, armor over vulnerability, and knowing over learning.”
As we all know our decisions and/or choices are often times weighted. Heavy on our minds and heavy on our hearts, especially ones where we are struggling to make a decision on at all. Author, speakers and podcaster Brene’ Brown is in my opinion the expect on vulnerability from her TED talk and book Daring Greatly which I am currently reading now. It’s definition, just in reading it can put you on edge if you let it. Vulnerability is the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally. When I think of exposure I think of a wound and although the first thing that comes to mind is that of a physical wound, it is the mental one in which can be the most frightening to contend with.
We feel that everyone around us, is our judge, jury and executioner when in reality it is squarely on our shoulders. We give it its power. In today’s quote Brene’ Brown reminds us it is us who choose to be curious and we when do this we are choosing to be vulnerable. Curiosity puts us out there into that unknown realm of uncertainty and for that matter unpredictability. What is interesting to point out is that was our nature when we were younger as a baby or toddler. We knew nothing and was curious about everything. If we attempted to do something like, putting our hand near the stove when we saw the coils of it glowing red, we quickly recognized that it was hot and experienced pain. We then learned from it and adapted. Hence this is why she reminds us that we were born curious. We were vulnerable and didn’t fear it. Now whatever may have happened, whether it be others inadvertently causing us to lose our sense of adventure and willingness to fall or maybe it was our own undoing we became more over protective of us experiencing any type of pain whatsoever. We decided it was better to play it safe and stick to what we know rather than what we didn’t know and protect ourselves from harm and avoid being wrong in others eyes (including our own). In essence we decided not to be vulnerable.
But my questions for you and for me is, at what cost? What have we maybe have missed out on playing it safe, never venturing out and learning by doing? Opportunities to grow in our career or grow personally? Just like the decision we made to stifle our curiosity we have the same ability to change our decision and once again embrace that curiosity and the love of learning despite what obstacles may stand in our way. In order to survive in this everchanging world we must become more comfortable with being vulnerable for no one else but for our own sake. The last thing we ever want to do is live with regrets. We must go in with the mindset that not everything will come easy to us or go our own way for that matter. And…that’s ok. We are ok. We are human. So let us decide to embrace our own curiosity and in doing so we will also embrace our vulnerability. In doing so, we will live a more fruitful life. One in which our potential will be limitless.
What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards developing your responsible decision making skills?