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Tiffany Crawford

Are Vulnerability and Authenticity the New Cool?

Posted: 05/ 1/2012 3:29 pm

We live in a world (still, even though sometimes I forget) of plastic surgery, liposuction, PhotoShopped magazine spreads, public relations specialists -- in general, of paying a lot of money to be have the "perfect image."

Yet, as we go through The Shift we are entering a world where "authenticity" is the new (maybe not so new anymore) buzzword. More importantly, we truly see vulnerability is effective. It creates connection, from Lady Gaga to Richard Branson. We see that connection seems to be a very important factor in success.

One thing that new pop stars, start-up CEOs, and viral video stars (who we adore) have in common is that we can connect with them. From talks such as Brene Brown's viral TED Talk on vulnerability to Beyonce's new Tumblr with personal pics, we see that society is craving real. We are craving connection and are not afraid to show it.

This is what I identify as an example of "A Crux" in The Shift. I spoke of "The Shift" in my first HuffPost blog back in January. We live in a world where, now more than ever, there are many seeming contradictions. This is normal in the midst of a changing society. Deepak Chopra speaks of ruthless compassion and I was recently advised by Michael Bernard Beckwith to "bring Conscious Naiveté."

You hear it everywhere. All of the thought leaders in business, spiritual gurus, and now pop stars are all talking about being your true self and loving you for who you are. That's not what I see on the cover of magazines -- yet.

It may seem confusing. It's like living in between two worlds. It may feel like walking a tightrope, navigating a balance beam. What's the right balance? Or is it about balance at all? Maybe it's just time to let go of the old.

It's tempting to stay on land, to jump back into the knowing side. From there we know how to be, we know what to do, and we know where to go, or even who to talk to. Then there's the big blue ocean. We don't know what's out there. It seems the laws are a little different; you can't control the waves; you have to work with them but when you do, they carry you. Maybe. There's uncertainty.

On one hand, we can stay in the old model, trying to make that work. We may have some successes, maybe, but at what cost?

Then there's the other hand: Where we could jump, and while we may have to get our bearings at first it could actually work. But what if it doesn't? So we stay close to shore, testing the waters, maybe even swimming a little -- but as soon as high tide comes in, the stakes rise, visibility rises. Do we jump back on land? Or do we stay the course?

Hence we have this back and forth, the balancing beam, and the tightrope walk. But what if it's not an either-or conversation? Maybe it's a completely different paradigm we haven't accessed yet. Or maybe it's an integration conversation.

Perhaps Vulnerability is the new Cool? Imagine that sharing your feelings, being real, and showing you're vulnerable could actually be "in." How crazy would that be? We're taught to hide our weaknesses, to be strong, never let the world see you struggle.

But... we're human. How do we receive, how do we connect, how do we help each other if we don't allow ourselves to be seen, to be vulnerable? There have been stories of babies in their first few weeks dying for lack of touch. Yet, somehow, we've created this illusion where it's okay, even suggested, to not show your weaknesses -- a sure way to connect.

And I get it. I'm not above it. Showing my weakness is scary; "having it all together" has been my M.O. It almost feels like if everyone knows that I get scared, that sometimes I feel like I'm not good enough, and sometimes I feel lonely, they'll all attack me. What will they do, show up at my front door?

But somewhere in my brain -- in our brains -- it feels that scary to share a feeling, insecurity, that others may also be feeling and may allow for connection. Try it on -- it's time! Time to take off the masks, to stop separating, and maybe, just maybe, have a world with better economics, less war, and a level playing field. Or better yet, we may find that we have more Joy, Connection, and Happiness than we've ever experienced to date.

"We live in a vulnerable world, one of the ways we deal with it, is we numb vulnerability. ... We are the most in debt, obese, addicted, and medicated adult cohort in U.S. history." ~ Brene Brown

We want it, so why not have it? I'm just saying. Just try it on. It won't hurt you. I promise. And if it's ridiculous, leave it where you found it. Just try.

 
 
 

Follow Tiffany Crawford on Twitter: www.twitter.com/tiffanyshenelle

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