I’m sure that teenagers all over the world think they are invulnerable. It’s certainly what leads them to take great risks and accomplish great things. Many tragedies and newspaper headlines come from this sense of invulnerability. This is an extreme example but the polarities are true for some more experienced adults also. We dream of being invulnerable in an unforgiving world that assails us daily it seems, but our vulnerability is what leads to the truer source of strength.
Consider the dynamic of leadership for instance. Think of all the men and women you consider to be good leaders. Include business people, personal friends, and those who inspire you spiritually. Do you consider them a leader because of the invulnerability and tough impenetrable exterior, or is it their humanity and realness in the face of a harsh world that serves to inspire you? I’m going to go out on a limb, and guess you chose the latter, because the research on leadership reinforces this as well. Projecting an image of invulnerability may inhibit your credibility and make people less likely to follow you. It can arise out of either an inability to keep up with you or lack of belief in you. We motivate other people when we are vulnerable and honest, when we reveal our struggles involved in climbing the mountain as well as the picture of us reaching the summit. How do you show your vulnerability and authenticity?
When you think of strong people, what kinds of qualities come to mind and do you exemplify those? Vulnerability can often be a sign of strength, so the unwillingness to go there may be a sign of weakness. How do you embrace vulnerability?
I know people who project strength in many ways. A towering physically strong person can demonstrate strength. I also knew my great grandmother was a very strong woman even though she was short and frail in her later years. There are many ways to be invulnerable. How do you demonstrate your strength? It’s important to take stock of the areas and ways that are individual to you. This is not about being like other people, as our invulnerability is usually tied to our uniqueness. What is yours if you are aware of it?
This blog is part of a series from the book Discover Your Best Life by Mike Hintz. His personal, professional, and spiritual growth tools are also featured in Northlink Retreats. If this topic resonates with you consider reading the book or attending one of the upcoming retreats.