Have you ever watched Ted? They have the most amazing speakers. I head over there all the time and watch one (or two or three) to be inspired and learn something new.

Yesterday I was in my Ted watching mode, and I found this wonderful talk by Brene Brown called The Power of Vulnerability.

As a human researcher, she spent years out in the field studying humans, and why we’re so afraid of one of the most key characteristics we face – vulnerability. It’s worth watching:

In it she talks about a variety of things, and it brought several aha moments to light, including one on connection.

Ultimately we as people want to feel connection with those in our own community. Connection is why we’re here – its what gives purpose and meaning to our lives. We want to fit in. We want to belong.

On the opposite side of connection is disconnect. If you are vulnerable, you end up with shame, or the feeling of being disconnected. And that’s something we all avoid like the plague.

We never want to “not fit in”. So we do whatever we need to do to make those around us happy. Even if it means putting our own feelings and beliefs in jeopardy.

As an artist, as a photographer, this can be hard to take.

  • If you’ve ever created an image that you love and your client hates, you understand vulnerability.
  • If you’ve ever created the perfect package, only to find none of your clients are willing to buy it, you know vulnerability.
  • If you’ve ever put together a wedding album that you simply love and you feel tells the complete story of the wedding, only to have your client rip it apart, you know vulnerability.
  • If you’ve ever put the business on hold because everyone around you tells you how risky it is to start your own business, you know vulnerability.
  • If you’ve ever struggled with vulnerability, and tried to numb it so you would be more liked, more accepted, find a way to push back.

Do one thing today that shows your courage. Do one thing that helps you take that crucial step to believing in yourself, and connecting with people that truly love what you do.

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