The Neuroscience of Fear and Vulnerability

Fear, Vulnerability and how opening up to your authentic self can make you a better leader.

You might think that fear, vulnerability and confidence don’t belong in the same sentence but according to Brene Brown, they actually do.

Many of us have been raised to think of vulnerability as a weakness. It’s something to cover up – your weak point – and you need to protect it from view at all costs, or you’ll be hurt. Brown takes the opposite point of view, saying that vulnerability is power.

“Vulnerability is not about fear and grief and disappointment. It’s the birthplace of everything we’re hungry for: joy, creativity, faith, love, spirituality,” she says. “And the whole thing is, there is no innovation and creativity without failure.”

In an interview for Forbes magazine she goes on to say, “When you shut down vulnerability, you shut down opportunity.” In her opinion, entrepreneurship is all about vulnerability.

In fact, by allowing yourself to be vulnerable, you will build your confidence and learn to trust yourself and your judgement.

Possibly one of the most difficult parts of being a leader is learning to allow yourself to be vulnerable and learning how to model that for your team. I don’t blame anyone for being afraid when they let their guard down. Not everyone is going to understand what you are doing, or why, and not everyone will be willing to follow your example.

As leader, you need to create an environment in which it is safe for your team members to expose their vulnerabilities.

Luckily the brain can be your best ally in this situation.

The hippocampus is the part of your brain which involves memory and learning. It helps us put situations into context, based on our experiences, so we know how to react and when it’s ok to express our vulnerability. It’s the hippocampus which will help you overcome fear by drawing on the memory of similar circumstances in which you managed yourself well.

What that means for leaders is that you may need to build opportunities for success into the process of exploring vulnerability. It means that you may need to help your team members notice what is happening to them during those moments of vulnerability. The more mindful they are during those moments, the more information is stored in the hippocampus, to be drawn on later, as they need it.

A trait which seems to be a weakness is actually a strength.

A team which is strong enough to show vulnerability is a team which is confident enough to be creative, loyal, adaptable and focused. It’s a team in which each member has learned to trust themselves in the face of risk, and to learn from every experience.

If you would like some help boosting your team effectiveness through their understanding of the power of vulnerability, give us a call to see how we can help.

leadership course
leadership course free trial online
leadership course harvard business school
leadership courses for managers
basic leadership course
leadership crash course
online leadership course
leadership courses melbourne
leadership courses sydney
management and leadership course online free trial
leadership skills online course free trial
strategic leadership free online course trial
leadership development programs harvard business school
organizational leadership course
strategic leadership course
leadership training courses for managers
leadership courses for new managers
leadership courses for project managers
leadership courses for middle managers
leadership courses for senior managers
best leadership courses for managers
leadership development program for managers
leadership training program for managers
leadership program for new managers
leadership reaction course events
leadership reaction course manual
leadership reaction course army
leadership reaction course ideas
leadership reaction course answers
leadership reaction course solutions
leadership reaction course ocs
leadership reaction course usmc
basic leadership course requirements
basic leadership course reflective essay
online leadership courses
online leadership courses queensland
online leadership courses free trial
online leadership courses with certificate
online leadership courses for high school students
online leadership courses australia
leadership and management courses online free
leadership training videos online free
free leadership courses online australia
harvard online leadership courses free
free nursing leadership courses online
free online leadership courses for high school students
leadership courses melbourne online
leadership courses melbourne
leadership training melbourne
leadership programs melbourne
womens leadership courses melbourne
womens leadership courses sydney
womens leadership courses brisbane
womens leadership courses adelaide
executive leadership courses melbourne
executive leadership courses sydney
executive leadership courses brisbane
executive leadership courses adelaide
leadership development courses sydney
leadership courses workshops sydney
leadership course sydney
leadership coaching course sydney
leadership course north sydney
leadership and management courses sydney
leadership and management short courses
women in leadership
programs for women
keynote speaker
motivational speaker
emerging leaders
courageous leadership
sonia mcdonald
courses for women
executive coach
leadership coach