I’ve been reading Dr. Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly, and I can’t help but think of the parallels between the book’s main focus—vulnerability—and the virtue of Openness.
Dr. Brown’s book centers on the importance of vulnerability and how we as a society need to embrace vulnerability as an asset rather than a short-coming. She describes vulnerability as the stripping away of ego so that one can show his or her true self to the world. She states that the ability to be vulnerable—to make mistakes, speak our truth, and listen with an open mind—are necessary to connect with others, and connection with others is of the utmost importance for humankind.
Her philosophy mirrors the virtue of Openness. This particular virtue requires “being honest, clear and sincere, and sharing who we are and what we feel without pretense."
Judgment, perfectionism and control can get in the way of our ability to embrace imperfection in ourselves and in others. When we expect ourselves to be perfect, we’re doing ourselves a great disservice because we’re limiting our experience as human beings. We’re also limiting our ability to connect with others when we set expectations upon them. By doing so, we’re not able to fully appreciate the person for who he/she is because we can’t see past our own perception of how they should/ could act.
Be willing to show vulnerability
Vulnerability allows us true connection with other people. When we are willing to show our true selves—to express our fears, concerns, dreams and imperfections—we provide another person the safe space to do the same.
Listen without judgment
If we can truly listen to another person, without judgment, we open ourselves to new ideas. New ideas can bring about solutions, innovations and creativity that we may not have otherwise considered. Embracing new ideas also serves as another way to connect with others.
Openness, though potentially scary, is one of the key elements in connection with others. Vulnerability is a key component to achieving openness. In what ways can you become more open?
The Virtues Project™