vulnerability, Sunshine Coast Business Women's Network, courageous, shame, Brene Brown, dying, death, loved one

Vulnerability/Courage – Two Sides of the Same Coin

I was at the Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network awards dinner a few weeks ago supporting a dear friend who was a finalist.  There were multiple awards to be handed out.  The first winner was announced and during her acceptance speech, she shared some of her world with the room.  She is a Mum to 4 sons age ranging from 1yr to 17yrs and is a full time carer to her 6yo son who was born with two life threatening medical conditions.  He has endured 23 surgeries, been resuscitated 6 times from being flat lined and spent most of his short life in hospital.  Upon completion of this woman’s speech, she was given a full standing ovation by the approx 350 people in the room (the only full one of the night) and I don’t reckon there were too many dry eyes in the house.

This woman shared a great deal of her life and I would imagine in that moment she felt incredibly vulnerable.  At that moment, we saw her as strong and courageous.  And I think it’s fair to say that more than one of us were wondering how the hell she manages to do all that she does…totally in awe.

Would everyone else have been so open with the challenges they face on a daily basis?  I imagine not.


I think there are potentially quite a few reasons for why…embarrassment, fear, privacy, shame just to name a few.  I think in some ways, disconnection from others may also be a reason.  For all our technology that is meant to connect us, and in some ways does, in other ways we are more disconnected than we have ever been.

When was the last time you sat down with a friend or someone you want to get to know more actually face to face time with them?  Or if that’s not geographically possible, you made the time to do it 1:1?

When someone asks you how you’re going, do you just automatically come out with fine or OK and don’t give any thought to a real and substantive answer?

Connection Requires Vulnerability

Deep, authentic connections require sharing, both the great stuff in our lives, but also the challenges, otherwise they can be superficial.  I’m not saying that we have to bear our soul with every single person we come across.  I am encouraging you to show a little more of yourself to those closest in your world, to be a little more vulnerable. To be there for others and to allow others to be there for you.

The Dying and Their Loved Ones

All of this is amplified when we are talking about people who are dying and people who have loved ones who are dying.  It is an incredibly emotionally challenging time and sometimes the creation of a safe space when they can be vulnerable is a great gift.  This is one of the things I offer in my work – a safe, non-judgemental space where all aspects of the journey can be shared and released.

There’s two things I want you to leave with…

  1. Everyone has stuff going on.  I remember hearing a saying somewhere that if we all gathered and threw our problems in a pile and saw what everyone else is dealing with, we would take back our problems in a heart beat.  A little compassion can go a long way.
  2. Consider being a little more vulnerable in your world.  You may just find truth to the old adage that “a trouble shared is a trouble halved’ or there may even be solutions or assistance that previously were not available to you.

Kindness and Courage

I had a very precious aunt who wrote the following in my autograph book when I was a young girl (remember autograph books or am I showing my age?? Lol)

“In this life of froth and bubble
Two things stand like stone.
Kindness in another’s trouble
Courage in your own.”

Peace & blessings, Sharon


PS If you want to delve more into vulnerability, check out the body of work by Brene Brown – absolutely brilliant!!