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The Perception of Toughness & Vulnerability...




For as long as I can remember, being "tough" and being "vulnerable" were opposing ends of a magnet. You were one or the other. One was required for success, one was seen as a hurdle to success. One was required for leadership and competition, one would prevent leadership and competitive success.


And then I listened to Brene Brown reframe what it means to be vulnerable. And it changed everything for me. It changed how I parent. It changed how I coach. It changed how I live.


What if vulnerability and toughness are married? What if they are required to co-exist?


It is tough to be vulnerable.

We have to be vulnerable to be tough.

Mind.

Blown.


To be vulnerable means that we are willing to put ourselelves out there, with zero knowledge of how things will end.


As parents, we do this all the time with our children. To become a parent is to be as vulnerable as possible. To become a parent is to be as tough as possible. We step into a world that requires our time, our passion, our emotional commitment and, in return, we are given ZERO guarantee of how things will turn out.


As coaches and teachers, we do this all the time with our athletes and students. To become a coach or teacher is to be as vulnerable as possible. To become a coach or teacher is to be as tough as possible. We step into a world that requires our time, our passion, our emotional commitment and, in return, we are given ZERO guarantee of how things will turn out.


As athletes, we do this all the time when we step into the arena. To be an athlete is to be as vulnerable as possible. To be an athlete is to be as tough as possible. We step into a world that requires our time, our passion, our emotional and physical commitment and, in return, we are given ZERO guarantee of how things will turn out.


A willingness to step into the arena requires toughness AND vulnerability.


Toughness isn't just playing through injury, rah-rah speeches or chest bumps.

It's a willingness to show up, with no guarantee of success, but a relentless effort.


Vulnerability isn't just tears, emotions or group hugs.

It's risk and uncertainty combined with passion and purpose.


Raise kids to be tough AND vulnerable.

Coach kids to be tough AND vulnerable.


Live a life of toughness and vulnerability.

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