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Walk & talk into shared vulnerability

Put vulnerability into practice.

“The definition of vulnerability is uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. But vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our most accurate measure of courage. When the barrier is our belief about vulnerability, the question becomes: ‘Are we willing to show up and be seen when we can’t control the outcome?’ When the barrier to vulnerability is about safety, the question becomes: ‘Are we willing to create courageous spaces so we can be fully seen?” Brene Brown

Overcoming vulnerability is helped by the support of others. Here, Elvira shares an exercise to encourage connection with others in these moments…

Choose a family member, a friend, and a colleague that you trust and ask each of them out for an individual Walk & Talk. Tell them that you are working on your resilience, including being present with difficult emotions and sharing vulnerability. Ask them if they would be open to a Walk & Talk where both of you share something vulnerable with each other. Share something personal that feels challenging to reveal. That might be a particular insecurity, struggle, fear, or challenging emotion. It can be the same or a different topic for each of them.

Create a safe space for the Walk & Talk:

  • Person A shares something uncomfortable for ~5-10 minutes. Share in the first person. Focus on your feelings, the sensations in your body, on what is difficult for you to be with and what is difficult to share).
  • Person B just listens. Do not interrupt at all. Just be a witness. Listen to learn, not to give advice, comfort, or fix the other person. Don’t share a related story about yourself. Just listen with attention, curiosity, and kindness.
  • After 5-10 minutes of uninterrupted sharing, Person B can reflect back on what they heard and ask open-ended questions. Be curious with How and What questions. Try to avoid Why-questions as they can make people feel that they need to justify themselves.
  • Switch

After each Walk & Talk reflect and journal about your experience:

  • How was it to just listen for a while, without falling into the habit of giving advice, agreeing or disagreeing, or bringing attention back to oneself?
  • How was it to share something personal and uncomfortable with this person?
  • How was it to feel listened to without interruption?
  • Did you learn something valuable about yourself?
  • Did you learn something meaningful about the other?
  • What did it do to your relationship?
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