When I hear the word vulnerability, I think of Brene Brown. In 2010 Brene Brown gave a TED talk at TEDxHouston and began a global conversation around shame and vulnerability. Today, almost nine years later, Brown partnered with Netflix to release Brene Brown: the Call to Courage an hour long special dedicated to breaking down our barriers to help us live in courageous authenticity and worthiness.
If you are familiar with Brown’s work, you will find her humor, intellect, and relatability well highlighted in this Netflix Original. In just over an hour’s time, Brown breaks down the experience of shame using her own real life stories to help us understand how shame holds us back from feeling worthy. She guides us through this process to deepen our understanding of the power of vulnerability and what it means to live wholeheartedly.
As in Brown’s other works, she spends time in her Netflix special talking about our perception of vulnerability, how it is difficult and perceived as weakness. In a humorous example of this, Brown displays cover artwork created for one of her books, revealing what many people think about when we hear the words vulnerability and courage in the same breath. Large elephants, ripped teddy bears, and gigantic whales are in the mix to name a few. (You’ll have to watch the Netflix special to see the rest!)
One of the most unique aspects of this Netflix special, and what makes it different from Brown’s previous work, is that we get to see people responding to her words. The room is well lit with faces clearly visible. We see smiles, laughter, and eyes shed a tear or two. We see people in community being open to processing and receiving sensitive information together, and it shifts the experience.
Brene Brown: the Call to Courage is a powerful visual reminder that we are meant to be vulnerable together. That the work of living courageously involves having people around you who will support you in taking risks, walking through shame, and living in vulnerability.
One of the most beautiful parts of Brene’s story is that her work changed her life just as it has changed many of our lives. She shares how it changed her life the first time when she discovered vulnerability as a key factor in living wholeheartedly. Her work changed her life a second time after watching her TEDxHouston talk go viral and she decided to live courageously no matter the risks or failures.
Vulnerability and courage look different in each of our lives because no person lives the same experience. Yet, no matter the situation, when we need to let down our walls and let ourselves be seen, we can choose vulnerability. And in the moments where we have to let go of control, we can choose courage.
“Vulnerability is not about winning, it’s not about losing. It’s having the courage to show up when you can’t control the outcome.” – Brene Brown