When Showing Weakness is a Strength

There’s a saying that goes, “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.”  The intention here is that if you want to get something done quickly, you have to work smoothly, efficiently.  And in order to work smoothly, you must take each step slowly, carefully.  In the end, it can be boiled down to, “If you don’t make any mistakes, you’ll be done faster than if you rush and screw up.”

I’d like to propose a new saying, “Admitting Weakness shows Courage, living with Courage builds Strength.”  It might need some work, but you get the idea.  Weakness = Courage.  Courage = Strength.

A friend of mine sent me a video to watch a couple weeks ago, about vulnerability and courage.  I put off watching it for a while because I was nervous about learning about how to be more vulnerable.  I don’t want anyone to know I’m vulnerable, right?  Doesn’t that show weakness?
The video is by Dr. Brene Brown, a world-renowned author and researcher in human emotion, especially dealing with the emotions we tend not to want to talk about.  Shame.  Fear.  Feeling unworthy.

In the video, Dr. Brown talks for just a minute about the difference between courage and bravery, but this part stuck with me – maybe because my friend had pointed it out to me, but also because the way Dr. Brown described courage was so powerful.  Courage comes from the Latin root “cor”, meaning “heart”.  And “courage”, then, means “living from the heart”, or the way Dr. Brown explained it, “telling your story with your whole heart.”  This is very similar to the Japanese word “kokoro”, which means “merging the heart and mind into action.”

Telling your story with your whole heart.  Merging the heart and mind into action.  Courage.  Kokoro.  Still very positive connotations.  So, where does weakness come into play?  As Dr. Brown explains, the people in this world that show the most emotional control, the most mental Strength, also understand and deal with their own Vulnerability.  They know that in order to be strong for ourselves and for others in our lives, we have to be vulnerable.  We have to be open with our weaknesses, and asking for help.  If we bottle up these very tough emotions, we will be closed off, hiding our truest selves.  In order to grow Stronger, into the best version of ourselves possible, we must be vulnerable.  We must be alright with being Weak.

Believe it or not this did start off as a fitness blog about admitting where you are weak so that you can target your work in the gym to become stronger.  But it quickly became more to me, and I hope you can excuse the one-week foray into the abyss of human emotion.  There is so much out there to learn, and practice.  It’s OK to talk about it.  If you’re around family or friends or at your local CrossFit gym, you’re among some pretty strong people.  And they got there by first knowing that they are weak.

Ryan

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