Courage and Vulnerability

If you are going to be brave you are going to know uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. And if you think you are being courageous and you are comfortable you are probably not being that brave
— Brene Brown

Brené Brown PhD LMSW is a research professor at the University of Houston who has spent the last 2 decade researching people and wholehearted living. Her motto- very apt for our work, “Courage over comfort.”

Please listen to this clip on courage and vulnerability

How do you cope with vulnerability? What is your armor? Teenagers need authentic interaction. They need to see how others handle their emotions and response to big emotions modeled in healthy ways. Last night, I was texting with my nephew. He has to start a new school this year and is not being allowed to go to the public school where “all” of his friends go. That’s hard. Though I know my brothers logic and agree with it what Tyler needed was to have me listen and acknowledge how mad he was. I also tried to get him to consider what else he might be feeling… These are the moments where teaching and modeling emotional agility happens…

HRO :“I hear ya, that would make me mad too. Sorry. [emoji].” “I might even feel a little nervous. Feeling nervous?”

T: “No.” (Oh really, you’re a 15 yr old boy starting a new private school with no friends, I love you Tyler but no lying to your auntie!)

HRO: “hmm, I’d be nervous, I was so nervous when I flew to New Zealand and started a new high school. Normal to be nervous- no shame in that”

T: “yah, maybe a little. What if I don’t make the baseball team?” YES!! Now starts the real conversation.

Score one for Aunties! SYATS is about building teenagers capacity to manage vulnerability. That means we get to model this.Whoo hoo - whose feeling a little outside their comfort zone! (Check out this link for more on the concept of comfort zone)

“In the absence of data we make up stories- we are a meaning making species”

This one is powerful and takes lots of practice to be able to catch oneself in the act. Teenagers are experts at telling themselves a story about their experiences. We will introduce this concept and work on it through out the week. Try in the next few weeks to recognize when you are being triggered and telling yourself a story without all the facts! Ask yourself: Do I know this for sure or is this a story I am making up. How can I check it out?



“Compassion is knowing your darkness well enough that you can sit in the dark with others”

How do you handle hard emotion with yourself and others? Do you shift to problem solving. Do you try to make it okay. Do you avoid? Turn on the television or social media? Do you use humor?


For those of you who are interested in listening to the full podcast it can be found here.