In a world where we encourage vulnerability, sharing our feelings openly and use the word ‘authenticity’ 24/7 —there is such a thing as too much vulnerability.
Let me explain:
While I believe sharing our emotions is a crucial part of both processing them and connecting with others:
Too much vulnerability is selfish.
Too much vulnerability is exhausting.
Too much vulnerability is disorienting.
And let’s be real here —do you really want your leaders, role models and mentors to be vulnerable with you 24/7?
No —you want them to show up, be consistent and do the work they promised they were going to do.
Imagine you choose to invest in yourself and you hire a coach to get you from stuck to thriving.
And instead of them leading you powerfully:
They’re lost in emotions.
They’re lost in their valley.
They’re lost in vulnerability.
While sure, you want to connect with them on a real level:
You also want them to show up.
You also want them to do the work.
You also want them to follow through.
- When I go watch Bruce Springsteen live —I want him to put on the best show instead of hearing how he battled depression.
- When I go to an event to learn in business —I want the person on stage to lead me instead of telling me about their divorce.
- When I hear from the President during a crisis —I want them to show up with presence instead of telling me how worried they are.
And let me be clear here:
I appreciate vulnerability like anyone else.
However —we’re living in a culture where people are being encouraged to be vulnerable in ways that scream inauthentic.
Because vulnerability is the next hack.
Because vulnerability is a curated game.
Because vulnerability is a growth strategy.
(I call this curated vulnerability where it is anything but; a calculated attempt to grow audiences or increase social proof.)
So if you’re out there —and you’re leading others —people, marketplace, being a creative:
Be real —but also show up when it’s time to show up.
I can be going through a deep emotional valley or existential questioning —but when it’s time to lead my clients:
I show up and lead the hell out of them.
That’s what they’re paying me for —not to be a therapeutic sounding board.
What do you think of ‘too much’ vulnerability?