The Vulnerability Edition: Lessons on Vulnerability from Ted Lasso / Today’s Leader’s Need Vulnerability, Not Bravado / Worth Geeking Out On / A Mindful Moment...
In this issue: Lessons on Vulnerability from Ted Lasso / Today’s Leader’s Need Vulnerability, Not Bravado / Worth Geeking Out On / A Mindful Moment…
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I'm Andrea J. Miller and this is my “The Wellthy Leader” Newsletter. I send this to people in my networks, people I’ve met recently, and friends I want to keep in touch with. You can unsubscribe (SEE THE VERY BOTTOM OF THE EMAIL) anytime, I won’t be offended
Lessons On Vulnerability from Coach Ted Lasso
One of the few bright spots at the height of the pandemic was the (now multi-Emmy award-winning) show "Ted Lasso." If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.
Ted’s unfailing optimism was a welcome break from the monotony and overwhelm of daily life. It was like a weekly dose of positivity on the screen when it felt like there was little to be positive about.
This season, while the show continues to be positive, its characters are evolving (aren’t we all). In a recent episode, the show revisits the panic attack Ted had during season one.
In one of the biggest games of his team’s year, Ted flees the field. He later suggests that it was something he ate, but we, the home viewer, know better.
This seemingly out-of-character storyline for our favorite optimist is significant for many reasons. First, even though COVID doesn’t seem to exist in Richmond since the pandemic began, an increasing number of people have experienced panic attacks.
According to Google Trends, there was a major jump in searches related to anxiety, panic attacks, and treatments for panic attacks in the weeks right after the pandemic started.
While it’s incredibly important that people can easily find the information they need online, normalizing mental health issues whether on a fictitious football (soccer) field or in the office is an essential part of helping people feel comfortable enough to seek the treatment they need IRL.
Ted’s experience also provides us with an important reminder that appearances often hide a very different reality for the people around us. If one of the most seemingly upbeat people you’ll ever meet is silently suffering, who else around you might be?
The Not So Hidden Power of Vulnerability
In a recent episode, Ted decides to share with the other, equally quirky coaches that his hasty exit wasn’t food poisoning after all but in reality a panic attack. This brings us to the next major lesson from the Tao of Ted...
By sharing what really happened and being vulnerable, Ted gives “permission” to the others to do the same. One by one each of them shares a secret that they had been hiding and subsequently looks visibly relieved.
As Brene Brown, the brilliant research professor, author, and speaker reminds us:
“If you think dealing with issues like worthiness and authenticity and vulnerability are not worthwhile because there are more pressing issues, like the bottom line or attendance or standardized test scores, you are sadly, sadly mistaken. It underpins everything.”
We all, for various reasons, hide parts of ourselves. Even as I originally wrote this post I had the realization that despite writing a post about vulnerability, I had shared nothing, so I revised it.
Vulnerability is hard. It can feel scary. We tell ourselves stories about what we should and shouldn’t share and often suffer unnecessarily because of it.
I know when I was going through a particularly difficult time in my life by anyone’s standards, my parents’ final illnesses and deaths; getting hit by a car, surgeries, etc. it would’ve been almost impossible to guess that most of this was going on. In fact, few people knew.
That’s partially why I’m writing this, our ability to share and be authentically ourselves, as Brene Brown so beautifully wrote, “underpins everything”. It’s at the essence of who we are and who we can be.
So, I ask you, is there anywhere you can be just a bit more vulnerable? You never know whose life it might change.
Today’s Leaders Need Vulnerability, Not Bravado
From the Archives of Harvard Business Review:
“…the most effective leaders are the ones who are willing to show their vulnerabilities — who can admit to themselves and others when they are wrong and what they know and don’t know. To cultivate that style of leadership, start by telling the truth; ask for help; go outside your comfort zone; when you make a mistake, admit it and apologize; and engage others in your journey of self-improvement.”
Something Worth Geeking Out On…
The Huberman Lab Podcast is my new favorite podcast. Andrew Huberman is a Professor of Neurobiology and Ophthalmology at Stanford University School of Medicine who clearly loves neuroscience: how our brain and its connections with the organs of our body control our perceptions, our behaviors, and our health. In these longish episodes, he gets real about why we do what we do, ways to change it (if that’s what you want), and the science behind it, in a way that’s both understandable and wonderfully geeky.
And Finally, A MINDFUL MOMENT, AN ORDINARY MIRACLE
This Poem was Shared with Me This Week and I Wanted to Share it With All of You…
A MINDFUL MOMENT, AN ORDINARY MIRACLE
Instead of trying to get 'there',
be here, fully, with the entire weight of your being.
Feel your body sink into the generous Earth.
Feel your belly rise and fall with each soft breath.
If there is sadness here, let it be.
If there is joy here, let it be.
If there is numbness here, let it be.
If there is uncertainty here, let it be.
If there is some unspeakable emptiness here, let it be.
Consider the possibility
that there is no mistake here.
No thought or feeling unwanted.
No appearance in the moment which is 'against' you.
Be the vast Field, the limitless Space,
in which all thoughts and feelings come and go,
Stop trying to get 'there'.
Stop rushing to FUTURE.
Bow to the PRESENT, exactly as it is.
Know its sacredness. Feel its warmth.
You may not get 'there',
but you will fall in love with HERE,
- Jeff Foster
Thanks for taking the time to read this!
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