Radical Vulnerability

If you were ever to take an improv class, here is what the teacher might tell you:

“When a scene is stalled, be more vulnerable.

Make a confession: ‘I’ve always loved you,’ or, ‘I stole your dog.’

Whatever it is, lay it out there, bare. It will bond you to your scene partner, and create intimacy, where before, there were just words.

And it will propel the scene forward, infusing it with energy.”

As is so often the case, improv is a metaphor for life.

Be more vulnerable. 

I’ve been taking this advice a lot lately.

Going towards the fear, instead of away from it.

Feeling that throbbing pulsing feeling of bruisey terror in my heart, and responding like an inquisitive child: “What’s that? What’s going on there?”

…instead of papering over it. Clamping it down. Giving myself a pep talk, and preparing a sanitized version of my feelings for the big wide judging world.

I’ve allowed myself to be a mess. To admit defeat. To admit that, duh, I don’t have all the answers.

This is the flip side of confidence. Because sometimes, I do have the answers. Sometimes the truth flows through me and out of me, and I am in the zone. I own it.

But when that isn’t the case, I vow before you here, I will wear my not-knowingness, my lostness, my scared, my vulnerable, loud and proud. Because it will connect me to you.

And it will propel my scene forward.

As Amy Poehler, my queen (and no stranger to improv), so aptly put it:
“Vulnerability is the key to happiness. Vulnerable people are powerful people.”

Be more vulnerable. Try it. Tell me how it goes.

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