08 May 2018 | Bianca Angelico
Bianca Angelico, executive marketing manager at Sodexo Healthcare UK & I, reveals why she believes vulnerability is a strength not a weakness.
When you hear the word 'vulnerability', do you automatically think weakness? The Oxford Dictionary defines it as, "The quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally."
But in June 2010, research professor at the University of Houston, Texas, Brene Brown turned this definition on its head in her TED Talk called 'the power of vulnerability', saying: "There is no triumph without vulnerability."
I'm with Brene on this! I believe that vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness, and it's time to stop overlooking this superpower and follow me by having the courage to be 'all in' or 'whole us'.
In doing so, we can lower the stress we put on our bodies and create a better work environment. Take my word for it; I've done it and it feels great. In February, I spoke at the annual WiFM conference on my experience of suffering a nervous breakdown, which was triggered by me not feeling that I could show people I was vulnerable. Why? From fear that they would take advantage of me, and that by accepting that I needed help, it meant I wasn't worthy.
During my recovery, I shared with my colleagues that since being sexually abused as a child I've never shown the world when I was vulnerable, that being a strong woman is key to survival.
How did they respond? They supported me more than ever, and I feel I can be my true self at work and ask for help when I need it most.
After I shared my story at the conference and on social media, people from the industry have opened up about their own silent struggles and recognised my journey as a burning platform to help others change. So I believe you should speak your truth and share your vulnerability with your colleagues.
Have faith that we are all on a journey to being more authentic and that our leaders are looking to create environments where it is OK to be ourselves and to fail, because that's when innovation starts.
Bianca Angelico is executive PA/marketing manager at Sodexo Healthcare UK & I