The truth about vulnerability: The definition of vulnerability has developed into another way to describe weakness. Being vulnerable is not something that should be spoken about in a negative way. Being able to come to terms with your own vulnerability and having the strength to show it to others is something that should be respected and admired. Being a true leader takes someone who is not afraid to take risks, and therefore be vulnerable.
Where it all started: Going into my freshman year at CU I proclaimed my major as psychology. I had no idea what I was going to do with that degree or if was even the right choice for me, but my parents told me that it was a step in the right direction and that it was the best choice for me, so I went with it. As I went through my freshman year I remember thinking that I liked my classes, but I had no idea what I was going to do when I graduated and that scared me.
Halfway through my first semester of sophomore year I knew that something was wrong. I had zero passion for the classes that I was taking, and no excitement for the future. I felt like I had potential that I wasn’t using. I shared my concerns with my parents through what felt like a million tearful phone calls, but they both told me that changing my major now would be challenging and would set me back too far. After hearing this I knew I had a lot to consider.
On the one hand my parents were right, the safer choice would be to stick with psychology and be ensured an on time graduation. Switching my major as a second semester sophomore could lead to a late graduation, and perhaps taking away the benefits of studying abroad. The thought of missing out on the opportunity to study in a place like Italy, or Australia really devastated me. I have always wanted to have the chance to explore a different culture and way of life.
The turning point: Despite my excitement for adventure, I knew that graduating with a degree in psychology would not get me where I wanted to go in life. I thought about all of the things I could do with my creativity through a degree in communication and all of the education and opportunities that I could potentially be missing out on. As Brene Brown stated in her article, Leadership Series: Vulnerability and Inspired Leadership, “People disengage and turn away from the very things that the world needs: their talent, their ideas, and their passion.” I felt passionate about being in the CMCI school and where that could take me in life, so I knew despite the challenges I would face, and what I could potentially be giving up, it would ultimately be the right move for me.
I understood that making this change in my life was a risk. I knew that it could be devastating to not graduate on time, or miss out on the benefits and experience of going abroad, but I also knew that if I felt strongly enough and excited about a career path that could make me happier in the long run, it was something that I had to take advantage of. Once I came to terms with how I really felt on the situation, I told my parents that I would be applying to the CMCI school and then changing my focus and putting my passions elsewhere.
Emotions as a strength: Making this decision was clearly not an easy task for me. Some may look at this situation as a simple and common dilemma, but I would challenge that. This was a decision that directly affected the rest of my life. I did not come to the right decision by following what I was told, but by coming to terms with my vulnerability and realizing what was best for me and what I truly wanted. Listening to my vulnerability is what gave me the strength to point myself in the right direction.