People with an Apple preference are known to be quick. Quick thinkers, quick in conversation, quick to action. So it would stand to reason that yoga would not be their first choice of exercise. Sure, there are many types of yoga, some which move at a faster and more dynamic pace, but for all yoga practice the intention is to find stillness of mind and flow.
Not always achievable. But when you do, when you find this stillness, this zone, many thoughts can bubble up into your consciousness, sometimes surprising or unwelcome matters that you’ve kept hidden way down deep.
This is the same in meditation. And this is where the Apple baulks. Because the last thing they want is to find themselves in a vulnerable state where they feel out of control.
We admire our Apples for so much. Their intellect, their critical thinking, their ability to take charge, to make quick decisions and make others feel safe. They are fearless in the face of change. We are often grateful when theses logical thinkers take control in times of crisis.
But because we are human, we have flaws. And for many Apples, the desire for control is so strong, the ability to be vulnerable is weak.
At work they will often create an artificial persona as a barrier. That way you can’t get close unless they want you to. They do not allow “weakness” to get in their way of a controlled, powerful and successful life.
And yet, in the modern workplace, we applaud vulnerability in other leaders. Brene Brown is the expert on this topic.
“We love seeing raw truth and openness in other people, but we are afraid to let them see it in us,” she writes. “Vulnerability is courage in you and inadequacy in me.”
Think about the things that make you feel vulnerable and you’ll get a knot in your stomach. Public speaking? Audience participation? Asking forgiveness? Admitting a costly mistake? Having a personal conversation?
For Apples, the fear is losing control and with it, the loss of power. If you see me, if I expose myself, you’ll see me with all my flaws and vulnerabilities.
If you have an Apple partner you may find they shy away from difficult emotional conversations. Instead they make a joke, laugh it off and quickly shift gears to avoid the major discomfort that comes with being exposed.
You may not hear, ‘I love you’ often, ‘I’m sorry, I was wrong’ (almost never) but they’ll show their love by building up money in the bank and keeping you safe.
The challenge is, in the essential qualities stakes, vulnerability is achieving cult status at the moment and many of us are feeling forced into something that doesn’t feel authentic.
Vulnerability is about authenticity, and context.
Starting team meetings with asking everyone to share their deepest fear. Nup.
Opening up to the board that you don’t like Olivia because she makes your skin crawl. Nope.
Oversharing about a personal problem on the weekend. Please don’t.
Authentic vulnerability requires a high degree of self awareness and the ability to read situations and people. So, why, as an Apple, should you bother? Why put yourself through this torturous task of becoming vulnerable?
Because when you find practice true vulnerability, you’ll see results in three areas.
1. You will increase your empathic ability, allowing yourself an insight into other’s feelings, which aids decisions around problem solving, motivation and encouragement.
2. Your personal relationship will be richer and closer because of the honesty. But not your usual beat them over the head honesty. Empathic, respectful honesty, where your partner is not the only one laying themselves bare.
3. Your own emotional and spiritual growth will help you be a better leader, partner, parent and human. With the right motivation, as you learn to recognise and share certain feelings you’ll invite loyalty, empathy, love and respect.
When we see someone with all the Apple qualities show vulnerability, either as a leader, or a lover, quietly congratulate them mentally on the massive courage it takes. Because this is someone who has recognised a limiting trait and chosen to work on being a better version of themselves.
Yoga not essential.
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