Brene studies vulnerability, courage, authenticity and shame. She is a phenomenal ‘research story teller’ (quantitative researcher). An intellectual humanitarian.
I relate to her story with my struggle to fully embrace Twitter, revealing my true self in a public forum. Letting people see my grammar is not perfect and that I often omit words or rehash a sentence without rechecking the final result for readability.
Below are notes I took from her Ted talk:
Stories are data with a soul.
Connection is why we are here – it is what gives us purpose in life. Neurobiologically, it’s how we’re wired.
Shame unravels connection. Shame – the fear of disconnection. Is there something about me that if other people know it or see it, that I won’t be worthy of connection.
Shame is universal, we all have it, the only people who don’t experience shame have no capacity for human empathy or human connection. No one wants to talk about it and the less you talk about it, the more you have it.
In order for connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be seen, really seen.
Some people have a strong sense of love and belonging. Other people struggle for it.
Only one variable that separated the two: those who have it, believe they are worthy of it. Whole hearted people living from this deep sense of worthiness.
What whole hearted people had in common was a sense of courage, compassion and connection.
- Courage to be imperfect.
- Compassion to be kind to themselves first then to others.
- Connection – as a result of authenticity, you have to be yourself for connection. Willing to let go of who they thought they should be to be who they really are.
They fully embraced vulnerability. They believed what made them vulnerable made them beautiful. Willingness to do something where there are no guarantees. Vulnerability is necessary. Fundamental.
The way the whole hearted live:
Vulnerability – core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness. However it’s also the birth place of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love.
We live in a vulnerable world.
We numb vulnerability – we are the most in debt, obese, addicted and medicated adult cohort in US history.
Problem is, you cannot selectively numb emotion – vulnerability, shame, grief, fear, disappointment without numbering other affects or emotions, joy gratitude, happiness. Then we are miserable.
Think about why and how we numb:
- We make the uncertain certain eg religion
- Blame – a way to discharge pain and discomfort.
- We perfect – but it doesn’t work.
We should say to our kids, “You’re imperfect, your wired for struggle but you are worthy of love and belonging”.
We pretend that what we do doesn’t affect people.
Be authentic and real.
To let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerability seen.
To love with our whole hearts even though there is no guarantee.
To practise gratitude and joy.
To feel this vulnerable means I’m alive.
To believe ‘I am enough’ .We stop screaming and start listening. We’re kinder and gentler to the people around us and to ourselves.