Do we live authentically? Do we show people who we genuinely are? Or does shame consume us and not allow our true selves to come out?
Brene Brown immersed herself into the research of shame. Shame is the “swampland of the soul” – the voice that always says to us, “Uh-uh… You’re not good enough.” Unlike guilt that says, “I did something bad,” shame says “I am bad.” We don’t make mistakes. We are the mistake.
In the course of her interviews and research, she came to a shocking revelation. The people who do have a strong sense of belonging believe they are worthy. They carry these characteristics:
- Courage – They believe who they are with their whole heart.
- Compassion – They are kind first to themselves, so they can be kind to others.
- Connection – They connect as a result of authenticity.
- Vulnerability – They fully embrace it. They believe what makes them vulnerable makes them beautiful.
This conclusion brought Brene to a perplexing standstill in her research. While she knew vulnerability is the core of shame, fear, and a struggle for worthiness, her eyes were opened to see it is also a birthplace of joy, creativity, belonging, and love.
Four tidbits of advice she now offers are:
- Let ourselves be seen.
- Love with our whole hearts.
- Practice gratitude. Lean into joy.
- Believe we are enough.