Further to Brené Brown‘s exploration of vulnerability, as with many theories I was left wondering how her theory could be applied in everyday life. I wanted the 18 minute how-to video. But I know that this next video is one we each shoot for ourselves.
So what’s mine look like?
As a first step, I distilled her theory down to its essence (as I saw it through my lens). (It’s best to ensure you’ve watched the video to flesh out this summary).
- Desire for connection: that’s why we are here
- We’re taught if we can’t measure something, it doesn’t exist, invalidating intangibles
- The shame we experience is based in fear of disconnection: that we’re never good enough; “Who do you think you are?”
To try and avoid shame:
- We blame others, bad luck, fate, etc.: this a way to discharge pain and discomfort
- We numb out vulnerability: (but we cannot be selective about emotions, so we numb joy, gratitude, happiness)
- We try to make everything that is uncertain, certain
- We strive for perfection, and we try to make our children perfect
- We pretend that what we do doesn’t have an impact
Of course these strategies actually result in disconnection. To connect, we have to allow ourselves to be seen, to be vulnerable. Those people willing to do so Brown calls, “wholehearted,” asserting that these people feel worthwhile solely because they believe they are worthwhile.
So these wholehearted people who believe they are worthy, and as a result they feel worthy:
- Have courage; they tell the story of who they are with their whole heart: they have the courage to be imperfect
- Let themselves be seen, love with their whole hearts even though there is no guarantee of return, practice gratitude and joy, believe that they’re enough
- Recognize that connection is a result of authenticity; they let go of who they think they should be, to be who they are
- Have compassion: they are kind to themselves first, only then can they be kind to others
- Are willing to take emotional risks, are vulnerable, they let go of controlling
- Teach their children that they are worthy
As a next step, I created affirmations for the key points:
- I am worthy
- I tell the story of who I am with my whole heart
- I have the courage to be seen as imperfect
- I let myself be seen
- I love with my whole heart
- I am grateful
- I practice joy
- I am enough
- I let go of who I think I should be, to be who I am
- I am compassionate to myself
- I am compassionate to others
- I am willing to be vulnerable
- I let go of controlling
- I teach my children that they are worthy
To these I add some other affirmations that are meaningful to me.
Finally, as I go through my day, when I catch myself blaming, resenting, ruminating, shaming, etc., I stop myself, and see which of these affirmations come up for me.