Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk at TEDxHouston, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity.
Great quote : “Maybe stories are just data with a soul”
Brene is an inspiring and sincere speaker, you can hear that each word comes from her heart without reserve. She does this because she is primarily a scholar. She likes to give order to things and that is why she chose her profession as a researcher.
Her framework begins with social connection. She believes that human beings are ultimately driven by our need for social belonging and acceptance. She chose this area to research and stumbled upon a specific emotion that unravels social connection.
Shame & Fear.
The fear of disconnection : Is there something about me that will cause others to disassociate me from themselves?
Brene theorizes that the underpinning issue was vulnerability. She thought that she could champion a movement to oppose or reject vulnerability and after six years of research, even wrote a book on her theories. However she felt that something was not right.
From her research she found that those that has a strong sense of love and belonging simply believed that they were worthy. From this she wanted to do more research on why these people were so secure in themselves. She found that they had this in common : Courage.
Courage : came from the word Kuhr (which means heart) and the original definition meant – to tell your story with your whole heart.
That sense of feeling worthy to be loved, came from courage to be imperfect, they had the compassion to be kind to Themselves first and then to others.
The great lesson in Brene’s research that stumped even a professional like her, is that people whom had a stronger sense of self-worth only had one real difference in their thinking: They were willing to let go of the person they thought they should be, and embrace the person that they are.
They fully embraced vulnerability. They believed that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful. It is about the willingness to say “i love you first”, they are willing to put themselves out there for others to accept them or reject them but always in the knowledge that it is fine because they are flawed and therefore it is okay.
Brene initially had a breakdown trying to understand this, because that meant you had to give up control. It also meant that what she thought was the enemy was actually the cure. You can hear her having lots of “em…” and “ahh..s” during this portion because she is practicing what she preaches.
She ends with the point that our society is now trying to numb the part of us that feels vulnerability. However this is also the birthplace of love, kindness, compassion, understanding and connection. We use alcohol, food, and bad habits to fill that hole but the fact is, that hole is meant to be there, like our own mouths, the more you stuff into it, the more harm you’re doing to yourself.
The cure :
To allow your inner-self to truly be seen.
To love wholeheartedly even though there is no guarantee that your love will be returned or even appreciated.
To practice gratitude for being able to be alive and feel at all.
Finally, it is to BELIEVE I AM ENOUGH