There are so many reasons for each of us to be living with a certain amount of shame in various areas of our lives expressing itself in different ways, and that's unfortunate. Unfortunate because shame is what keeps us from living life to it's fullest, shame keeps us from connecting as deeply as we might without it. Shame tells us to hide certain aspects of our lives from the rest of the world and then transforms into ugly and undesirable things. Brene Brown has given many talks and written several books and articles on only a few topics including: shame, vulnerability, empathy, daring greatly and rising strong. She is a social worker and researcher who has studied these topics for more than 10 years. During her research she compiled a list of attributes that the wholehearted live by versus those who do not.
Guide for Wholehearted Living By Brene Brown
1. Cultivating authenticity: Letting go of what people think.
2. Cultivating self-compassion: Letting go of perfectionism.
3. Cultivating a resilient spirit: Letting go of numbing and powerlessness.
4. Cultivating gratitude and joy: Letting go of scarcity and fear of the dark.
5. Cultivating intuition and trusting faith: Letting go of the need for certainty.
6. Cultivating creativity: Letting go of comparison.
7. Cultivating play and rest: Letting go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth.
8. Cultivating calm and stillness: Letting go of anxiety as a lifestyle.
Brene claims that when she put these things on paper she was able to see that she was not living a wholehearted life. She was loved control. She was not vulnerable, she withheld much of her creativity and felt pressure to be better or perfect. It was a life changing experience for her and when she let all of that go, she experienced some extremely difficult emotional challenges but came out on the other side, happier, more connected and with a huge amount of influence on the world. Her talks have been seen and heard by millions and her books are all New York Times best sellers.
Try it for yourself. I've said it many times in my videos and articles that self awareness is difficult to obtain. It took Brene years to discover some of these attributes in herself and she works in the field, so don't just read the list and say you're good at most of them. Think about it, talk with loved ones about it and identify the ways you use shame as a shield. Then "dare greatly" and go live with passion and wholeheartedness.