Being ‘Wholehearted’

I regularly get lost down a proverbial rabbit hole on the Internet. I start Googling a restaurant’s hours of operation and end up watching 40 dogs-running-in-their-sleep videos YouTube (meet Bizkit here), then ordering new glasses. Sometimes these ‘trips’ are expensive and sometimes they are incredibly valuable.

Today was the latter.

This TED Talk dates back to 2010 and you may have already seen it, but it’s one I’ve never come across before and is now my favorite.

The featured speaker Brené Brown is a researcher of human connection. What a fascinating thing to consider from a scientific perspective. Her whole video is included and you should watch every charming minute, but I just wanted to share what leaped out of it for me.

Her research path (not without blood, sweat and tears) led to this concept about human connection:

Vulnerability is the core of shame, fear and our struggle of worthiness, but it also appears to be the birthplace of joy, creativity, belonging and love.

The two ways people treat their vulnerability relate to whether or not they have a sense of worthiness. Those who believe they deserve to belong…well, they do. Our fear that we do not deserve connection is the one thing that keeps us from making connections. What a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Those without the sense of worthiness referred to their vulnerability as ‘excruciating’ and worked hard to suppress it through food, alcohol and the like.

The dilemma in trying to suppress feelings of vulnerability is that you can’t selectively numb emotions. With quieting your fears and shame, you lose your joy and gratitude. You lose your purpose.

On the other hand, she calls those who have the sense of worthiness the ‘wholehearted’ (I just love that!). They embrace their vulnerability as a beautiful and necessary attribute. They are courageous.

Courage is defined by its good ole Latin origin (in so many words): telling the story of who you are with your whole heart.

So what do we do with this besides emphatically nod our heads?
Have the courage to be your imperfect authentic self…as a brand, as a community and as a human being. You will find human connection there.