I recently picked up Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Oh great, another Brene Brown fanatic…” and you’re right. After hearing her speak several months ago at Willow Creek’s Global Leadership Summit, I was fascinated by her ability to explore and communicate the deep and complicated connection between hard facts and human emotions.
Brene’s life work is to research shame and vulnerability and how they affect human behavior.
Sounds fun right?
Many of us have no idea that we deal with these emotions every single day. They affect how we think about ourselves, how we treat others, and how we perform in the workplace.
In her book, Brene explains it this way “Shame can only rise so far in any system before people disengage to protect themselves. When we’re disengaged, we don’t show up, we don’t contribute and we stop caring.”
I think everyone can relate to this. For me, it has been a long road in self-discovery and reflection to recognize just how much the fear of failure has held me back from being my true authentic self. Fear of not fitting perfectly inside the empty box society defines as success, fear of being too different, fear of not being different enough, fear of letting my boss down, fear of letting my family down, fear of not accomplishing my goals, fear of not making a difference. If we open the door an inch to fear, it will push it's way inside and completely ruin the party. A good friend of mine once said, "Fear drives, love leads."
And where there is love, there is no fear.
People who live wholeheartedly are courageous enough to let their authentic selves be seen at the risk of being hurt or rejected. Or as Brene says, “They are willing to let go of who they think they should be, to be who they really are.”
If we want to live wholeheartedly, we must be willing to drop the façade, let ourselves be seen and know that no matter what the outcome…