Living wholeheartedly happens when we engage in life from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, “No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.” It’s going to bed at night thinking, “Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging. ~Brené Brown
Brené Brown is considered one of the biggest ‘thought leaders‘ of the modern era. Wife, mother, author, teacher and speaker, she has done extensive research into what it means to live a wholehearted life. She has discovered that there is ‘no amount of success, money, power or influence that buys you a free ride‘ in dealing with personal vulnerability and shame.
Through her studies, she has discovered that shame and vulnerability keep many people from living authentically. Instead, we work to become who we believe others want us to be rather than being our true selves. When we don’t live up to certain standards put upon us by society, we feel ashamed and lesser than.
We are also not allowed to be vulnerable. Saying no if you don’t want to do something, asking for help, standing up for yourself are all instances where we place ourselves in a place of vulnerability. Being vulnerable is frowned upon and the more we are ashamed of who we are and how we don’t live up to who we should be, the less likely we are to allow ourselves to open up in this way.
Yet according to Brown, “vulnerability is the birthplace of connection and the path to the feeling of worthiness.” It allows us to get back to the heart of who we are, be true to ourselves and not accept the shame that is put upon us by the media, advertisers and anyone who tries to use this tactic to manipulate and change us.
Below are Brené’s ten guideposts to living a life full of authenticity.
10 Ways to Live a Wholehearted Life
- Cultivate authenticity
~Let go of what other people think. Be true to who YOU are.
- Cultivate self-compassion
~Let go of the idea that we have to be perfect.
- Nurture a resilient spirit
~Let go of the need to numb our emotions and our feelings of powerlessness.
- Be grateful and joyous
~Embrace feelings of abundance and let go of scarcity and fear.
- Have faith in your intuition
~Let go of the need to be certain.
- Cultivate creativity
~Let go of the need to compare ourselves with others.
- Allow time for play and rest
~Let go of being exhausted as a status symbol and productivity as an indicator of self worth.
- Embrace calm and stillness
~Getting rid of anxiety as a lifestyle.
- Cultivating meaningful work
~Let go of self-doubt and what we’re ‘supposed to’ do and be.
- Laugh, dance and sing
~Forget trying to be cool and in control. Enjoy life to the fullest.
We are hardwired mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically for connection. To be connected to others, we first need to be connected to ourselves and living life wholeheartedly is the best place to begin this journey.