What does people who feel worthy have in common? according to Brené Brown.

What does people who feel worthy have in common?

Being vulnerable about vulnerability: Q&A with Brené Brown

What makes people feel worthy? and what does people who feel worthy have in common?

Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, 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. A talk to share.

Know this:

“Love and belonging, your worthiness, is a birthright and not something you have to earn, anything is possible.”

“If you don’t understand shame and you don’t have some shame resilience and awareness, then you cannot be vulnerable.” ( They are interlinked.)

“I think the reason I’m still standing is not that the word got out there that I was vulnerable, but I’m still standing because I understand shame. I was very careful not to attach my worthiness to how well that talk did, because when you do that, then those comments are devastating.” ( Nasty negative comments on her work and on Brené Brown’s appearance).

In other words, we can’t know things like love and belonging and creativity and joy without vulnerability, but in this culture of reflexive cynicism you better also really have an understanding of shame if you’re going to put yourself out there.  ( On social media and wanting to become Big- become and expert) 

Furthermore how are you self sabotaging you? (know yourself – by inner reflection)

“One of the things that I’ve learned, that I didn’t know before that [TEDxHouston] talk exploded, is how hard I’d been working to keep my career small.  And that was a little bit heartbreaking for me because I usually thought of myself as being pissed off because I couldn’t get my work out there enough. But really I think I was engineering that because I was afraid of these things that actually happened, like the personal attacks.”

“When you lose your capacity to care what other people think, you’ve lost your ability to connect. But when you’re defined by it, you’ve lost your ability to be vulnerable. That tightrope is what my talk is about, and I think that the balance bar we carry is shame resilience.”

And what about the bullies? 

“I want to be able to say I contributed more than I criticized. So they’ve taught me that I’m still standing.”

So, what’s your Big question now?

“Are people engaged? Are people engaged parents, engaged employees, engaged leaders? And I don’t think engagement can happen without vulnerability, and I definitely don’t think it can happen in the midst of shame. If you think to deal with issues like worthiness and authenticity and vulnerability are not worthwhile because there are more pressing issues, like the bottom line or attendance or standardized test scores, you are sadly, sadly mistaken. It underpins everything.”

Hence, human potential when people are willing to be brave and vulnerable is the base off all. 

So what does people who feel worthy have in common? The raw willingness to be vulnerable and expect/ take for granted, to be loved and that they belong. The sense of oneness and love.

In other words it’s thanks to the willingness of the people who are brave and vulnerable, to show that we all have this capacity; it’s a bravery conference. There’s no one who’s up there, including myself, who hasn’t failed.

What advice would you give to someone who feels like they are not [blank] enough to go about living more authentically and vulnerably?

“Well, the idea of “I’m never enough” — beautiful enough, successful enough, thin enough, popular enough, loved enough, worthy enough — that’s shame and scarcity, and I’ve seen people overcome that every single day”

Therefore “-you have to understand where the message comes from, what drove it, how has it protected you in the past, and are you willing to look it in the eye and say, “Thanks, I appreciate it, but I’m not subscribing anymore.  I’ve got a new way of doing things, and maybe you kept me safe and small in the past, but I’m not doing that.”

At the same time, “children – they’re never going to treat themselves better than you treat yourself.”

“If you want to raise a daughter with a really healthy body image, you better love your body like a mother, because that counts way more than looking at your daughter and saying “You’re beautiful and your body is beautiful.” All that matters to her is how she sees you acting with your own body. Which sucks. We can’t give children what we don’t have. We just have to be the adults we hope they grow up to be.”

The TED Talk.

In short connections are why we are here. The ability to feel connected. (To feel Oneness and share Oneness- ) Connections-  is biologically how we are wired. That’s why we are here. Its whats gives meaning and worth to our lives.

“When you tell people about love they tell you about heartbreak, When you tell people about belonging, they tell you about the feeling of being excluded. About connection they give you disconnection”

Shame is the fear of disconnection

In brief, If people see me as I’m would I then not be worthy of connection? 

We all have shame and we feel this.

Ultimately, what underpins the shame– “this I’m not good enough,”  I’m not [blank] slim enough, clever enough, pretty enough, smart enough, successful enough etc, is excruciating vulnerability.

  • In order of connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be seen, really seen, as we really are = Excruciating Vulnerability.
  • People who have a strong sense of love and belonging: believe they are worthy of love and belonging. They believe they are worthy.

And people who struggle with worthiness didn’t think they were worthy of love and belonging.

Subsequently, the fear that we feel that we are not worthy of connections keeps us outside connections. 

Conclusion: People who lived with worthiness, felt that they are worthy of love and belonging,

What did these people have in common?

The ‘wholehearted people’ have in common:

1. A sense of courage = To tell the story with your whole heart.

  • The courage to be imperfect.
  • The compassion to be kind to themself and then to others.
  • To be kind to others and love others, you need to feel compassion and love to yourself first.
  • They have connection, as a result of authenticity.
  • They were willing to let go of who they thought they should be in order to be who they were, for connections.

2. They fully embraced vulnerability.

  • They believed that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful.
  • The people who felt vulnerability didn’t feel comfortable, nor excruciating- shame has that feeling to it, worthiness Not.

All in all, it’s just necessary to be vulnerable.

  • The willingness to take the 1st step, to show love and vulnerability first, where there are no guarantees to reciprocal.
  • The willingness to investing in something that might not work out, to have the patience to wait, to have faith, is fundamental.

Vulnerability is the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness. And the birthplace of joy and creativity, belonging and love.

Why do we struggle with vulnerability? and how do we cope with it?

So, we numb it.

“How would you define vulnerability? What makes you feel vulnerable?

We live in a vulnerable world. And we deal with it by numbing vulnerability.


We are 

  • In Debt
  • Obese
  • Addicted
  • Medicated

You can’t selectively numb one emotion.

  • Vulnerability.
  • Shame.
  • Grief.
  • Fear.
  • Disappointment.

I don’t want to feel these!

  • I’m going to have a coffee and banana muffins.

You can’t numb those feelings without numbing the other feelings, the other affects, our emotions. 

To clarify, if you numb one you numb the other.

If you numb vulnerability, etc, you numb joy, gratitude, happiness. love, and then we are miserable.

We are looking for purpose and meaning, and then we feel vulnerable and we have some muffins or sweets or win or anything that numbs the feeling of vulnerability.

And it becomes a dangerous circle.

How and why we numb.

We make everything uncertain certain, like religion from faith and mystery to certainty. 

  • I’m right you’re wrong.
  • That’s it.
  • Just certain.

The more afraid we are, the more vulnerable we are the more we blame. It’s a way to discharge pain and discomfort. ( you ‘can’t do it’ (you think you can’t) so you blame your husband, kids, co-workers for their perceived shortcomings, to make you feel better) 

We then start to perfect.

To our children: 

You are wired for struggle and imperfection but you are worthy of love and belonging.

We pretend that what we do don’t have a huge impact on other people, ( but if we all are one, we all feel it as one) just be authentic and real and say sorry, we will fix it. 

The answer;

To let ourself be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen, to love with our whole hearts, even though there’s no guarantee, that’s hard, to practise gratitude and joy in those moments of despair and sadness, in those moments of doubts, can I love you this much? Can I believe in this passionately? Can I be this fierce about this? 

Instead of catastrophizing on what’s happening, or might happen, to say and think: I’m just so grateful because to feel this vulnerable means I’m alive.

To believe that we are enough.

Because that when we come from and work from a place, I believe, that says “I’m enough, we stop screaming and start listening, we are kinder and gentler with the people around us, and we are kinder and gentler to ourselves. 

If you like to read the full Q&A with Brené Brown, TED talk here is the link.

If you like to listen to the TED talk with Brené Brown here is the link.


“Shame is an unspoken epidemic, the secret behind many forms of broken behavior. Brené Brown, whose earlier talk on vulnerability became a viral hit, explores what can happen when people confront their shame head-on. Her own humor, humanity and vulnerability shine through every word.”

Link here to the Shame Video

And as always,


Let’s not be average- lets chose to be extraordinary!

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