Brené Brown on Wholehearted Living

A friend passed this video on to me, and I’m so glad she did. In it, Brené Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, talks about the importance of “wholehearted living,” and how shame and fear can keep us from living authentically.

I wanted to share this with you, because it ties in so beautifully with my own work.

If you’ve ever wished that your work and your life were more authentic expressions of who you are, this video should resonate with you.

“Wholehearted living” is about opening up to life. According to Brené, wholehearted people have:

  • a strong sense of worthiness and belonging
  • the courage to be imperfect
  • compassion for themselves as well as others
  • the ability to connect deeply with others, which requires being authentic and real
  • vulnerability, an openness to what life offers without expecting a guarantee

How to live wholeheartedly

I know for me, living and working from the inside out is a constant work in progress. I found myself inspired by Brené’s tips for living more wholeheartedly:

  • Let go… of the need to be perfect, the need for certainty, the need to control (whether it’s outcomes, other people, or our own emotions).
  • Stop pretending it doesn’t matter (whatever “it” is for you).
  • Give up comparing yourself with others, because there is no one else like you – your qualities and your quirks are what make you special. There is simply no need to try to fit in.
  • Allow yourself to be vulnerable – let others see who you are. Open up to life’s possibilities, to creativity and to love. And allow yourself to fully feel your emotions. Love with all your heart.
  • Learn to trust your own voice and embrace who you are. Take time to reconnect with yourself, find your unique voice, and discover your purpose.
  • And, finally, know that you’re “enough,” just as you are.

You can read more about wholehearted living on Brené Brown’s website,

Do you wish your life/work was an authentic expression of who you are at the deepest level? What can you do to open up, to be more vulnerable?

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