I get so revved up when I read Brene Brown, I want to shout her words from the rooftops. Here are some amazing quotes I read today in her latest book, “Daring Greatly.”
“The participants who struggled the most with numbing, Group A, explained that reducing anxiety meant finding ways to numb it, not changing the thinking, behaviors, or emotions that created the anxiety.” I hated every minute of this part of the research. I’ve always looked for better ways to manage my exhaustion and anxiety. I wanted help “living like this,” not suggestions on how to “stop living like this.” My struggle mirrored the struggle that I heard from the folks who talked the most about numbing. The smaller group, group B–the participants who addressed anxiety at the root by aligning their lives with the their values and setting boundaries–fell on the Wholehearted continuum.
When we asked that group about the process of setting boundaries and limits to lower the anxiety in their lives, they didn’t hesitate to connect worthiness with boundaries. We have to believe we are enough in order to say, “Enough!” For women, setting boundaries is difficult because the shame gremlins are quick to weigh in: “Careful saying no. You’ll really disappoint these folks. Don’t let them down. Be a good girl. Make everyone happy.” For men, the gremlins whisper, “Man up. A real guy could take this on and then some. Is the little mama’s boy just to tired?”
Connection is the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement.
Belonging is the innate human desire to be part of something larger than us. Because this yearning is so primal, we often try to acquire it by fitting in and by seeking approval, which are not only hollow substitutes for belonging, but often barriers to it. Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self acceptance.
These definitions are crucial to understanding how we become disconnected in our lives and how to change. Living a connected life ultimately is about setting boundaries, spending less time and energy hustling and winning over people who don’t matter, and seeing the value of working on cultivating connection with family and close friends.
Before I undertook this research, my question was “What’s the quickest way to make these feelings go away?” Today my question is “What are these feelings and where did they come from?”