Sunday, April 28, 2013
I really connected to this chapter on the ways we attempt to protect ourselves from vulnerability. Brene identifies three forms of shielding that she found most commonly in her research. They are:
- Foreboding Joy- the sense that something terrible must be about to happen when we experience something that brings us joy, as experiencing joy can be incredibly vulnerable.
- Perfectionism- the belief that if we do things perfectly and look perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgment, and shame. It is about trying to earn approval, and is correlated with depression, anxiety, and addiction.
- Numbing- the intense desire to escape from the experiences of shame, anxiety and disconnection with distractions (including food, drugs, alcohol, shopping, busy-ness, etc).
Her Daring Greatly Strategies for transforming these shielding tendencies are:
- Practicing Gratitude- this involves actually having a practice, not just an ‘attitude of gratitude’ (barf.)
If the opposite of scarcity is enough, then practicing gratitude is how we acknowledge that there’s enough and that we’re enough.
- Appreciating the Beauty of Cracks- can we accept our imperfections and talk to ourselves the way we would talk to a good friend? Can we be kind to ourselves and allow room for imperfections, while still saying to ourselves, “I am enough.”?
Perfection is the enemy of done. Good enough is really effin’ good.
- Setting Boundaries, Finding True Comfort, and Cultivating Spirit- staying mindful of what we can and cannot do, “leaning into” the difficult emotions, and recognizing our worth.
It’s not what you; it’s why you do it that makes the difference.
I love these practices. They are so life-giving and freeing!
A note on oversharing: I found Brene’s insight on oversharing as a means to protect from vulnerability super enlightening. As someone who values transparency and authenticity, I appreciated her words about the importance of “being mindful of what, why, and how we share” as to not use our stories as a way of meeting an unmet need. For me, this applies in both a therapeutic setting and my personal life. What an important reminder about the importance of having those one or two relationships where we can process our experiences to gain clarity and resilience.
Questions for Reflection:
- Do you have a gratitude practice? A journal, gratitude jar, photos, other ritual?
- How do you allow yourself space for imperfection? Do you have mantras that help?
- How do you practice healthy boundaries? Do you allow yourself to feel your feelings? How does it impact your life and relationships?