Day 18: TED Video Brené Brown: Listening to Shame
August 8, 2012 2 Comments
“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the BRAVEST thing we will ever do” Brené Brown, from The Gifts of Imperfection
Shame, everybody has it, no one wants to talk about it. Perhaps that is because if we name it, it can’t exist, or many of us don’t know how to engage in the discourse because we never saw the dialogue modeled in our own family systems.
But the consequences of not having the conversation neglect our opportunities for healthier living and leadership. I’m not suggesting that we all pull out our chairs for full-blown kumbayah sessions in professional settings, but rather that we take some time to understand its dynamics. If a negative emotion such as shame inspires us to do something different, that means we take emotional risk, which takes courage. Wouldn’t it make sense that part of being authentic leaders mean we acknowledge our own fallibility and show compassion when we observe it in others? What would the effect be if we had more conversations about times we witnessed someone share stories about overcoming shame? It seems to me that it could be a tool with the power to teach some mighty potent lessons.
I will never forget the knot in my stomach the first time I went to hit the publish button on a blog post that made me so transparent I almost didn’t listen to my gut. But in the midst of my own uncertainty, I chose to do it because like you, we all have stories to tell and when we give, we get.
Our experiences about adversity have the power to plants seeds of courage and hope. Because I chose to hit that submission button, the person who inspired the story thanked me and shared no one had ever acknowledged her experience in that manner. She had no idea what she endured could have been thought of in such a dignified way. Now that was a GIFT.
As Brené Brown demonstrates brilliantly in the TED video below, compassion is the antidote or shame. It’s a powerful message. What do you think about it? Please share your thoughts below.
Three things I am grateful for today:
- Those who have had the fortitude to be vulnerable and share their stories so I could learn more about myself
- Brené’s message that vulnerability is not weakness, it is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change and that it is the most accurate measurement of courage
- Her statement that empathy and compassion are the antidote to shame