I love Brené Brown’s brilliant approach to living bravely by exploring true belonging in her recent book, Braving the Wilderness.
“True belonging is not passive. It’s not the belonging that comes with just joining a group. It’s not fitting in or pretending or selling out because it’s safer. It’s a practice that requires us to be vulnerable, get uncomfortable and learn how to be present with people — without sacrificing who we are. We want true belonging, but it takes tremendous courage to knowingly walk into hard moments.”
So I ask myself: How can I courageously take risks to speak what I know to be true for me, while staying grounded in wide open respect and honour, even when it’s different from everyone else’s? Can I hold myself in deep worthiness and present my true self, with all of my imperfections, to the world? Can I be authentic and let go of fear? Over and over again.
It’s this nuanced ability to find belonging when you stand alone and yet to be connected with others. Fully. In my heart.
I have people in my life who speak the truth to me. I appreciate them and it’s hard. When I am trying too hard and taking on too much, they tell me. Sometimes I have to fall first, but they still love me through it and pick me up. Even when I’m bruised and sad and feeling self critical.
BRAVING helps me to feel more connected and less alone on this journey to being brave and less fearful.
Here is a summary of the seven elements of the anatomy of trust that Brené has developed using the acronym of BRAVING:
Boundaries: Be clear about your own boundaries, hold steady with them, and honour others. Let go of being liked and the fear of disappointing others. Oy. That’s a tough one for me.
Reliability: Do what you said you were going to do, over and over again. Avoid over committing and over promising. Know your limits. Even when I think it’s okay to overdo. Do less. Follow through.
Accountability: I trust you to own and make amends for mistakes, and offer me the same grace. No shame, no blame. Full and 100% responsibility for my life.
Vault: Hold things in confidence and avoid talking about others, especially to impress. Avoid the “near enemy of intimacy” by using conversation about others to “hotwire” a connection with others.
Integrity: Choose courage over comfort, be clear & practice your values and stay with them, being aware of your vulnerabilities or patterns. Choosing what’s right over what is fun, fast and easy.
Non-judgment: We both need to ask for help, and it needs to be reciprocal, otherwise it’s a weird one way, old fashioned liberal idea: “I’m helping you” like I know better what you need that you do.
Generosity: We build trust together when you assume the most generous thing about my words and behaviours, even when I make a mistake. I love this one, generosity of spirit and words.
I’d love to know what you think about Brené’s ideas and tools to become braver and speak your truth in a way that invites vulnerability and love…send me an email at email@example.com
Check out her video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9FopgKyAfI
Susan Young, M.Ad.Ed., IPC, RSSW, is a certified Life Coach, Mindfulness Facilitator and registered Yoga Teacher in private practice in Kingston. She teaches Soothe Your Stress Yoga and Mindfulness at Janati Yoga School.