Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past ten years studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. Brené spent the first five years of her decade-long study focusing on shame and empathy, and is now using that work to explore a concept that she calls Wholeheartedness. She poses the questions:
“How do we learn to embrace our vulnerabilities and imperfections so that we can engage in our lives from a place of worthiness? How do we cultivate the courage, connection, and shame resilience that we need to recognize that we are enough – that we are worthy of love, belonging, and joy?”
Lifelong struggle for soooo many of us, right? Maybe even THE fundamental struggle. Brown has undertaken no small task in the academic exploration of this matter. It must be quite tricky to merge the quantifiable world of the sciences with investigations of the soul, but Brown has done so in an eloquent and universally comprehensible manner. She’s got a book coming out in September 2012, entitled Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead.
In the meantime, her (TED)talk in this video provides some insight into the questions above. 20 minutes very well-spent: