Today, we’ll close our week of study on the relationship between vulnerability and courage with Brene Brown.
Next week, we’ll dive into Jonathan Fields’s latest work, Uncertainty. It’s about the specific tools we can use to turn our fear and doubt into fuel for brilliance. Look below for a great interview about how the two work together.
Hopefully, our week with Brene helped us to find the bridge to our authentic selves and gather up the courage to approach it. Now, Jonathan’s research will show us how to take those first steps and then keep walking.
Til next week,
One Final Question
One final question remains, and I hear it a lot. “Where is the line between pleasure or comfort and numbing?” In response, author Jennifer Louden has named our numbing devices “shadow comforts.” When we’re anxious, disconnected, vulnerable, alone, and feeling helpless, the booze and food and work and endless hours online feel like comfort, but in reality they’re only casting their long shadows over our lives.
Louden writes, “Shadow comforts can take any form. It’s not what you do; it’s why you do it that makes the difference. You can eat a piece of chocolate as a holy wafer of sweetness – a real comfort – or you can cram an entire chocolate bar into your mouth without even tasting it in a frantic effort to soothe yourself – a shadow comfort. You can chat on message boards for a half an hour and be energized by the community and ready to go back to work, or you can chat on message boards because you’re avoiding talking to your partner about how angry he or she made you last night.”
I found that what emerged from the data was exactly what Louden points out: “It’s not what you do; it’s why you do it that makes the difference. There aren’t any checklists or norms to help you identify shadow comforts or other destructive numbing behavior. This requires self-examination and reflection.”
“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”
– Brene Brown
Today, I will practice taking off my “mask” so that I may dare greatly.
The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.