Shame (and guilt) seem to be the two emotions that I’ve seen get more people stuck in their progress in therapy than any other emotions. I think they are the two emotions that are the most difficult to work through and the most excruciating when we allow them to stay in our heart. I set off to find more information on how to help clients break through this feeling of being “stuck.” I recently was given links to Brene Brown’s TED Talks on her research on shame. Her work is powerful–I hope you’ll take the time to watch.

Here are her TED talks on Shame and Vulnerability.


What she found in her research was that people were able to feel connected, feel love and belonging, when, and only when they were able to practice true vulnerability and be their true, authentic self. She described people that were able to do this as people who she called, “Whole-Hearted” people. She points out that these people don’t describe vulnerability as good nor bad, not being comfortable but also not excruciating.

The other part–the most important piece–is that in order to be one of these people. All one has to do is believe they are worthy of love and belonging. And so that is where our work begins! That is where I want to meet my clients–helping them develop a sense of worthiness. You are worthy of love and belonging just because you are you. You are imperfect AND you are worthy.

So let’s embrace vulnerability as Brene tells us that vulnerability is the birth place of our joy, love, belonging, and our worthiness. The work is uncomfortable but the rewards will outweigh the difficult progress. So I encourage you to “lean into the discomfort” and embrace vulnerability to find your worthiness.

2 thoughts on “Vulnerability

    • That’s a great question. I bet for some it’s just the simple part of habits being hard to break. Our brains get wired to do things a certain way and we have to really work hard to change those tracks. For others I bet there are other barriers at play whether it’s a lack of support group, other things to worry about (basic needs, etc.), or even trauma to overcome. I’m sure there are many other reasons too. I also think practicing this is a daily commitment… hourly commitment even! We get so many chances so as long as we don’t judge ourselves when we fail we can get right back at it and try again at the next opportunity.


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