If you’re in any way self-help inclined, then you probably know the name Brené Brown.

A vulnerability researcher at the University of Houston, she rocked the world stage in 2010 with her insights into shame, courage, and connection.

No matter how many times I’ve listened to her talk, it’s worth listening to again, for one main reason:

You are not alone.

She describes: “There was only one variable that separated the people who have a strong sense of love and belonging and the people who really struggle for it. And that was, the people who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe they’re worthy of love and belonging. That’s it. They believe they’re worthy.”

The problem seems to be that many of us – if not all of us at one point – doubt that we are.

We wonder if we’re good enough, smart enough, or pretty enough. If we’ve worked hard enough and somehow proven to the giant score keeper in the ether that it’s okay to give us a bit of our due now.

I’m no stranger to this struggle.

Over the past ten, maybe even 20-years, I’ve been a chronic turner-downer. Help, support, love – if I didn’t “earn” it or couldn’t reciprocate in exact the same amount or more, I said no thanks and turned it down.

Which is a great way to overwhelm and isolate yourself. Not exactly a recipe for lasting happiness.

Because as Brené Brown says, happiness comes from connection:It’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives. [Connection] is what it’s all about.”

Yet, if you’re like me, connection is scary.

Opening to another – resting however gently in their proverbial arms – can be terrifying. Because when you do, you’re no longer in control. In other words, you risk being hurt.

Watch Brené Brown’s full TedxHouston talk for more insights and research on this basic human paradox:

If you’d like to read the transcript, you can find the video on the Ted site HERE.


I’d love to hear your thoughts! What part of her talk struck you the most? Leave your comment below!