B is for Brené Brown: Wholeheartedness

Brené Brown is a researcher who reached a wide audience with her famous TED talk on vulnerability.

Since then she has written about concepts such as wholeheartedness. In the video above she gives an introduction to her book Daring Greatly.

After spending much of her career studying shame and vulnerability, Brené moved on and asked:

“What are the qualities demonstrated by people who live wholeheartedly?”

Such people are prepared to be real and live with their imperfections. They focus on joy and gratitude.

They embrace the concept of abundance and love to give to others. They give themselves to life and are prepared to live with uncertainty.

Daring Greatly

Building on her research, Brené outlines the following principles that people may wish to follow in their own ways. You can find these in her book.

10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living

Cultivating Authenticity: Letting Go of What People Think

Cultivating SelfCompassion: Letting Go of Perfectionism

Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness

Cultivating Gratitude and Joy: Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark

Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith: Letting Go of the Need for Certainty

Cultivating Creativity: Letting Go of Comparison

Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as SelfWorth

Cultivating Calm and Stillness: Letting Go of Anxiety as a Lifestyle

Cultivating Meaningful Work: Letting Go of SelfDoubt and “Supposed To”

Cultivating Laughter, Song, and Dance: Letting Go of Being Cool and “Always in Control”

In the following video Brené talks with Jonathan Fields, founder of The Good Life Project. She describes the development of her work on shame, vulnerability and wholeheartedness.

Brené believes that people often grow from worthwhile struggles. In the following video she talks about hope.

She mentions the work of Ricky Snyder. He focused on two themes that could increase people’s sense of hope. They could develop their:

Will Power – Their will to shape their future.

Way Power – Their ability to see ways to shape their future. 

Brené has also written extensively about the role that parents can play in helping children to develop wholeheartedness.

Talking with Oprah Winfrey, she described her suggestion for a Parent’s Manifesto. This outlines some of the messages that parents may wish to give their children.


You can discover more about Brené’s work at her web site.


Finally, here is her original TED talk.

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