• Monique Jephcote

The Key to Wholehearted living - Brene Brown

This post was largely influenced by a podcast that came on on my ipod while I was driving this week. Brene Browns episode “Believing You Are Worthy of Love and Belonging”.

Firstly, if you don’t know Brene Brown, you have to google her. I have read more than my fair share of self-development books over the years, and Brene Brown’s research (Shame & Vulnerability researcher) has changed my life more than any other work has.

What Brene learned from talking to the Wholehearted, was that "love and belonging are irreducible deep needs of men, women and children".

“Our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance”.

If you took all of the people Brene had interviewed over the last 12 years and divided them crudely into 2 groups, you’d find:

1. People who have a deep sense of love and belonging, and

2. People who struggle for it

Notably, she discusses that to have a deep sense of love, does not just mean the capacity to love other people.

It means a deep sense of being love-able.

“A deep sense of love and belonging meaning not only do you have the capacity to love, but you believe that you are deeply loveable.

What Brene found through her research, was that there was only ONE variable that separated these groups.

If you took these 2 groups:

1. The group that struggles, and

2. The group that feels a deep sense

The only difference is the men and woman who have a deep sense of love and belonging, believe they are worthy of love and belonging.

That’s it.

Brene jokes here about how much this pisses her off.

Because she questions “What does this mean”?

"That they have a deep sense of love and belonging, that they believe they are worthy of it, that they wake up one day and say, “You know what, I am worthy of love and belonging”??"

***Angels sing***

Brene continues….

“If that’s the case, what are the prerequisites that we need to do to do that?”

"What does believing that you are worthy of love and belonging look like?!?!??!"

Brene wanted to find that that the Wholehearted were people whose lives who turned out more beautifully than the rest of ours, but she had a feeling this wasn’t going to be the case, and it was not.

They did not have fewer divorces, fewer traumas, fewer incidences of addictions. Nothing.

They were not free from tragedy or trauma.

“No one rides for free.”

The only difference was that in the midst of their struggle, their worthiness was not on the table.

Brene describes that the Wholehearted are probably about 20% of the people she has interviewed over time.

Out of the 20% Wholehearted she's interviewed, Brene would say maybe 25-30% of that 20% were parented that way.

And the other 75% fought their way to wholeheartedness.

Every now and then Brene had crossed paths with someone who’d say “my parents just raised me that way”. If I failed, they said “you failed, you’re not a failure, in fact you're brave for trying”.”

But majority of people that Brene had interviewed who met the Wholehearted criteria, FOUGHT their way there.

There wasn’t a magical group who had beautiful lives with no tragedy.

There was a group of people who made different choices every single day, then the choices the rest of us make.

They wake up everyday thinking, I am worthy, I am enough...

This is our CHOICE.



Brene Brown

The Power of Vulnerability

Session 1: Shame Triggers

"Believing you are Worthy of Love and Belonging

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