Reflection: When something good happens to you, are you delighted? Or, do you find yourself anxious – certain that just around the corner looms a steep drop from a cliff or a painful kick in the shins?
Texas researcher, Brene Brown, in her studies on emotional health and vulnerability, reports that far too few of us allow ourselves to fully experience joy, love and good news. As a result, we lose out on the opportunity to fill our reservoirs for any tough times that may eventually make an appearance.
She sees people steeling themselves against possible future vulnerability in these ways:
- Experiencing things joyful as a foreboding harbinger of disaster ahead.
- Embracing disappointment as a lifestyle, maintaining a low-grade disconnection from life.
- Not letting ourselves get excited or passionate about some thing or some one, so we won’t be let down if things don’t pan out.
- Numbing emotion through extremes of eating, drinking, spending, working, and perfectionism. (All of which can be attempts to quell a sense of not being ‘enough’ – or in our fame obsessed culture, not being ‘extraordinary enough’.)
Action: What’s the alternative to cowering behind a highly polished, mega shield, firewall of synthetic invulnerability? According to Brown, it’s not that complicated. In our anxious ‘amber alert’ ridden world, it’s also not that common.
It starts with embracing joy. Practice being grateful for ordinary, everyday experiences. Appreciate the good things life offers as it unfolds.
That we can do. That we can start today. Go ahead, drop the shield. Look around. There’s sure to be something to appreciate right there, right now. Take a chance, and reap the reward.
Quotes Of The Week: Who is more foolish, the child afraid of the dark or the man afraid of the light? – Maurice Freehill
Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them. – Brendan Francis
Fear is faith that it won’t work out. – Sister Mary Tricky
Resources Of The Week: Catch Brown in action in her Ted Talk video on Invulnerability.
If you’re a reader not a viewer, you may find this article by Roman Krznaric, based on an interview with Brown of interest.
Tags: appreciation, attitude, burnout, delight, encouragement, focus, health, inspiration, motivation, overload, overwhelm, Pat Katz, Patricia Katz, pause, perspective, Saskatoon, speaker, stress, success, wellness