What’s your worth?

I dreamt this week that I was being attacked by a frenzied, Terminator-esque snake. Luckily, my friends were with me. But on the way to get help, they kept stopping to do trivial things like chat to passers-by or fix the hatch of the car we were in. Despite my loss of vision and objections of “I’m seriously dying guys, this is important!” no one really seemed to appreciate the urgency of the situation.

Now I’m not particularly phobic of slithering reptiles, but I have been watching a lot of Brene Brown lately. So I’m fairly certain this is all about self worth.

If you haven’t already watched Brene’s TED talk, it’s an absolute must. I don’t say wanky things like ‘absolute must’ a lot. If I was speaking to you in person, I’d probably tell you that you “seriously HAVE to watch it” while flailing my arms about wildly in demonstration of the most insightful moments. In any case, you know I’m serious. And look! Here’s an embedded video, so you needn’t put yourself through the arduous task of typing her name into Google:

I was incredibly lucky to hear Brene speak in Sydney recently as part of the CBA’s Wired for Wonder conference. In addition to some fascinating insights into shame and vulnerability, a lot of Brene’s research centres on worthiness. For example, her studies have shown that the only difference between people who have a deep sense of love and belonging and those who really struggle for it, is that those who have it believe they are worthy of it.

Like any other reasonably well-adjusted person, my first instinct is to say that of course I know I’m worthy. Worthy of love, of acceptance, of success… That’s not an issue.

But if we truly believe that, why do we feel the need to hold back little bits of ourselves? Why do we frame the way we want the world to see us? Why are we so hesitant to put our art out there? Could it be because underneath the logic and bravado, we really are just a little bit afraid that if someone truly saw us, all of us, we wouldn’t be enough?

It’s really worth thinking about. Because if Brene is right, developing a deep sense of worthiness and being open to vulnerability is the cornerstone of a wholehearted, connected and happy life. Seriously, go watch the talk.

Brene also just released her book ‘Daring Greatly’ in Australia, which I’ve cracked the first chapter of and will be sure to post more on once I’ve finished.


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