4 Qualities of Wholehearted People

Nobody wants to talk about it, and the less you talk about it, the more you have it. What is it? (Answer at end…)

8611204410_33c86be477Brené Brown answers the riddle in her TED video below. She is a research professor/story-teller from the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She studies vulnerability, courage, authenticity and shame. She has been gathering qualitative data over the past decade from her research that recently led her to explore the concept of wholeheartedness.

From her research, she has discovered:

4 Qualities of Wholehearted People

1.  Courage to be imperfect. The word courage comes from the Latin word, cor meaning heart.  The original definition meant “to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart”. Wholehearted people have the courage to let the whole truth, including their imperfections, be known to others.

2. Compassionate to themselves and others. When we are harsh and judgmental to ourselves, do we not also treat others the same? To be compassionate with others, we must also be kind to ourselves.

3. Connection as a result of authenticity. Wholehearted people are willing to let go of who they think they should be in order to be who they really are. We all need connection. It gives purpose and meaning to our lives. As leaders, we need to fully engage with people, but shame and fear unravel connection. We wonder, “Is there something about me that if other people know and see it that I would feel unworthy of connection?”

4.  Embrace vulnerability. Vulnerability is at the core of our shame, fear and struggle for worthiness; but Brown discovered it is also the birthplace of joy, creativity, belonging and love.

The answer to the riddle mentioned above is: shame. Nobody wants to talk about shame, but the less we talk about it, the more we have it. Shame threatens wholeheartedness. The power of vulnerability is that it disarms shame. Brown shares deep insight from her research in a poignant and humorous manner. Enjoy and share.

How could you share this video with others? (watch with friends, team, small group?)


9 thoughts on “4 Qualities of Wholehearted People

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  1. There is a mistake in point 3. Wholehearted people let go of who they really are to be who they think they should be.

    1. Rasim, the point is about authenticity and connecting with others. Wholehearted people let go of who they think they should be in order to be who they really are. They are not shamed into trying to be something they are not or mold themselves into what others want them to be.

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