Brene Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She studies vulnerability, courage, authenticity, shame and empathy, doing research on the ways that these feelings manifest themselves onto our outlook on life. One of her main points is that of connection and our need for it. Professor Brown asserts that in order to have connection we must be vulnerable, but that vulnerability can only come from a “wholehearted” perception of our lives. This “wholehearted” perception is associated with our sense of love and belonging, those who carry shame may not be able to achieve this mindset. Professor Brown explains how shame prevents us from sharing with one another in fear that we will no longer be able to connect with them, when in reality we need this sharing to process any “shameful” situation. This can all be directly applied to the art of storytelling, as shame can often effect our perception of where we stand within a personal story, but without shame we are able to view the stories as bigger lessons. We need to shift our perception, we can’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Personal perception when telling a personal story changes everything.
Professor Brown explains that these “wholehearted” people who were able to express vulnerability without shame all had;
“The courage to be imperfect. The compassion to be kind to themselves first. They had connection as result of authenticity. They were able to let go of who they thought they should be in order to be who they were. They embraced vulnerability, they believed that what made them vulnerable, made them beautiful.”