10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living, Guidepost 1

Guidepost One

Wholehearted living is about engaging with our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, ‘No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.’ It’s going to bed at night thinking, ‘Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.

Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

I believe we are all brave and worthy of love and belonging.  And I believe we are all capable of learning the skill of learning wholeheartedly.

Once a month, we explore the 10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living as found in the research of Brené Brown.

Simple, direct, two-minute reads that I hope bring you insight, value, and immediately practical application.  And at a minimum, I hope you find them food for thought.



Guidepost 1
Cultivate Authenticity

To develop one’s authenticity means to cultivate “the courage to be imperfect, to set boundaries, and to allow ourselves to be vulnerable,” Brené writes.

Authenticity by definition means to be of undisputed origin, genuine. 

And yet letting go of what others think can be a difficult ask. To be one’s wholehearted, authentic self means being able to do so even when we run the risk of letting down those we care about.

When pressure is added to conform, and this can be at work and in family life, the urge to people-please may override our desire for boundaries.

Guidepost One encourages us to focus on the cultivation of our own authenticity.  And to do so in a way that allows us to set and respect our own boundaries, to have the courage to show up as our imperfect selves, and to understand and honor the vulnerability that authenticity requires.

Sounds great on paper, but how when trust requires vulnerability and vulnerability requires trust?

My suggestion is to start with a mindful strategy.

Brené refers to those whose opinions truly matter as your “Square Squad”.  Your Square Squad is made up of those people who have earned the right to hear your story. Typically, these are people who have been in the arena with you, who have earned the right to give you their opinion.

These aren’t the people in the cheap seats.

Below are three questions to ask yourself when determining whether or not someone has earned your trust:

Q: Is this a person who I turn to for help in hard decisions?

Q: Is this person supportive in a non-judging way?

Q: Is this person in the arena with me doing to the work to show up as their authentic self?

If the answer to those questions is no, my hope is that you will find it a bit easier to let go of what that person thinks about you. And in doing so, you feel even more free to carry on as your authentic self.

Join me next month for Guidepost 2:  Cultivating Self-Compassion and Letting Go of Perfectionism.