I, too, yearn to live a wholehearted life, and according to Brené Brown, that means engaging our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage and compassion and connection to wake up and think, no matter what gets done and how much of it is left undone, I AM ENOUGH.
The achiever in me often thinks I HAVE NOT DONE ENOUGH, therefore I AM NOT ENOUGH. I’ve worked hard to set boundaries. The coach in me talks to clients often about not just “doing enough”, but “being enough” – choosing how to be as often, or more often, than choosing what to do. This is hard. This requires me to be vulnerable and not just do it to check another thing off my list.
Rising Strong was another affirmation for me that I can STOP. I can PAUSE. I can be. I can say I am enough and I’ve had enough. Being mindful and vulnerable is a journey. Many times I fail at it. That’s often my First Attempt In Learning.
Here are some of the tenets discussed in the book that I have been able to start or continue to focus on that resonated with me as I read the book.
Be a badass
I always wanted to be a badass. I love the words.
Badasses don’t blame others when things go wrong. I need to be less judgmental and do more of that.
I have to share the story I have made up and have those tough conversations that describe how I am feeling. I need to get curious about it and focus in on the assumptions that I have made that probably are not true.
I have learned that I can start a conversation by saying, “The story I have made up is… ” to better check in to assumptions versus blame.
Focus on compassion and cultivate trust
Dr. Brown’s research shows that compassionate people ask for what they need. They set boundaries. They ask for help and support. They give help and support to others.
They recognize that “no” is a complete sentence.
My high achiever often puts me in a state of “over functioning.” I won’t feel, I will do. I don’t need help. I help. I’m a mentor and a coach to many. I have started surrounding myself with mentors and coaches for me. I need them to help me move forward in my life.
I am learning that we don’t have to do it all alone, and I don’t think we were ever meant to. There is value to say what I mean and mean what I say. There is value in being part of a tribe.
I have started building trust by recognizing and owning my mistakes and apologizing. I give thanks more and catch people DOING THINGS RIGHT instead of catching them doing it wrong.
Many years ago I intentionally made the decision not to focus on regret or jealousy, two emotions that I thought I could live without.
What I have learned is that living without regret is living without reflection. Sure, I said I learned and could move on, but maybe that was just the story I was making up.
I have found that there are amends to make. There are opportunities where I could have been braver and more courageous in my life. There are times I choose to be liked versus defending someone or something or taking an unpopular position. There were times with classmates, friends, and strangers that I did not stand up for someone being berated, bullied, or abused.
I have done lots of work with my own values, and that is helping me to learn that living outside of my values is no longer for me.
“People who wade in discomfort and tell the truth about their stories are real bad asses.” Dr. Brown states that people learn how to trust based on how they see us treating ourselves.
Set boundaries and be good to yourself. Shit happens and I AM ENOUGH.
Cindy Biggs is a leadership development expert working as a certified coach, mentor, and trainer. She started her encore career in 2012, as President of C. Biggs and Associates (www.SEEBIGG.com) after making a commitment to follow her dreams to be an entrepreneur and focus her top leadership strengths. She was CEO of Planned Parenthood of NC Ohio, based in Mansfield, for 20 years and VP of Organizational Development for 5 years after architecting a 5-way merger in NE Ohio with 4 other women to create a large, regional non-profit, Planned Parenthood of NE Ohio in Akron. Her volunteer work focuses on women’s empowerment and leadership development with nonprofits, including Central America Medical Outreach in Santa Rosa de Copan and the League of Women Voters. She lives in Wooster and Howard with her husband Jeff and cat Colt.