Brené Brown - Break Out of Your Comfort Zone, Find Self-Worth & Embrace Criticism

By Kris Deichler, Associate Partner & Mentorship Coach, Lighthouse International

"Life Begins At The End of Your Comfort Zone"

~ Neale Donald Walsch

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you felt completely out of your comfort zone? Perhaps you were speaking in public for the first time, taking on a new job at work, becoming a parent for the first time, or opening up to someone about something very personal in a way you've never done before.

These are the kinds of situations where we might feel 'out of our depth', uncertain or perhaps particularly open to judgement, criticism, or even mockery. Guaranteed we've all been there in some way or another at some point in our lives, but how people deal with them can be very different. There are some who embrace such uncomfortable and challenging situations, some who will grit their teeth and bear their way through them and some who simply run for the hills to avoid them.

Whichever one of these we might be, the truth is we can all learn to improve and get better at being comfortable with discomfort. But how?

Understand Why We Get Uncomfortable

If you've not heard of her, Brené Brown is a popular psychology researcher, author and speaker, who has become famous for appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as her TED talks on the subjects of vulnerability and shame (which you can see at the end of this article). One of the overriding things she's learned from her many years of research interviewing people about what makes us 'authentic' and what gives us emotional strength - is that the reason we fear or avoid stepping out of our comfort zones is a fear of vulnerability. It's those who are more comfortable with vulnerability that she has referred to as 'wholehearted' people.

When we're showing a side of ourselves to people we haven't done before, trying something we haven't done before or putting ourselves in a situation where we don't feel confident in our ability yet, we tend to feel vulnerable. We often feel this way because we feel we might be criticised, mocked or even face confrontation from others - which can be a painful experience for many of us. If we're not emotionally resilient or certain enough in ourselves in relation to such things, the reaction is normally to avoid the situation as much as possible.

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By | 2017-05-30T09:30:30+00:00 May 15th, 2017|

One Comment

  1. Diane Cubitt 7th June 2017 at 2:13 PM - Reply

    This is a really great article, thanks Kris.
    I have just started reading Brene’s book on vulnerability and Shame, Daring Greatly. I don’t know if it was this book or something else that bought something to light, but I know that because of what she was saying in the book and her TED talk on vulnerability, it made me see that I needed to talk to someone, to get it out and for me to stop feeling the Shame about what happened. It has definitely helped me, I still have a way to go, but at least it is a start and I can now deal with it and put that Shame where it belongs.

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