Thursday, October 18, 2012

From the Daring Greatly Read Along: Goals and worthiness

Daring Greatly Badge
Are you following along with Brené Brown's Daring Greatly Read-Along? I already listened to the book
on Audible, and I just found the podcast on iTunes.

The book was read by someone else, so it's nice to hear Brené's voice on the podcast. I also find the Q&As really interesting. It's one thing to hear the concepts explained in a book, and another to figure out how they fit into my life, and hearing other people's questions helps me do this.

A great question came up, the topic of Shauna, Karen, and Mara's session at FitBloggin' -- the question of how self-acceptance fits in with a desire to change.

At about 25:10 on the first installment:
Where does goal setting fit in with all of this. It's one thing to say I'm enough, but when do you say I need to work on ______? How do these two things balance out?
I am a super-ambitious goal-setter. I write down my goals, I'm really serious about my goals. But what I have found is that when we work from a place of shame and "I'm not enough," I don't see achieving goals as at all possible. I think the more we believe in our ability, the more we engage with our worthiness and the more we believe we're enough, the more likely it is that we can meet our goals. When our self-worth is on the line.... The thing is, shame doesn't motivate behavior. If shame motivated behavior, we'd all be great, we'd all be perfect...
If I stick a picture of myself looking ugly on the refrigerator as a way to stick to a goal, then normally what's going to happen is that I'm going to end up standing in front of the refrigerator, looking at that picture, feeling ashamed, and numbing the pain of shame with a pint of Ben & Jerry's. But if I like who I am, and I engage with the world from, "I believe I'm enough," than I'm willing to try... 
I'm willing to do whatever it takes because I don't have my worth tied to something that can either be achieved or not achieved.
That is what feels different to me this time, as I'm working on making changes in my life. I'm working very hard to do it because I want to, and not because I think it will make me worthy or loveable. Starting from a place of enough changes the whole game.

I don't think (and Brené says the same) that it's possible to get to a place of "enoughness" and stay there.  I feel like I have to fight and claw my way to it every day. It was important to learn that having a tendency to focus on the negative doesn't mean I don't love myself, it's just a factory-installed default.  Doing things out of a desire for self-care, rather than from a desire to do what I "should" helps immensely. So does reading blogs of friends who are working on their own tough questions.

The read-along is just another great resource.


  1. what a great post, Jen. thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks for the comment. Your blog is definitely on my must-read list.

  2. You are so right...we don't just flip the self-acceptance switch and stay "on." Damn it! Right??

  3. It would be nice!

  4. I am so glad you write about this stuff... thanks for sharing it. I love the phrase 'factory restored default', i hear ya! I feel like I am in the "claw and fight" stage again these past few weeks and struggling to feel "worth" the self care but I am going to go through the motions til I "feel it" again :)


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07