Courage is contagious. Every time we choose courage, we make everyone around us a little better and the world a little braver. . –Brene Brown
If you liked Brene Brown’s well-known TED Talk on vulnerability you will probably like her new book, “Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone”. It is a great book and speaks to the sometimes daunting, yet very worth it pursuit of authenticity.
I enjoy many of the guests on Tippett’s On Being Podcast series and this one with Brene Brown is exceptionally good. I listen to the unedited version and loved hearing these two very smart women discuss personal growth, human behavior, and spirituality.
Here’s a quick excerpt to tempt you.
Ms. Tippett: You make this — just the way you make this observation — I think the way you make it is so helpful. You said, “It’s partly because we are neuro-biologically hardwired for belonging and connection. We’re hardwired to want it, and need it so much, that the first thing we do is sacrifice ourselves and who we are to achieve it.
Ms. Brown: The irony, right? Yeah, we’re desperate for it. I think if you look at — if you look from the lens of neuro-biology or even evolutionary biology: as a social species, to not be wanted and to not belong to the tribe or the clan or the group meant death. We are wired for this. It is — John Cacioppo of the University of Chicago, who does this incredible work on loneliness, says that the only real biological advantage we have over most other species is our connection, our belonging; our ability to collaborate, plan, be in relationship with in special ways. And so that desperate need to belong is not a neurosis; or it’s not an ego-driven thing. That need to belong and be a part of something greater than us is who we are in our DNA.
Ms. Tippett: I love that also, in fact, the genius — the source of the genius of our species — that’s the implication of it.
Ms. Brown: That’s it. It is. Yet what we do to ensure that we’re accepted and fit in ensures that we have no sense of belonging.
Ms. Tippett: So you use this language of “true belonging.” So talk about what are the qualities of true belonging, as opposed to those many things we do that feel like belonging but, as you say, are a hollow substitute for true belonging. What is that?
Let me know if you listen and what you think!