Brene Brown, a shame researcher of TED Talk fame, operates a blog website, www.ordinarycourage.com. There, she chronicles everyday situations related to issues blocking our growth as individuals — and by extension, in my opinion, as professionals. Her research has shown that there is a direct relationship between vulnerability and innovation, creativity and imagination. The more vulnerable we are the more innovative, creative and imaginative we become. However, she discovered this connection not by researching vulnerability, but by researching shame.
Shame can be expressed as, “look what I did — I’m bad, I’m a failure.” Interestingly, shame is inversely related to the amount of innovation, creativity and imagination expressed in our lives. Shame thus appears to be a stumbling block to vulnerability and by extension our growth and success. Why is this?