This week, two big things hit me at once: the joy that comes naturally to children, and the Netflix special with Brene Brown, where she talks about the vulnerability that adults experience around joy, making it THE most vulnerable of emotions. What gives?
The quick synopsis? Over time, we're conditioned to be cautious with our emotions, and we build up self doubt. What does it look like when you are wrangling a slow build up of self doubt?
Eventually, this can lead to much of what many of us spend so long trying to unwind as you get into your adult life:
- Feeling like you are “too much” or “not enough”
- The impact of mean girls on your life
- Imposter syndrome, or, feeling like you’re a fraud and people are about to find out that you don’t know what you’re doing
- The “who am I to?” question that inner critics love so much
- Inner critics
- Feeling like you’re out of control
- Not trusting yourself to make decisions
- Self – image: how you dress and see yourself
The good news? Once you recognize that you are missing joy, you can find your way back to it.
- Choose joy, daily. Own that you want more joy in your life, and aim for joy, as a “wayfaring” emotion.
- When you feel yourself in that space of being excited and terrified about trying something new, lean in to that. It’s leading you back to a place that feels joyful to you. Don’t let the old conditioning of shying away from excitement or something new stop you.
- Schedule time for joy in your life. Look for places you’ve always wanted to visit, but haven’t. Return to places that have brought you joy. Make space in your schedule to do something joyful, for the sake of joy. Remember, if it’s not on your calendar, it’s not going to happen.
- Think back to what brought you joy as a child. So many guests on the show find that there is a strong tie to whatever they loved as a child in their present life.
- Some thoughts on the top things guests suggest to jump start joy in your life: hang out with animals, do something creative, get in touch with nature.
- Brene Brown found that people who have a gratitude practice, and who believe in a higher power in the universe, are often those who are more likely to be joyful. Try listing or noticing what you’re grateful for each day.
- Catch yourself if you hear yourself spreading “shoulds” or conditioning that is limiting how someone else experiences joy for themselves.
- Do something that surprises or delights someone else.
- Let joy be important to you.
Brene Brown: the call to courage on Netflix