Did you or didn’t you make New Year’s resolutions last year? Studies show there are those who go through the process year after year. Inevitably, disappointment follows.

An alternative offered in recent years, is to create intentions. Resolutions equate with promises. Intentions more easily become a part of who we are. They are mindsets. A subtle shift from resolutions is all that’s required to set one on the path to success. But are we all able to make that shift?

Dr. Brené Brown is a renowned research professor at the University of Houston. She holds the Huffington Foundation – Brené Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work.

Her TedTalk on vulnerability and living wholeheartedly is a good place to find inspiration and encouragement to begin ‘daring greatly.’

“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.” This quote encapsulates the basic philosophy of the theory set out in her book, Daring Greatly – How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead.

Brown cautions that the process of accepting who you are can be difficult for some and may hurt at first. It requires looking back through your life and breaking down boundaries that may have built up over time.

After you accept yourself, be prepared to ‘show up’ and be in the arena of life, be open to others and take risks. Be grateful for what life offers as well as what you offer to life.

I Am Enough

It takes time to live without judging and to be courageous about loving one another. Part of the process is to stop controlling and predicting, so you may reach the point where you can say “I am enough” and believe it.

To be honest, I stopped making resolutions years ago and simply enjoyed welcoming a new year, eager to see how it would unfold. But when I first heard Dr. Brown speak and began to read her work, I was intrigued. Her ideas appealed to me.

If this type of change calls to you, here are Brown’s 10 guideposts for wholehearted living to help you move forward down this path:

  • Authenticity: letting go of what people think
  • Self-compassion: letting go of perfectionism
  • A resilient spirit: letting go of numbing and powerlessness
  • Gratitude and joy: letting go of scarcity and fear
  • Intuition and trusting faith: letting go of the need for certainty
  • Creativity: letting go of comparison
  • Play and rest: letting go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth
  • Calm and stillness: letting go of anxiety as a lifestyle
  • Meaningful work: letting go of self-doubt
  • Laughter, song and dance: letting go of being cool and “always in control.”

Full disclosure: this is still a work in progress for me – but one that is immensely satisfying and positive. I’m determined to dare greatly to the best of my ability. Are you?

How are you living a wholehearted life? Are you dealing with feelings of not being ‘good enough’? What are you planning for this year that will give you the courage to dare? Please share your thoughts below!