In her recent book
Braving the Wilderness
, Brene Brown points out that those who feel like they truly belong have the courage to stand alone. In other words, when we feel that we can be authentically ourselves even within a group, then we can be brave and stand up for what we believe in. She uses the acronym BRAVING for how we can learn to truly belong and therefore have the courage to stand alone.
There are seven elements of BRAVING, or learning to create connections in which you truly belong and can bring your whole self to the relationship:
You set and understand boundaries in your work and personal relationships. If you don’t know what the boundaries are, you ask. Once you’ve established the boundaries, you respect them.
You do what you say and you say what you do.
This means that you don’t overcommit to things and say you will do more than you can do and then back out. Instead, you are realistic about your capabilities and come through with your promises.
You don’t backchannel and blame others. Instead, you speak to people directly when you feel that are in the wrong and you freely admit when you feel like you’ve done something wrong.
This is a big one! You don’t use other people’s stories to connect with others. In other words, you don’t use gossip to connect with good friends you also don’t use your good friends’ stories as gossip. You connect personally and only tell your own stories.
And, this is a tough one! You choose what’s right over what’s fun, fast, and easy. Today’s culture places a great emphasis on the fun, the fast, and the easy. Instead, you choose what is right.
You can ask for help and other people can ask you for help without being judged. This means that you are comfortable sometimes being reliant on other people and that other people can be comfortable being reliant on you.
When things go wrong, you assume positive intentions on the part of someone else. In other words, if something happens that upsets you, you approach the other person with clarifying questions, rather than anger.