- Foreboding Joy (the problem). This happens when you can’t enjoy something because you are so worried about losing whatever brought the joy. Like as soon as you enter a new relationship/job/etc, you start imagining how it will end.
- Practicing Gratitude (the solution). Brown discusses how she learned the most about overcoming this fear of losing something you cherish from people who had suffered incredible loss: “These included parents whose children had died, family members with terminally ill loved ones, and genocide and trauma survivors." The message from these people was often that “when you honor what you have, you’re honoring what I've lost.” Like this quote from Ronan's mom (the boy who Taylor Swift wrote a song for and sang at Stand Up To Cancer): “I watch everyone else in life with their beautiful kids. I sit and wonder to myself, do they know how lucky they are? How lucky they are to be able to just hold the hand of their little ones to cross the street? How lucky they are to deal with a tantrum or go through the terrible twos? Those people I watch from my new set of eyes are so unbelievably lucky.” Gosh, it is hard to even read this quote without wanting to run and grab my girls in a giant, sobbing hug.
- Perfectionism (the problem). "Perfectionism is, at its core, about trying to earn approval. Most perfectionists grew up being praised for achievement and performance (grades, manners, rule following, people pleasing, appearance, sports.) Somewhere along the way, they adopted this dangerous and debilitating belief system: I am what I accomplish and how well I accomplished it. Please. Perform. Perfect…Healthy striving is self-focused: how can I improve? Perfectionism is other-focused: what will they think? Perfectionism is a hustle. Perfectionism is correlated with depression, anxiety, and addition."
- Self compassion (the solution). You can learn more about this through the website of a University of Texas professor who has done some fascinating research and provided some great resources on the self compassion. Seriously, check it out. The three main steps to self compassion are outlined below:
- self kindness: being warm and understanding towards yourself when you suffer, fail, or feel inadequate
- common humanity: recognizing that suffering is something we all go through, you are not alone
- mindfulness: allowing feelings to be felt and not suppressed (you can't heal what you can't feel) nor exaggerated (catastrophizing)
- Numbing (the problem). Brown emphasized that this is not just drinking or drugs. It is mindlessly eating, watching TV, browsing the internet, playing video games; really it is doing anything, not just illegal or illicit things, to avoid feeling discomfort or vulnerability; i.e., you can do those things because you enjoy them and that is okay, but when you do those things as a long-term avoidance/distraction strategy, you're not really enjoying them anymore and they are becoming destructive.
- Boundaries (the solution). “Reducing anxiety meant paying attention to how much they could do and how much was too much, and learning how to say, ‘Enough.’ ….For women, setting boundaries is difficult because the shame gremlins are quick to weigh in: ‘Careful saying no. You'll really disappoint these folks. Don't let them down. Be a good girl. Make everyone happy.’ For men, the gremlins whisper, ‘Man up. A real guy could take this on and then some. Is the little mamma's boy just too tired?’”