When we experience hurt or rejection as a result of an interaction with another person, we often are quick to make assumptions about their intent. Our brains then reward us for that assumption, even when that story is not accurate. Usually at the core of those assumptions is hurt about our worth or lovability.
As for why our brain rewards this story, social scientist and researcher Dr. Brené Brown explains in this clip -from her interview with Oprah. Through her years of research, Dr. Brown put together a three-phase strategy for overcoming the hurtful stories we tell ourselves, which she calls “The Reckoning,” “The Rumble,” and “The Revolution”. For more details on this process, you can find them in her book, Rising Strong or you can check out the full interview with Oprah, where she further outlines the process.
The phases in Dr. Brown’s process guide you on how to acknowledge the hurt, to get more curious about the assumptions you have about that hurt, and learning how to lean into those uncomfortable feelings. These new steps take time, so as you practice, be kind to yourself, as you are learning.
As you continue to practice, the process does get easier, but you may still fall down every now and again. You don’t have to stay stuck in the old story. You are worth the risk to be brave, so get back up and do it again.
The next time that you feel afraid, hurt, or imperfect, remind yourself that you are still worthy of love, belonging, and joy. Your imperfection never changes that. This is an invitation to write a new story.
Dustin Ellis, CIT