Let's break down these key components that Brene talks about in this Tedtalk.
Courage. I think we, in our culture, compare courage to bravery or strength a lot, but that it's what courage actually is. As Brene points out, courage is the ability to be whole hearted. Courage doesn't necessarily come from the moments in time that you take a big gamble on a new house or a job. I'm sure there's some courage involved. But courage comes from moments when you put your whole, naked heart on the line for what you believe is right. This could be as simple as asking the "stupid question" in class or approaching the new kid at school to say hi.
Compassion. Compassion is tricky because Brene says there are limits to our ability to be compassionate that are set by our own ability for self compassion. Basically, if you struggle to be supportive and loving (compassionate) toward yourself, you will be limited in how much of that you can show to others. Now, I've had a great many people tell me (myself included) that they are much nicer to others than themselves. In fact, one patient told me once in session, "If I talked to other people the way I talk to myself, I wouldn't have any friends." Clearly this woman was nicer to others than herself. So let me clarify. The more grace we give ourselves on our shortcomings, the broader the spectrum is for others. To see examples of this, look back to time you used to judge someone for doing something you would "never do" and then ended up doing it later in life. That transgression gave you a new perspective on the situations you once judged, freeing you from that same perspective moving forward. The more we are able to have that same grace toward ourselves for the actions we take, the more fully we extend that grace to someone else.
Connection. Biologically, we are engineered for it. I will write a blog post on isolation soon, but that's too big for this little segment, so I'll say this. Imagine yourself alone in the middle of a woods in a cabin during a snow storm. There are no phones, no internet. No other people for miles. Plenty of food and water to survive for a month if needed, but no human contact of any kind. How long would you last before depression sets in? That depends on your body, age, sex, etc. Social isolation unleashes an extreme immune response. I'm not joking when I say that isolation literally kills us.
Vulnerability. In order to have connection...real connection...we need it. And fake connection will only create a deeper craving to find real connection. And so we scroll. And text. And surf. And pleasure seek. Vulnerability is the key to connection and therefore fulfillment.