Dare Greatly. Be Whole-hearted.

I’m been steadily unravelling here for the last two weeks. Who would have thought that good things happening – winning some money, GETTING A JOB –  would unleash the ocean of emotion I’ve been drowning in ever since.

For the last week it has ebbed and and then hurtled back knocking me for absolute six over and over again. I am constantly anxious – the pit in the stomach, the clenching of the jaw, the hard set shoulders, the internal monologue of keep it together man. The spontaneous bursting into tears. OH MY GOD the tears.

I have also been deeply pre-menstrual which is a whole “hello fire, I’m petrol” kinda thing.

And while the keep it together mantra has been the clanging cymbal, there’s been a whole percussive set going on underneath:

you’re not worthy

who do you think you are

you can’t do that

you’re not good enough

As IF you’re going to be able to pull this off


Do you know how exhausting that is? I can not even imagine what it is to live with. Chef’s bed shark is not even circling, that creature has found some secluded cave and is just hiding out until the crazy lady calms the fuck down.

Today Grover refused to get dressed. I begged, I cajoled, I used parental tones and eventually I just sobbed. Yep. SOBBED.

This morning I sobbed at last night’s Dr Who episode on iView. I’ve sobbed all day today actually. Stupid big heaving sobs that come from nowhere.

Except it’s not nowhere, it’s the core of my being. It’s my pure and utter fear of being vulnerable.

I’d seen these following two Ted lectures doing the rounds on FB and Twitter but never paid much heed as I don’t have time to sit and watch whole talks for goodness sake.

And then, today a friend – a friend I haven’t seen in years although she lives a few suburbs away, we used to work together a lifetime ago – sent them to me. She said, ‘you put everything out there but don’t see how courageous that makes you.’ She said, ‘maybe you should watch the shame one first’. She’s a smart cookie.

So I’m going to say this and quit rolling your eyes. FIND the two lots of 20 minutes you’re going to need to watch these. FIND IT.

Key points that really resonated for me:

Vulnerability is not weakness.

Vulnerability is the birthplace of creativity, innovation and change.

I didn’t learn about vulnerability and courage and creativity and innovation from studying vulnerability, I learnt it from studying shame.

Be in the arena.

Dare greatly.

Shame is the gremlin which says you’re not good enough and who do you think you are.

Shame is not guilt. Shame is a focus on self, guilt is a focus on behaviour. Shame is I am bad, guilt is I did something bad

Shame is highly correlated with addiction, depression, violence, aggression, bullying, suicide, eating disorders

Guilt is inversely correlated with those things


Shame is do it all, do it perfectly and never let them see you sweat.

Shame for women is the swag of unobtainable, conflicting and competing expectations on who we are meant to be.

For men it’s about being weak.


Empathy is the antidote to shame

Secrecy, silence and judgement grow shame


The whole-hearted – those with a sense of worthiness, a strong sense of love and belonging  believe they’re worthy of love and belonging.

A sense of courage (is not bravery) its original definition meant to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.

The whole-hearted have the courage to be imperfect.

The whole-hearted have compassion to be kind to themselves first and then to others. We can’t practice compassion with others if we don’t treat ourselves kindly.

Connection as a result of authenticity. They were willing let go of who they thought they should be for who they are.


They believed that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful. It’s not comfortable or excruciating, they just talked about it being necessary. About saying I love you first. To do something where there are no guarantees. To not control or predict.


Vulnerability is the core of shame, fear and struggle for worthiness but it’s also the birthplace of joy, creativity, belonging and love.


Our job as parents is to look at our kids and say you know what, you’re imperfect and you’re wired for struggle, but you’re worthy of love and belonging. That is our job.

Love with your whole heart even when there are no guarantees

I am enough.









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  • Oh Kim you are more than enough.

    We must book that session. Say the word.
    Mary recently posted..Postcards Twenty One

  • I am so happy we have met.
    You & me have many things in common as we know.
    Being victims of ‘Imposter syndrome’ is just one of them.
    you are WAY more than enough Kim.
    WAY more.
    GourmetGirlfriend recently posted..When my kids are in the kitchen

  • We (your readers) actually LOVE you in a blogosphere kinda way- and most of us have never even met you. I’m not sure how it works, but you make us stronger. Imagine that.
    alison recently posted..Steph’s Place- ordinary home #3

    • Thanks Alison, I keep telling myself this – that I am enough, that I matter, that I make a difference in my own way – I am hearing it, it’s the feeling it that I really have to work on.

  • We sat at opposite ends of the table at the Norton presentation at Cafe Sydney earlier this year. I stumbled in, late as usual, trying to do it all, be everything for everyone – so they can all be happy – yet leaving me exhausted and unfulfilled.

    So I hear you. I Wish I had slowed down enough to go over to you and say hi.

    I think we’re a lot alike. I recently wrote a post on letting go. I’m going to watch this right now. Then I’m taking myself for a run. On my own. For me. Even though the boys haven’t had breakfast and there’s a thousand things to do. Guilt free.

    See? Learning.

    Ps: You are enough. Your write great words that are a great read so keep writing them.

    Hope our paths cross again soon. Next time I will say hi.

    Gab x

    • So funny, I saw you come in and thought, ‘who’s that, she’s one of us’ (I had arrived all of about 5 minutes before you). So yes, next time we must slow down, still ourselves and sit somewhere to say ‘hello’.

  • Karen

    You have such an authentic voice in your writing, Kim. Your blog is my absolute favourite.

    • Oh thanks Karen, I’m not the most of uplifting places at the moment.

  • Beautiful. I am willing to bet that your ability to do this job will become apparent to you in a short period of time, and help counter that shame you feel.
    Rachel @ The Kids Are All Right recently posted..How to raise a musical child

  • Oh Kim. We’ve never met and lead quite different lives on opposite sides of the country but so often, so darn often, I read your posts and think ‘that sounds like me’. One of the reasons I always come back is because you manage to just keep going and that makes you inspirational in my books. I’ve even adopted your ‘onwards’ when I’m struggling.
    Mandi recently posted..Day One. Done.

  • Oh my. I am just discovering my own vulnerability after viewing it as weakness all my life. Sadness is how I am feeling it. And you know what? It’s ok. Sadness won’t kill me, and it won’t kill you. I don’t know why I am sad although I have a feeling that it might be for all the times that I should have been sad and wasn’t because I was being tough and hard. It’s a soft feeling, sadness, like a rainy day, and it’s not all bad. I wrote about it just the other day on my blog. It’s good to see other people are going through the same things.
    Sara Foley recently posted..You are brilliant and the Earth is hiring

  • I think we all feel like this when change is afoot, Kim. And lots of us even when it isn’t. You’re out on a limb and you’re not sure if you want to drop or climb back to the safety of the tree.

    Your post is a wonderful wrap up of how we might cope when change makes us giddy. Love you even more for it.

    The courage to be imperfect indeed.

    Maxabella recently posted..The worst time of the week

  • Thanks for the links. Brene Brown certainly is a thought provoker.

  • Justin

    Hi Kim we have never met i heard you on a radio interview on 2gb the other week i just read this last blog and i must say please forgive me but always remember you are something to CHEF and your KIDS work on that then branch out i guess i’m lucky i don’t have to deal with the panic attacks you are dealing with but in some way i do sometimes feel i’m not good enough but i look at you at what you blog and your an inspiration keep it up !!!!