1. Research on the attributes that we associate with "being feminine" tells us that the most important qualities for women are:

- Thin

- Nice

- Pretty

If you want to play it totally safe, you have to be willing to stay as small, quiet, and attractive as possible.

2. In my own decade-long research on authenticity and shame, I found that speaking out is a major shame trigger for women. Here's how the research participants described the struggle:

- Don’t make people feel uncomfortable, but be honest.

- Don’t upset anyone or hurt anyone’s feelings, but say what’s on your mind.

- Sound informed and educated, but not like a know-it-all.

- Don’t say anything unpopular or controversial, but have the courage to disagree with the crowd.

3. #2 applies to all issues, not just politics. When "being liked" is more important than "being real", we'll need to be very careful everywhere - at work, church, at our children’s schools, and on the soccer fields. It's exhausting.—Brene Brown

Do you find this to be true in your church work? If so, how do you overcome the tendency to try to be liked at the expense of being real?

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