Jan 6 • 52M

Marla Estes and Joe Burgo Talk About Humility

...and compost and growth and being uncomfortable and shame ... and ... Welcome to 2022!

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Wild and Precious helps you make peace with your wild and precious life. Conversations, meditations, encouragements. A podcast by the Underbelly Project.
Episode details

Cultivating Humility. Huge growth potential if you can get comfortable being uncomfortable. (And I would add, let’s make the uncomfortable place as welcoming and inviting as possible.)

Joe Burgo’s website announced this course at the bottom of a blog post (as I recall). Marla Estes’ site was a humble outreach; I joined the class and am now an advocate for cultivating humility.

In fact, I chose to open 2022 with Cultivating Humility — it is what I want to see more of in my life, in my family, in my community.

{My introduction and “outro” are both as short as possible because I needed to find a quiet corner of my home rather than recording from my podcast fort and the sound quality is not great - be forewarned. The quality of the actual conversation is good enough :) }

We dive in at 2:09 with Joe Burgo’s story of humility — and we’re off from there. At 6:14, Craig Markin’s book on rethinking narcissism is mentioned and the idea of passing shame from one person to another like a hot potato.

At 7:52 Marla introduces the idea of being ashamed of being ashamed and that flows into the idea of levels of shame:

  • embarrassment

  • humiliation

  • shame

and how to normalize it…Marla shares a great story at 9:03 that helps with how to process shame and has been core for me at times over this fall where I do need to process shame.

at 11:19, Joe introduces the idea that sometimes there is a good reason why you might feel ashamed and that it’s an opportunity to grow.

At 13:20, Joe processes shame in the moment — what a lovely offering that is. I remember while recording really feeling more deeply connected to both of them and realizing how important this stuff really is.

What else is there in this life if there isn’t relationship — and can you have relationship if you’re not willing to get a little uncomfortable once in awhile?

At 18:36, Joe introduces Marla’s concept of having a working hypothesis and the difference between not having an opinion and being dissociative.

At 23:13 … what about when you honestly just don’t know enough to have an opinion, a seat at the table?

At 26:53, Marla gives us three ways to building a bridge to change. To move from that paralyzing place of shame to a place where you take your seat at the table.

At 30:56 we open up the conversation about how humility is a weird word sometimes in our culture…uncomfortable, with connotations that aren’t super positive.

34:07 — the difference between healthy pride, arrogance and narcissism is introduced.

And so, at 36:52, Joe aptly introduces the idea of confidence into this mix. And we flow into the idea of confident humility

Confident humility is my personal goal for 2022. Expect lots of stumpling around toward this goal :) Join me?

At 39:05, Marla introduces the acronym we use in class “WAIT” Why Am I Talking?

At 41:35 Joe asks about our shame, “What is it telling you?” <= Great Question.

At 44:53, Marla introduces the idea of being a beacon, “Like, I want what she’s having” :)

At 47:31, Marla has a great line in our discussion about how sometimes being curious can sound really really pretentious…as in “I’m really curious about how you could be such an idiot.” :)

Which leads me to actually process some pretty deep shame, live, at 48:00 <= which I decided to leave in because I don’t think I am alone in it.

And — fin.


  • On Psychology Today — Joe’s column about Shame on Psychology Today

  • @jburgo55 on Twitter – Joe on Twitter

  • Underbelly Project — Home to Wild + Precious conversations, my Monday Morning newsletter, blog posts, courses, etc.