The world desperately needs more leaders who are committed to courageous, wholehearted leadership and who are self-aware enough to lead from their hearts, rather than unevolved leaders who lead from hurt and fear, writes researcher, author and podcast host Brene Brown on her blog.

What Brown calls “leading from hurt” behaviors can be fueled by feeling no value from our partner or our children, so we double down on being seen as “important” at work by doing things like taking credit for ideas that aren’t ours, staying in comparison mode and always knowing instead of learning. The family-related stuff can look like seeking the approval and acceptance from colleagues that we never received from our parents. Also, if our parents’ professional failures and disappointments shaped our upbringing, we can spend our careers trying to undo that pain. That often takes the shape of an insatiable appetite for recognition and success, of unproductive competition, and, on occasion, of having zero tolerance for risk.

Brown says that identifying the source of the pain that’s driving how we lead and how we show up for other people is important, because returning to that place and doing that work is the only real fix. Projecting the pain onto others places it where it doesn’t belong and leads to serious trust violations. Our long, hard search for whatever it is that we need never ends and leaves a wake of disconnection.

One of the key learnings emerging from a leadership study Brown led was that leaders must either invest a reasonable amount of time attending to fears and feelings or squander an unreasonable amount of time trying to manage ineffective and unproductive behavior. In other words, “Leader, heal thyself.”

Brown says leaders must also invest time attending to their own fears, feelings and history or they’ll find themselves managing their own unproductive behaviors. Daring leaders must stay curious about their own blind spots and how to pull those issues into view, and commit to helping the people they serve find their blind spots in a way that’s safe and supportive.