Brené Brown's Blog, page 6

August 7, 2012

Guess what was delivered to my hotel room last night?

The books are in and they're beautiful. I'm so grateful to my publishing team at Gotham. Several people commented that they look like chocolate bars. That's probably just the Instagram filter, but I like it! 

Book pre-orders are a huge deal in the pubishing world. To thank all of you who have pre-ordered a copy of Daring Greatly or are planning to, I'm sending my wholehearted gratitude along with some very cool bookmarks, signed book plates, and magnets for the e-reader folks!   

All you have to do is fill out this form and we'll mail them to you the week of 8/24. Your pre-ordered books will ship the second week of September! 

You can pre-order from several different sellers here. 

Here's the front and back of the bookmarks: 

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[image error]Thanks to Elan Morgan at Ninjamatics for the awesome design!

Again, I'm so grateful for our community. Thank you from the bottom of my WholeHeart! 

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Published on August 07, 2012 19:46 • 49 views

August 2, 2012

So excited to get my Daring Greatly event schedule posted today! It's a little daunting, but Steve and the kids are going to join me for several trips. Here's the link to the schedule. 

Hope to see you on the road! 

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Published on August 02, 2012 14:32 • 42 views

July 31, 2012


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Created by Leah Pearlman at Dharma Comics! 

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Published on July 31, 2012 15:45 • 47 views

July 23, 2012

I started the Inspiration Interview Series because I wanted to know more about the people who share their work with the world and inspire me to practice courage, be creative, and dream big. Chris Guillebeau is one of those people. Meet Chris!

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Chris Guillebeau is a writer, entrepreneur, and traveler. During a lifetime of self-employment and ventures ranging from online publishing to volunteer work in West Africa, he has visited nearly every country on earth before the age of 35.

Host of the World Domination Summit, an international gathering of creative people, Chris is focused on encouraging individual quests while also “giving back.”

Chris writes for a small army of remarkable people at His latest book is The $100 Startup

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I had the opportunity to speak at World Domination Summit this year. During my AV/sound-check the night before the event, I told Chris that I was nervously thinking about ending my talk with a sing-along to the Glee version of "Don't Stop Believing." He smiled and said, "Go for it." Then I said, "You'll need to come up on stage and sing the boy part." Silence.

After fifteen minutes of talking and laughing about being public-speaking introverts, Chris finally said, "Your book is Daring Greatly - I think we have to do this." Here's a moment from that adventure:

[image error]Image courtesy of Chris GuillebeauTo celebrate Chris's The $100 Startup, we're giving away three copies! Just leave your name in the comments and we'll pick winners on Wednesday. 

Enjoy the interview! 

1. Vulnerability is _____________________.

The willingness to be your true self, and the courage to share that true self with others. Both are tough, and both are worth it.

2. What role does vulnerability play in your work?

I first had to learn to be willing to accept the role of vulnerability. I'm good at putting up walls and isolating myself, but such a lifestyle hinders growth. So after I took some small steps, I became comfortable with bigger ones.

For example, I'm a natural introvert but I went on a 50-state book tour, meeting readers who came from all over. Challenging myself in this way has been good—I learned that opening your life to others requires vulnerability, but it also creates unexpected rewards.

3. What does authenticity mean to you and how do you practice it in your work?

I notice that it's much easier to be authentic than to be false. When I practice authenticity, I feel energized. When I pretend to be someone else, I feel drained. Not being yourself is exhausting!

4. Is perfectionism an issue for you? If so, what’s one of your strategies for managing it?

Thankfully, I learned to let that go a long time ago—I'm well aware that my work is far from perfect. But I do have the weakness of being driven to succeed. Like a lot of things, this can be both a strength and a weakness. I try to harness it for good, creating projects that are useful and interesting, without letting the results define my entire identity.

5. What inspires you?

These days I'm largely inspired by many of the people in my community. I began the Art Of Non-Conformity a few years ago with the goal of chronicling my journey to every country in the world. I'm glad that the project has become inspiring for some people, but I too have been changed by the process of going everywhere and sharing the quest with readers. Many of them are doing remarkable things of their own, so when I meet them or hear from them online, I find myself challenged to keep going.

6. What’s something that gets in the way of your creativity and how do you move through it?

I sometimes find it hard to get started. Once I'm underway on something, I can stick with it for a while, but unfortunately I'm also very good at procrastinating. To move through it, I set measurable goals and deliverables for myself. I focus on outputs—what do I need to accomplish today? What's next? I also exercise regularly, something I know is connected to my creative drive. And of course, there's always coffee.

7. It’s often difficult to stay open to constructive feedback and filter the reflexive criticism and mean-spiritedness that we see online. What strategies do you use for dealing with criticism and how do you stay open to feedback?

It is indeed difficult. If you've got this figured out, do let me know. As for me, I do my best to stay positive and ask myself if there's anything I can learn from the experience. But such a thing is easier said than done.

8. Describe a snapshot of a joyful moment in your life.

I made it to the Sudan last month, a country I'd been trying to get to for years without success. I finally found a contact who arranged my paperwork, and I arrived late at night on a flight from Dubai. It was 2am before I located my driver and went to the guesthouse, but I felt very happy to have made it safe and sound. The next day I toured the museum and mosque, getting a sense of the land and feeling fortunate to be in a place most Westerners never see.

9. Do you have a mantra or manifesto for living and loving with your whole heart?

Yes, that would probably be the Art of Non-Conformity mission statement: You don't have to live your life the way other people expect you to. You can do good things for yourself and for others at the same time.

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Now, for some fun! 

From James Lipton, host of Inside the Actor’s Studio

What is your favorite word? Convergence

What is your least favorite word? Phone call (technically, two words)

What sound or noise do you love? Ocean waves

What sound or noise do you hate? Alarm clocks

What is your favorite curse word? WTF (technically, a curse acronym)

What’s something about you that would surprise us?  At the age of 14 I aspired to become a professional car thief. Sadly, I wasn't highly skilled in this new profession, and I kept getting caught.

From Smith Magazine’s Six Word Memoirs from Writers Famous and Obscure

Your six-word memoir: Curious adventurer achieves gentle world domination.

Don't forget to leave your name in the comments!

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Published on July 23, 2012 06:10 • 51 views

July 18, 2012

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Are you ready for this? Katie Couric is launching a new daytime talk show and (are you sitting down) I'm going to do a show with her!

I'm so excited! The show is on Daring Greatly and will tape on August 9, 2012 in New York. I'd love to fill the audience with our Wholehearted community, so if you're in the area get a ticket! Tickets are available on (scroll down to the bottom of the page). 

What I love the most about Katie is her ability to laugh, be serious, have fun, and talk about the issues that matter in our lives. There's nothing better than kitchen table conversations and she does that so well. 

Five years ago, when I Thought It Was Just Me came out, I used to stand in front of the mirror and practice doing TV interviews. Steve would walk by and say, "How's Katie?" I'd reply, "She great. We're going to lunch after the show. We're taking her minivan." Everyone used to make fun of the fact she drove a minivan (except those of us who haul kids around everyday). 

Of course, now that it's actually happening I'm just hoping that I can remember my name. 

I'll leave you with a little "behind the scenes" video that Katie made to introduce folks to the show. Enjoy and I hope to see you in New York on August 9th! 

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Published on July 18, 2012 17:36 • 51 views

July 16, 2012

[image error]Jeune Fille Endormie by Pablo Picasso (1935)

In Daring Greatly, I share what I've learned about one of the greatest dares of all - parenting. I write about the challenges of wholehearted parenting in a scarcity culture and why what we teach our children is important, but not nearly as important as who we are. The real challenge of wholehearted parenting is to be the adults that we want our children to grow up to be.

I came across this quote from Picasso and thought, "This is exactly what we need to create . . . a world (families, schools, culture) worthy of our children.

“Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again. And what do we teach our children?

We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France.

When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to each of them:

Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique.

In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move.

You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel?

You must work, we must all work, to make the world worthy of its children.” 
- Pablo Picasso

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Published on July 16, 2012 20:21 • 43 views

July 5, 2012

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Last year I was lucky enough to spend several hours with Benjamin Zander in the Green Room at The UP Experience. We were both speaking at the event and we had the opportunity to talk about music and hope (our topics for the day). As he closed his talk, the entire audience was standing singing Beethoven’s Ode to Joy in German (he handed out the lyrics) as he conducted. 

I fell completely in love with Ode to Joy (and Benjamin Zander)!

Charlie recently learned a very simple version of the music in his piano class. That's him and his piano partner in the picture above! I think that picture just screams JOY! Now Charlie plays Ode to Joy for me every morning. It's such a great way to start the day.  

I came across this yesterday and thought you might like it. It gives me goosebumps and makes me happy! You can watch Benjamin Zander's TED talk here. 


The event was sponsord by Spain’s Banco Sabadell. Featuring Vallès Symphony Orchestra, the choirs of Lieder and Friends of l’Opera and the Choral Belles Arts. It's conducted by Josef Vila Casañas.

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Published on July 05, 2012 08:33 • 78 views

June 28, 2012

I started the Inspiration Interview Series because I wanted to know more about the people who share their work with the world and inspire me to practice courage, be creative, and dream big. Mati Rose McDonough is one of those people. Meet Mati!

[image error]Image by Leslie Sophia Lindell

Mati Rose McDonough is an artist, illustrator and new author who lives in the Bay Area. Mati studied painting at the California College of the Arts and has had many shows around the country. She has taught painting retreats in the U.S. and Italy.

Mati cofounded Teahouse Studios in Berkeley and Get Your Paint On! online painting classes. She is represented by Lilla Rogers Studio in illustration and licensing and has her art published on Patagonia shirts, Pier 1 products, Calypso cards, University Game boards and Madison Park Greeting products.

Mati recently illustrated 2 children's books and published her first painting book "Daring Adventures In Paint".

Ellen and I are crazy about Mati's new book! It's beautiful and inspiringly easy to follow. If you've ever dreamed of sitting down with a brush and creating something - this is the book for you. Ellen and I are going to get our Paint Adventures on this summer!

To celebrate Mati's great new book we're giving away three copies. Just leave your name in the comments section and we'll draw winners on Monday. If you're reading this via your email or Facebook, please leave your comments here (on the blog). 

I love Mati's wisdom and vulnerability. I was also blown away by the quote, the procrastination  strategy, and poem she shares. Grab a cup of tea and enjoy! 

[image error]Image by Leslie Sophia Lindell

On Vulnerability, Authenticity and Courage

Creativity, innovation, and truth-telling can be very vulnerable in our culture which is why we often feel deeply inspired when we see it. We’d love to know more about how you find the courage to share your authentic self and your work with the world.

1. Vulnerability is . . . showing the world your magic. It's what makes you, you.

2. What role does vulnerability play in your work? Every time I show up at the canvas, I am riddled with self-doubt, my inner-critic and the risk of failing. I want so badly to create something that I love, and often have an idea of what that may look like, and have to throw any preconceived ideas out the window and let come what may.

This vulnerability and risk-taking on the canvas mirrors that of my own life and my constant striving towards alignment and authenticity. I am in the middle of a painful and growing moment right now going through a divorce and rebuilding my identity: my art is healing that piece and informing what I paint too.

3. Is perfectionism an issue for you? If so, what’s one of your strategies for managing it? Perfectionism is an issue and tied into my gremlin of procrastination. I have to reframe this as part of the creative process and build time into my schedule time for daydreaming, sketching and making drafts.

Some other practical strategies are: Just begin! I set my timer for a 10-20 minute chunk to start something that really overwhelms me. Once I get started, it’s so much easier to continue on, but I use a lot of mind trickery to get going. OMG, I love this strategy and I'm off to buy a cute timer!

4. What inspires you? Strawberry Rhubarb pie, thick lattes, turquoise, the sea, working with my hands, laughter, eye wrinkles, love, girlfriends and paint!

5. What’s something that gets in the way of your creativity and how do you move through it? Negativity and feeling hemmed in. I get out my colored markers and big sheets of paper and write gratitude lists and mind-map different ideas on how to approach something.

6. It’s often difficult to share ourselves and our work with the world given the reflexive criticism and mean-spiritedness that we see in our culture – especially online. What strategies do you use to Dare Greatly – to show up, let yourself be seen, share your work with the world, and deal with criticism I talk about this in my book a lot because it’s such an integral part of the creative process. I try to remember that place that children occupy when they freely share their work from a place of joy and remember that this is possible. That and this Martha Graham quote that reminds me that there is only one of me and my mark at any moment:

“There is vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost”

Image by Leslie Sophia Lindell

7. Describe a snapshot of a joyful moment in your life.  Awww, a joyful day is this: savoring my morning coffee and then riding my mint green bike in the sun through full bloom Berkeley to my art studio Teahouse. Then busting out my paints and having cookie breaks from the bakery downstairs with my sweet studio-mates.

8. Do you have a mantra or manifesto for living and loving with your whole heart? Love wide and strong!

[image error]Image by Leslie Sophia Lindell

Now, for some fun!

From James Lipton, host of Inside the Actor’s Studio

What is your favorite word? treasure

What is your least favorite word? moist

What sound or noise do you love? coffee being ground

What sound or noise do you hate? car alarms

What is your favorite curse word? the f bomb

 [image error]Image by Leslie Sophia Lindell

  From JL’s Uncle Jessie Meme  

A song/band/type of music you'd risk wreck & injury to turn off when it comes on the radio? Glamour rock

Favorite show on television? Friday Night Lights

Favorite movie? The Royal Tannenbaums

Best concert? My first with my sister and best friend when we were 16:  Paul Simon during his Graceland tour

If you could have anything put on a t-shirt what would it be? Let your light shine brightly, baby!

Favorite meal? I grew up in Maine so I would have to say summertime lobster, my mom’s potato dill salad, fresh corn on the cob and strawberry rhubarb pie!

A talent you wish you had? Public speaking

Dream vacation? I’ve never been to Paris and it’s a big dream!

What’s on your nightstand? A poem by Raymond Carver:

Late Fragment

And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.

And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth

What’s something about you that would surprise us? I played the trombone for 8 years because I was the tallest girl in my class with the longest arms. No fun lugging that beast on the bus every day at age 11!

From Smith Magazine’s Six Word Memoirs

Your six-word memoir? Treasure seeking painting pirate finds herself.

Mati painted these awesome signs and her book includes gorgeous collages of different people holding them. When she asked me to hold one I said, "Heck yeah!" The winners of the books will also get one of these beautiful reminders! 

Connect with Mati here: Website | Twitter = @matirose | Her amazing online shop!

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Published on June 28, 2012 08:52 • 76 views

June 25, 2012

[image error]Sisters at Sunset | 2012

I'm enjoying some time away with my favorite companions - family, friends, and nature. I read this poem today and fell in love with it - especially the part about prayers being answered even if when we're not daring to pray or to be happy. 

Wishing you beautiful summer mornings.  

Morning Poem by Mary Oliver 
from Dream Work (1986) 

Every morning
the world
is created.
Under the orange

sticks of the sun
the heaped
ashes of the night
turn into leaves again

and fasten themselves to the high branches ---
and the ponds appear
like black cloth
on which are painted islands

of summer lilies.
If it is your nature
to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails

for hours, your imagination
alighting everywhere.
And if your spirit
carries within it

the thorn
that is heavier than lead ---
if it's all you can do
to keep on trudging ---

there is still
somewhere deep within you
a beast shouting that the earth
is exactly what it wanted ---

each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
every morning,

whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy,
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray.

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Published on June 25, 2012 08:04 • 182 views

June 20, 2012


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I received napkins with this cartoon on them from a lovely woman I met last year at the Massachusetts Conference for Women. The New Yorker cartoon cracked me up so I did a search to see if there were any other funny takes on vulnerability. This one made me laugh too! 


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Laughter is such an important part of soulwork. It forces us to breathe. 

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Published on June 20, 2012 07:51 • 76 views