Is vulnerability the same as weakness? “In our culture,” teaches Dr. Brené Brown, “we associate vulnerability with emotions we want to avoid such as fear, shame, and uncertainty. Yet we too often lose sight of the fact that vulnerability is also the birthplace of joy, belonging, creativity, authenticity, and love.” On The Power of Vulnerability, Dr. Brown offers an invitation and a promise - that when we dare to drop the armor that protects us from feeling vulnerable, we open ourselves to the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives. Here she dispels the cultural myth that vulnerability is weakness and reveals that it is, in truth, our most accurate measure of courage. “The Power of Vulnerability is a very personal project for me,” Brené explains. “This is the first place that all of my work comes together. This audio course draws from all three of my books - it’s the culmination of everything I’ve learned over the past twelve years. I'm very excited to weave it all into a truly comprehensive form that shows what these findings and insights can mean in our lives.”
Guidance and Insights for Wholehearted Living
Over the past twelve years, Dr. Brené Brown has interviewed hundreds of people as part of an ongoing study of vulnerability. “The research shows that we try to ward disappointment with a shield of cynicism, disarm shame by numbing ourselves against joy, and circumvent grief by shutting off our willingness to love,” explains Dr. Brown. When we become aware of these patterns, she teaches, we begin to become conscious of how much we sacrifice in the name of self-defense -and how much richer our lives become when we open ourselves to vulnerability. “In my research,” Dr. Brown says, “the word I use to describe people who can live from a place of vulnerability is wholehearted.” Being wholehearted is a practice—one that we can choose to cultivate through empathy, gratitude, and awareness of our vulnerability armor. Join this engaging and heartfelt teacher on The Power of Vulnerability as she offers profound insights on leaning into the full spectrum of emotions—so we can show up, let ourselves be seen, and truly be all in.
Cultivating shame resilience—the key to developing a sense of worth and belonging. Vulnerability as the origin point for innovation, adaptability, accountability, and visionary leadership. Our emotional armory - how we use perfectionism, numbing, and other tactics to avoid feeling vulnerable. The myths of vulnerability - common misconceptions about weakness, trust, and self-sufficiency. Discovering your vulnerability armor - recognizing what makes us shut down, and how we can change. The 10 guideposts of wholehearted living - essential skills for becoming fully engaged in life. Six hours of stories, warm humor, and transformative insights for living a life of courage, authenticity, and compassion from Dr. Brené Brown.
Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation – Brené Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work. Brené is also a visiting professor in management at The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business.
She has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy and is the author of five #1 New York Times bestsellers: The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, Braving the Wilderness, and her latest book, Dare to Lead.
Brené hosts the Unlocking Us Podcast and the Dare to Lead Podcast. Her TED talk – The Power of Vulnerability – is one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world with over 50 million views. She is also the first researcher to have a filmed lecture on Netflix. The Call to Courage special debuted on the streaming service in April 2019.
Brené lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband, Steve. They have two children, Ellen and Charlie.
I decided to give this audiobook - narrated by the author - a chance right after having watched Alain de Botton's talk, Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person. I don't really recall how my mind then led me to associate the aforementioned with Brené Brown's work, but here we are...
On The Power of Vulnerability, Dr. Brown offers an invitation and a promise - that when we dare to drop the armor that protects us from feeling vulnerable, we open ourselves to the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives. Here she dispels the cultural myth that vulnerability is weakness and reveals that it is, in truth, our most accurate measure of courage.
I still remember the first time I listened to the author's Ted talk (back in 2014) on the subject of vulnerability because it changed and transformed a lot in me. Brown's use of humor and wit to educate the listener delivered everything I wanted. And I was ecstatic to then start the audiobook (albeit, three years later) and discover that her comical anecdotes were still on point with plenty of wit and snark to spare. I laughed heartily and merrily throughout the six sessions, which was so wonderful and centering to experience. Pure comedic gems that lead to fascinating discoveries concerning our lives. I went through a roller coaster of emotions that force me to reexamine myself.
So I thought I'd share next a few points from the audiobook that really resonated with me:
• Self-acceptance and self-love: “We can only love others as much as we love ourselves.” • The difference between shame and guilt: the former being a focus on self (I am bad) while the later is focused on behaviour (I did bad). And how crucial it is to pay attention to their differences. • Shame resilience and moving through it. Owning your story. • The difference between empathy (being the antidote to shame) and sympathy:“Empathy is feeling with, sympathy is feeling for.” • Debunking the myths about vulnerability. • Practicing gratitude in the midsts of foreboding joy. • Setting boundaries and learning to say no: “Choose discomfort over resentment.” • Overfunctioning & underfunctioning anxiety. • To be vulnerable and let ourselves be seen: “No one reaches out to you for compassion or empathy so you can teach them how to behave better. They reach out to us because they believe in our capacity to know our darkness well enough to sit in the dark with them.”
To put it simply, The Power of Vulnerability is all about becoming aware of your emotions and “bring to light processes people aren’t even aware they're engaged in.” I wish I could make everyone in my close proximity listen to this audiobook as soon as possible. Already I've had so many discussions over the past few days about certain notions shared by Dr. Brown that are well worth the spotlight.
And not only did she make this reading experience feel fun and interactive while following her mindfulness, the personal anecdotes about her husband, kids, and friends made me laugh out loud without fail. That's just a guaranteed way to make me remember a crucial point a long way down the road. Plus, the book never suffered from giving off vague advice, thanks to Brown having the experiences of those she researched and of her own to back-up the statements.
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Highly suggest listening to the audio version. Brené Brown is amazing, relatable and fearless in cutting through our normal tendencies and behaviours to show how we've become wired the way that we are, how normal it is and how to ease off the gas pedal to allow ourselves to open up. Will have this one on repeat for years to come.
The best way to get an idea of this book is to watch Brené Brown's TED Talk on vulnerability. It was a real eye-opener for me and it went viral so I wasn't alone in loving it.
I was delighted to find this 6-talk series on Audible that I could use as a refresher. Brown pulls together all her research to continue the vulnerability conversation on a deeper level.
Brown herself is so engaging and genuine that the sessions are easy to listen to. She freely shares personal stories as examples so you know you're not alone when you recognize some behavior being discussed. And she's funny. I will never forget her story about the three-dozen cookies.
Brown's work is like a secular look at the human condition and how to live as our most honest, fulfilled selves. She doesn't ignore spirituality. Indeed, her research found that is a key component of whole-hearted peoples' lives. I was fascinated when I realized how often Brown's findings echoed personal discoveries I've made in 15 years of Catholicism. I look back at how far I've come and I see someone who has come into the light after spending much of my life in darkness.
One of the things I loved was when Brown said that if you feel shame then she can guarantee there are other people who feel that same shame. Again, a very Catholic teaching. As someone said to me the other day about the value of belonging to our parish, "I learned we're all broken. It's not just me. I'm not alone."
I didn't always agree with every single thing Brown said (and I bet she's ok with that imperfection!). However, those were usually the instances where she was making her own points instead of using research based information. My disagreement didn't come on many points and they didn't matter to the overall work.
Am I done? Of course not. We're never done, as Brown points out and as the Church also tells us. But Brown's work comes together wonderfully well for anyone who is striving for a more authentic life. (That's all of us, by the way.) I learned things that help me understand why I act the way I do. Over-functioning when stressed — right here! Will that change things? Not sure but it can't hurt to know it.
And it meshes wonderfully well with the Catholic faith which just validates both even more to me.
I'll probably be revisiting these talks occasionally for a refresher. Highly recommended for ... everyone.
#mystrangereading The Power of Vulnerability by Brené Brown. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Brené Brown: You are my queen. I will read, listen and follow you in any direction your research takes you. You are amazing.
As I stated when I first started listening to this audible, I don’t really think a collection of her talks should count as a book, but if GR wants to count it and let me review it, I’m here for it. 🤩
This collection of talks was powerful and so interesting. These talks come right before Daring Greatly was released, so she gets to go into all of her research in one setting and I learned so much. I learned more about the power of calling Shame out, how to pick when to be vulnerable and how important authenticity is.
Her work is incredible and I’ll listen to her forever. Period.
This woman studies shame. She was shamed about this on attending a conference for 'important' people. The PR woman suggested talking to the large audience about 'how to be happy'. This is how the book started off. A great segway I thought.
Brene Brown loves what she does, and researches the field she is passionate about. It would be like me talking to people about books all day long, travelling around spreading the word about books and how books would enhance people's lives, if only they knew how to embrace the concept.
She is a researcher, she has evidence supporting her notions and interviews thousands of people on wholeheartedness and vulnerability and shame. She said that she could sit you down, have a chat and within moments know how to bring you to your knees.
Her Tedx Talks are great too.
This is an audio format. There are six sessions which she presented to a large audience over a couple of days. There are a couple of take homes for me. She is ready for work in a white suit, looking great and spills coffee on this lovely suit just before walking out the door. Straight away the blame goes to her long suffering husband for coming home late, leaving her not able to go to bed as early as she wished as she settles only when he is home. She just says it how it is, unafraid to tell the world her shortcomings. This helps others, she is naturally gifted in using her slights, strengths and weaknesses to tell her story. She's simply bloody smart.
Gremlins. Her gremlin is writing. She is natural, can talk about what she loves easily but feels the pressure when writing a book. She's a great writer, she's an academic, but this is her moment and tells the world she's not so sure about it.
She doesn't make notes, she states this would not want to be stuck on a pre conceived idea, she wants to be focused on what is happening with her audience. She is so skilled at this, and like so many others, she is an introvert. I find this fascinating as she must push outside of her zone every single time she performs in front of a crowd. This would be all the time!
Not only was I able to glean bits of gold from her ideas (there are so many), but I also am able to see where I need to improve. This is also a lot!
She embodies a great amount I aspire to, empathy, being able to listen, being able to find humour and joy in life and speaking with an enormous amount of candour. She also speaks of her sobriety, her experience with alcohol and the how and why's of her path to sobriety.
This woman packs a punch, she is very smart and has the best stories. I'd like to think I can dance like a nincompoop in a shopping centre while the 'gorgeous mums in the skinny jeans with their cool daughters' (this is in my words as I listened to the audio) watch on. She did this because her daughter busted some moves to a song that started up in the mall. Love it.
This book covers a lot, and it's worth a second look, which I will be doing.
I'm lying in bed at almost midnight, crying as I write this review. I'm one week out from a painful break up, and I think this book arrived as a gift from the Universe just letting me know that it was right to take the risk to love, even though it hurts right now. Even though it didn't turn out as I hoped, I did as Brene Brown advises: I showed up and was present. I let myself be seen. I really do live wholeheartedly. This is one of those books (lecture series, whatever) that everyone should read and take to heart. It will make a difference in your life.
A profoundly life-changing lecture. Brené Brown helps us to see the beauty that lies in being vulnerable. Being vulnerable is difficult, but it’s an essential step to us being wholeheartedly our genuine selves.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. - Theodore Roosevelt
I will be listening to this lecture again shortly.
This was such a great "re-listen" and very short, as well. I really don't have much to add on from my original review, so I'll leave it below.
This was more of a "Ted Talk" than a book. Well, I guess it isn't actually a book at all. I listened to it on audible and it was a tremendously enjoyable listen. It had so many great moments that really make you think. Vulnerability is considered a weakness among many people, but she makes a great argument that it's not a character flaw, but one of the greatest strengths we could possess. This is a recurring theme for many of the books I've read/listened to over these past few weeks. Yet another that I can highly recommend!
I kept thinking all the way through this audio "book" which is actually a set of talks Brown gave over a period of two days at some type of conference, that everyone (most of all, me) needs to hear this. A researcher, a social worker, and a communicator that is attempting to do what she is "preaching," Brown's message is relevant to every human being if he or she has the courage to first listen to it and then apply it. Half way through this audio book, I ordered her book, The Gifts of Imperfection. If I can begin to learn and make changes based on her research, the second half of my life will be far better than the first. If you want a taste of what this audio book is like watch this TED talk: http://youtu.be/iCvmsMzlF7o and this one: http://youtu.be/psN1DORYYV0 It will be 20 minutes well spent. And after you've watched that read one of her books or listen to some of her audio recordings.
I just adore this woman and her stories and insights. I wish this was in written form because I would have been highlighting the heck out of it. As it is, I can only bookmark and try to find and re-listen to the parts that seemed especially noteworthy. Brown's down-to-earth presentation, wealth of research, and humorous or touching anecdotes always resonate and inform. I usually see myself, my siblings and my fellow humans in all she talks about, and no matter what foibles she is pointing out, I always feel lighter having listened. And more hopeful.
I haven’t known what to write for this review, although I can’t stop talking about The Power of Vulnerability, which suggests writing about it shouldn’t be so difficult!
Brown’s lessons do follow the path of my own core beliefs, although I don’t even know how I came to embrace these beliefs, as they go against all I was taught in life. I only know that I saw their benefit after observing and experiencing how harmful the alternatives were. However, she didn’t tell me what I already knew while I nodded along. She explained practical applications in a way that made me think more deeply and more beneficially on how to truly change my own way of thinking and my approach to life. Plus, she is incredibly humble about it all, never presenting her own life as the ideal, because we are all imperfect people and she doesn’t pretend otherwise. I truly appreciated both the content and her attitude.
I wish everyone could reap the benefits of The Power of Vulnerability, but I know not everyone will be receptive to what Brown has to say. Vulnerability is a frightening thing, especially in a society that shields itself against it. Regardless, I recommend this, and if you’re reading this review, I hope you’ll give The Power of Vulnerability a try.
This was really good. Humorous, insightful and resonant, Dr. Brown looks at data and makes it human. I like that she refused to engage in how to, and instead focused on thought process and areas that we need to address in ourselves. So much of this was somewhat revelatory for me, and several times I felt a bit called out (like the cult of exhaustion and productivity--case in point, I was listening to this while cleaning and cooking and working on a gift for a friend. Because just listening to a book is time that could be spent multi-tasking. Why? Why can't we just sit?)
Highly recommended if you know you have a lot of negative emotions about yourself, if you work or live in a high anxiety state, have a hard time engaging with empathy, or just want to get better at coping with rejection, guilt, and shame for yourself, or supporting your loved ones or building up your team at work.
I don't want to go into specifics because I'd just be rehashing what the professional says without the same nuance and depth she can provide, but I would say this was a lively, relatable, easy-to-consume but hard-to-hear look at things that make us the people we want to be.
Love, love, love this! I listened to the audio version, which is an audio learning course, presented by her as a series of sessions. She balances her own research with other well known authors and researchers, in addition to her own experiences as great examples of how to apply her theories in daily life.
I am a big picture person, and I loved how she could weave together various aspects of our psychology to formulate an almost all encompassing thesis of living life "whole heartedly". From redefining our understanding of vulnerability and shame, to applying it to our daily life and struggles, it helps us understand better why we react the way we do and how to develop the skills necessary to living our life fully engaged.
I don't think any individual part of her theory is groundbreaking as it is based on common subjects of other self- help research and authors. What I find so different, however, is how she incorporates each part into a major, "meta" thesis. I recommend this whole heartedly!
Learned some big things in this audiobook, probably worth another listen.
Empathy is when you feel WITH someone, Sympathy is when you feel FOR someone. Talks a lot about how vulnerability is strength because we put ourselves out there in a brave position with the hope that the outcome will be better. It's bad when others use others vulnerable moments against them.
Guilt, shame, embarrassment, what are the differences and why does it matter?
I need to read all of her books. I listened to this on audio and really connected to it. I’m new to Brene Brown. Of course I have heard of her for the longest time but I never checked her out before now. I get to end my year of reading 📖 for 2021 with a real game changer. Lots to journal on here. I have a Books A Million gift card I got for Xmas 🎄 and I think I will purchase this book in paperback. I think it will be one of those that I will highlight over and over.
If I could give this book six stars, I would. I cannot remember another book that struck me as so important that the moment I finished I started again from the beginning; I just finished my second listening in less than a week.
For context, I had heard of Dr. Brene Brown's work for many years, but never explored her work on my own until I happened to see this audiobook on sale - my only regret is that I had not found it sooner. In a series of lectures, the world's expert in shame research covers an incredible amount of ground, from guilt and shame to vulnerability and empathy to numbing and calming behaviors. She integrates all of this in a framework of "whole-heartedness" - as she puts it, the work of middle age, to tear down all the walls we put up to protect ourselves in our youth so that we can now fully experience life. Beyond the content, her clever, funny, and charming narrative style make this an absolute delight to listen to.
While I have several books on my "read once a year" book, I feel this one may have to be on my "read once a month" list, at least for a while.
Love, love, love!!! I listened to this conference Brene Brown spoke at on Audiobook, I really think the content is the same as on a Daring Greatly. Easy to listen to and life giving/changing. Highly recommend!
This book is a must read! I would give it 6-stars if Goodreads let me :) Quick side note: I listened to the book on Audible. The book is a collection of 6 lectures by the author. And she is a great speaker! I highly recommend listening to the book.
I had to listen to this book thrice. The first read made me realize what a giant ass I have been to everyone, including the people who I love and care for the most. It helped me realize the giant role that judgement and shame play in my thinking. It was painful to realize that even when I was trying to be empathetic, I was doing so with a shame/judgement driven mindset. The first listen was a rough journey to say the least. The 2nd listen was equally painful. It made me realize the toxicity of all the implicit and explicit self-loathing that I indulged in. It helped me understand that I need to be kind and respectful to myself before I can offer the same kindness and respect to others. The third listen was more peaceful and I was able to take notes. Listening to this book was truly a life changing experience.
Interesting side note: I was binge re-watching “The Wire” around the time of reading this book. The conversation between Bubbles and his sponsor caught my attention and made more sense during this re-watch then they ever did in my previous binge re-watches. I have watched “The Wire” 6 times end-end!
There is a lot to learn from the book. A few of my takeaways are:
Wholeheartedness is the idea that we were born enough. That we were born with everything we need to be the best we can. Wholeheartedness is a North Star. We will never get there but we know we are headed in the right direction. Very few people are born wholehearted. The rest of us have to strive to get there. Daily.
We cannot love someone else any more than we love ourselves. We cannot respect someone else any more than we respect ourselves.
Shame is the root of all negative emotions - fear, humiliation, embarrassment, judgement, anger, mental shutdown, inability to live with uncertainty etc. Shame shuts down the prefrontal cortex and causes a fight or flight response. For men, being perceived as weak triggers shame. For women, body image and work quality triggers shame.
Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we are supposed to be and embracing who we actually are. Choosing authenticity means having the courage to 1) accept our imperfections, 2) setting boundaries and 3) being vulnerable
Being authentic requires practice. Setting boundaries requires constantly choosing discomfort now over resentment in the future. It will frustrate and piss off a lot of people. Being vulnerable requires being comfortable saying yes now instead of waiting and finding ways to avoid embarrassment etc
Perfectionism is not the same as striving for excellence. Perfectionism is driven by a desire to not be shamed by people finding mistakes in your work. Transformative leaders strive to excel but watch out for perfectionism. “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good”. - Voltaire
Wholehearted people are spiritual. They cultivate the ability to live comfortably with uncertainty. They are comfortable with uncertainty because they believe that the universe is working to help them. They also follow their intuition and create space for it. Intuition is more than just random, uninformed thinking. It is based off our past experiences.
A book to read again. Deals with the linked issues of shame and vulnerability in an empathetic way, with disarming honesty (Brene Brown practices what she preaches) she lays bare the roots of shame and perfectionism and the way these are everywhere in our culture (and am I cynical if I add: our churches? I think religion often uses these same tactics to keep people subordinate) and points to their effects - all too recognisable I must add. She also as a fellow traveller advises on the way to shame resistant soulful living. It's rooted in unconditional acceptance and love. In a way -dare I say it?- in the Good News. Brown is an Anglican Christian - just like C,S.Lewis and N.T.Wright. What is it with this church why it produces such hopeful and thoughtful Christians?
Brown gets to the heart of shame that prevents us from deep connections and vulnerability There was some ugly crying involved, but realizing that shame was a large part of the way many of us were raised was eye opening and life changing. I did this as an audio because the author presents with great humor, sensitivity and self-deprecation in a healthy and positive way.
5+++ Stars- I think this is my favorite Brene Brown book that I’ve ever read! The take aways from this book are endless. It’s not actually a book it’s a recording of Brene speaking at a day long conference. I think it’s only available in audio format. Her speaking skills are so incredibly refined and helpful and I could listen to her for hours and hours. Definitely want to listen to it again. LOVED IT!!
This is essentially Brene Brown’s ‘Call to Courage’ Netflix special but in much more detail. She’s an incredible speaker, who communicates to her audience in such a wholehearted and empathic way - I could listen to her say the same things over and over again (but that might become a tool for numbing, so maybe I just need to get up and do some shit). In terms of doing my own work - she offers such clear principles around managing shame and vulnerability. For me, the empowerment comes from how she gives language to so many common experience: which gives me understanding and allows for transformation.
Here’s why this is the best: - it’s better than a book because I’m listening to her speak - It’s more engaging than an audiobook because she is speaking to an audience in real-time - It’s more powerful than a podcast because it's broken into 6 talks that build on eachother.
And a few quotes I collected (from the 2nd half onwards)
“The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re being uncool”
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better” (I can't remember if she just referenced Maya Angelou or said this)
“The opposite of play is not work. The opposite of play is depression”
“an animal will handicap itself just to continue playing, showing that play is about contest but not competition”
Oh…she talks about slash careers. Yes. ‘We only get to be what makes money’. Why not both? I’m an actor (I make no money from acting) and a web/app designer. Deal with it world.
“We have to decide. Yes wholeheartedness is hard. But not fully living our lives is much harder, and much more dangerous”
I’ve got a lot of work to do. I’m grateful for having the opportunity to explore that shit. Thanks Brene.
Also I used to be TERRIFIED of writing what I thought about books on goodreads (I still am a bit lol) because I was so worried about what people would think of what I think. And I do care, but not about everyone — so this is my first step into not people pleasing. Peace.
I can't get over how many a-ha moments there are in this! I got the audible version and it's essentially a seminar series with the author herself. I literally started listening to this when I got to work not really knowing what to expect and could not put it down until I went home (then I picked it back up and finished it!). Too many insights to mention..just get this and go.