Earlier this year I was introduced to the work of Brené Brown and it’s had a huge impact on my journey towards becoming a more authentic version of myself.
Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work who is well known for her ground-breaking research on shame and vulnerability. She is also the author of three books – Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead (2012), The Gifts of Imperfection (2010) and I Thought It Was Just Me (2007).
Her 2010 TEDx Houston talk on The Power of Vulnerability is one of the most popular talks on TED.com. When you watch it you’ll soon see why.
The first thing that struck me when I watched it was her honesty. She is not afraid to tell millions of people that she had a breakdown spiritual awakening and went into therapy. She is also very warm and funny with a great sense of comic timing.
In this video Brené Brown talks about her work researching the topic of shame. After six years of interviewing people and collecting people’s stories she was able to see what separated people who felt shame from those who didn’t.
She also came to understand better the meaning of courage and the importance of allowing ourselves to feel vulnerable in order to really experience fear and joy, creativity and love – the whole range of emotions that makes us human and puts us in touch with who we really are.
Reading her book The Gifts of Imperfection really helped me to understand the true meaning of courage – ‘To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart’. I realised that true courage requires me to embrace vulnerability – to take risks and say what I really feel and to allow myself to feel emotions, both good and bad. It also means accepting my imperfections and being compassionate towards myself and others. It was the first step on my journey towards Learning to Speak My Truth.
This TEDx talk is a great introduction to Brené Brown’s work and the concepts of shame and vulnerability. I hope it inspires you as much as it did me and leads you towards living a more courageous and authentic life.
If this video is unable to play in your browser, please click on the link to watch Brené Brown’s TEDx Talk online.
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Brené Brown’s Ordinary Courage Blog