May 17, 2013

Brene Brown and Daring Greatly: Fascinating Stuff

Brene Brown on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday
First, some background:

I was recently introduced to Brene Brown's work last week on a dvr'ed episode of Oprah's Super Soul Sunday show on OWN (love the Super Soul Sunday, by the way). Oprah did a two-part interview with her that I found both extremely interesting (particularly the second half) and unbelievably timely and poignant for me (see earlier post: Letting Go of an Achievement Mentality). You can watch that interview here:

Oprah's Super Soul Sunday interviews with Brene Brown

So Brene Brown has a PhD in social work and is a professor and researcher at the University of Houston in Texas. She has focused her research of the last ten-plus years on shame and vulnerability, among other things. After I watched her interview with Oprah, I googled her and found she had done two TED talks (TED talks are another love of mine!) and some PBS and NPR interviews. So I stayed up late that night watching those on my iPad (who needs sleep when you're having epiphanies!). Her research and her presentation of it are fascinating! You can check out her two TED talks here:

Brene Brown: The Power of Vulnerability

Brene Brown: Listening to Shame

Her interview with Oprah was prompted by her most recent book Daring Greatly (she's written two previous books as well)...which I promptly put on hold at the library and just picked up this week...I will get back to you on that after I've read the book.

Brene Brown's most recent book

And now, why I'm writing about it:

Anyway, what I found so fascinating about Brene Brown is her scientific exploration of atypical scientific stuff, like emotions and the psyche and self-talk. I also found the results of her research fascinating, some of which fly in the face of standardly accepted the idea that being vulnerable means being weak, when in fact, vulnerability may be the foundation of happiness. Or, as she says: Vulnerability is the birthplace of joy, creativity, faith and love. We must let ourselves be vulnerable in order to live life fully.

What makes this particularly poignant for me at the moment is a conversation I had recently with my friend Heidi, which I wrote about in my post Letting Go of an Achievement Mentality. Essentially, where I landed mentally after our conversation is that the key to unlocking the next level of happiness for me, as well as releasing me from whatever is keeping me from doing some of the things I want to do, is letting go of my tight leash on control and of my fear of failure.

Both of which, interestingly enough, would be directly related to allowing myself to be vulnerable.


And you say vulnerability is the birthplace of joy, creativity, faith and love, Ms. Brown?

Well. Shit.

...And this is what I was referring to at the end of my Letting Go post…yet another thing put in my path just when I was ready for it. So I am off to read Daring Greatly and I will let you know what I learn and how it effects my current path.

What I can tell you now is this: just what I've learned and become aware of so far, in these past few weeks since my original conversation with Heidi, has relaxed my shoulders and let some creativity flow through. And even that little bit has felt amazing. And has left me yearning for more.

Until next time, go listen to Brene…you may not have epiphanies, like me, but you'll at least learn a little something and be entertained for a bit.

Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren't always comfortable, but they're never weakness.  --Brene Brown

1 comment:

  1. Hi I'm Heather! Please email me when you get a chance, I have a question about your blog! LifesABanquet1(at)