Courage and Vulnerability

Last year I was introduced to an amazing author, speaker and researcher by the name of Brené Brown. A friend recommended I read her book “The Gifts of Imperfection” because of some self-worth and perfectionism issues I was digging into in my life. The book was a HUGE help to me and if it hadn’t been a copy from the library, I would have had notes and highlights on every page. So many “ah-ha!” moments in each chapter!

Here is the description of the book from Brene’s website:

“Each day we face a barrage of images and messages from society and the media telling us who, what, and how we should be. We are led to believe that if we could only look perfect and lead perfect lives, we’d no longer feel inadequate. So most of us perform, please, and perfect, all the while thinking,

What if I can’t keep all of these balls in the air?
Why isn’t everyone else working harder and living up to my expectations?
What will people think if I fail or give up?
When can I stop proving myself?

In The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown, Ph.D., a leading expert on authenticity, shame, and courage shares what she’s learned from a decade of research on the power of Wholehearted Living.

She writes, ‘Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It’s going to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.'”

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Realizing that I am worth of love and belonging even though I am (quite) imperfect has really changed the way I go through life. Instead of feeling like I’m always trying to PROVE myself worthy or valuable to others, I (try to) live each day believing that I already AM. It’s definitely a work in progress and some days are better than others, but this book has truly started changing the way I think.

Brené’s most recent book – a #1 New York Times Best Seller – is called Daring Greatly and reaches even more deeply into the topics of vulnerability and courage.

From the website:

“Vulnerability is not weakness, and the uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure we face every day are not optional. Our only choice is a question of engagement.
Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and the clarity of our purpose.”

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I have yet to read this book, but it’s definitely on my list!

Oprah recently hosted Brene on her “Super Soul Sunday” show, and this morning I watched the interview online while eating my breakfast. It’s a great 35 minute segment and there’s a part 2 that will air this Sunday. Here’s the link where you can watch part 1!

Food for Thought:

  • What keeps you from being vulnerable?
  • Do you tend to put up walls in your life, and if so, why?
  • How do your walls help you? How do they hinder you?

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