I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn't) [Audiobook]
06 July 2012, 03:44
Audible | 2010 | ASIN: B004GK3CNW | MP3@128 kbps | 10 hrs 44 mins | 590.03 MB
The quest for perfection is exhausting and unrelenting. We spend too much precious time and energy managing perception and creating carefully edited versions of ourselves to show to the world. As hard as we try, we can't seem to turn off the tapes that fill our heads with messages like, Never good enough! and What will people think?
Why? What fuels this unattainable need to look like we always have it all together? At first glance, we might think its because we admire perfection, but that's not the case. We are actually the most attracted to people we consider to be authentic and down-to-earth. We love people who are real; we're drawn to those who both embrace their imperfections and radiate self-acceptance.
There is a constant barrage of social expectations that teach us that being imperfect is synonymous with being inadequate. Everywhere we turn, there are messages that tell us who, what, and how were supposed to be. So, we learn to hide our struggles and protect ourselves from shame, judgment, criticism, and blame by seeking safety in pretending and perfection.
Based on seven years of ground-breaking research and hundreds of interviews, I Thought It Was Just Me shines a long-overdue light on an important truth: Our imperfections are what connect us to each other and to our humanity. Our vulnerabilities are not weaknesses; they are powerful reminders to keep our hearts and minds open to the reality that we're all in this together.
As Dr. Brown writes, "We need our lives back. It's time to reclaim the gifts of imperfection - the courage to be real, the compassion we need to love ourselves and others, and the connection that gives true purpose and meaning to life. These are the gifts that bring love, laughter, gratitude, empathy and joy into our lives."
Dr. Brené Brown is a professor and vulnerability researcher at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. Because vulnerability is at the center of many thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, her research topics cover a broad range of emotions and experiences, including shame, courage, and authenticity.
Brené writes, “In our culture, vulnerability has become synonymous with weakness. We associate vulnerability with emotions like fear, shame, and scarcity; emotions that we don’t want to discuss, even when they profoundly affect every aspect of our lives.
To reduce our feelings of vulnerability, we wake up every morning, put on our game face, and rarely take it off - even at home. We use invulnerability as a shield to protect us from uncomfortable emotions and struggles with anxiety and self-doubt. But invulnerability has a price.
Vulnerability is indeed at the core of difficult emotions, but it is also the birthplace of authenticity, courage, joy, love, belonging, accountability, innovation, inspiration, creativity, and spirituality. When we avoid or shut down vulnerability, we lose access to the experiences that give purpose and meaning to our lives. If we want to change the way we live, love, parent, teach, lead organizations, and build communities, we have to start with a conversation about vulnerability - this is where our story begins."
Brené spent the first five years of her decade-long study focusing on shame and fear, and is now using that work to explore a concept that she calls Wholeheartedness. She poses the questions: How do we learn to embrace our vulnerabilities and imperfections so that we can engage in our lives from a place of authenticity and worthiness?
How do we cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection that we need to recognize that we are enough – that we are worthy of love, belonging, and joy?
Brené has won numerous teaching awards, including the College’s Outstanding Faculty Award. In 2008, she was named Behavioral Health Scholar-in-Residence at the Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston. Brené’s work has been featured on PBS, NPR, and the Oprah and Friends Radio Network, and her articles have appeared in Self magazine, Elle magazine, and many national newspapers. She is also a frequent guest on radio shows across the US and she has given two TEDx talks on her vulnerability research. Most recently, Houston Women Magazine named her one of “The 50 Most Influential Women of 2009.”
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