Brené Brown – the vulnerability researcher

Nii mõnedki teist lasevad sellest postitusest silmadega üle ja mõtlevad, et “Ei noh, väga tore, Margit jaurab jälle mingist psühholoogiast ja on puhta segi keeranud.” Jah, ma tõesti räägin täna jälle millestki muust kui spordist või toidust. Aga terve keha juurde peab kuuluma terve vaim. Inimesed alahindavad liiga palju seda, mis nende peas toimub. Mina olen selles küll süüdi. Kes teist on mõne halva uudise saamise järel lohutust otsinud söögist, tihti millestki magusest? Kes teist on probleemide ilmnemisel, siis, kui on väga valus, hakanud hullult trenni tegema? Sõna otseses mõttes proovinud probleemi eest ära joosta, seda jõusaalis raskustega katki loopida või köögis ära süüa. Mina küll olen. Trenn on stressimaandaja, aga probleemide eest peitumine või ära jooksmine ei ole ju lahendus. Neile peab otsa vaatama, nende juurteni jõudma ja asju iseenda sees lahendama. Võtke endale see aeg. Minu täna väljatoodud mõtted ja videod on selleks ideaalsed.

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Ekraanitõmmis viimasest videost.

Olen lõputult kuulanud Brené Browni. Eriti lohutav tundus mulle see kõik siis, kui oma blogipausil olin, sest olin nii füüsiliselt kui vaimselt täiesti mustas augus. Oskaks ma ka niimoodi rääkida ja kirjutada… Tema jutus on nii palju tsitaate ja kuldaväärt tõde, et kõike ei jõuagi eraldi välja tuua. Seega: ma panen olulisemad mõtted siia eraldi kirja, inglise keeles nagu need originaalis on. Kui need tunduvad teile huvitavad ja liigutavad teid, siis kindlasti vaadake videosid täispikkuses. Lisaks kõigele saab teda kuulates alati ka naerda. 🙂

 The Power of Vulnerability

Connection is why we’re here. It’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.

And shame is really easily understood as the fear of disconnection: Is there something about me that, if other people know it or see it, that I won’t be worthy of connection?

In order for connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be seen, really seen.

The people who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe they’re worthy of love and belonging. That’s it.

So what I did is I took all of the interviews where I saw worthiness, and just looked at those. What’s the theme? What’s the pattern? And here’s what I found. What they had in common was a sense of courage. And so these folks had, very simply, the courage to be imperfect.

They had the compassion to be kind to themselves first and then to others, because, as it turns out, we can’t practice compassion with other people if we can’t treat ourselves kindly. And the last was they had connection, and — this was the hard part — as a result of authenticity, they were willing to let go of who they thought they should be in order to be who they were, which you have to absolutely do that for connection.

They fully embraced vulnerability. They believed that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful. They didn’t talk about vulnerability being comfortable, nor did they really talk about it being excruciating. They just talked about it being necessary. They talked about the willingness to say, “I love you” first, the willingness to do something where there are no guarantees, the willingness to breathe through waiting for the doctor to call after your mammogram. They’re willing to invest in a relationship that may or may not work out. They thought this was fundamental.

I call it a breakdown; my therapist calls it a spiritual awakening. 

And I know that vulnerability is the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness, but it appears that it’s also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love. 

Vulnerability pushed, I pushed back. I lost the fight, but probably won my life back.

We live in a vulnerable world. 

You cannot selectively numb emotion. You can’t numb those hard feelings without numbing the other affects, our emotions. We numb joy, we numb gratitude, we numb happiness. 

We pretend like what we’re doing doesn’t have a huge impact on other people.

This is what I have found: to let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen; to love with our whole hearts, even though there’s no guarantee; to practice gratitude and joy in those moments of terror, when we’re wondering, “Can I love you this much? Can I believe in this this passionately? Can I be this fierce about this?” just to be able to stop and, instead of catastrophizing what might happen, to say, “I’m just so grateful, because to feel this vulnerable means I’m alive.” 

And the last, which I think is probably the most important, is to believe that we’re enoughBecause when we work from a place, I believe, that says, “I’m enough,” then we stop screaming and start listening, we’re kinder and gentler to the people around us, and we’re kinder and gentler to ourselves.


Listening to Shame

Vulnerability is not weakness.

And I’ve come to the belief — this is my 12th year doing this research — that vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage to be vulnerable, to let ourselves be seen, to be honest.

Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change. To create is to make something that has never existed before. There’s nothing more vulnerable than that. Adaptability to change is all about vulnerability.

“You’re the shame researcher who had the breakdown.” – “It was a fricking spiritual awakening.”

There’s a great quote that saved me this past year by Theodore Roosevelt. A lot of people refer to it as the “Man in the Arena” quote. And it goes like this: “It is not the critic who counts. It is not the man who sits and points out how the doer of deeds could have done things better and how he falls and stumbles. The credit goes to the man in the arena whose face is marred with dust and blood and sweat. But when he’s in the arena, at best, he wins, and at worst, he loses, but when he fails, when he loses, he does so daring greatly.”

And if we can quiet it down and walk in and say, “I’m going to do this,” we look up and the critic that we see pointing and laughing, 99 percent of the time is who? Us.

Shame drives two big tapes — “never good enough” and, if you can talk it out of that one, “who do you think you are?” The thing to understand about shame is, it’s not guilt. Shame is a focus on self, guilt is a focus on behavior.

We’re pretty sure that the only people who don’t experience shame are people who have no capacity for connection or empathy.

They’d rather me die on top of my white horse than watch me fall down.

If we’re going to find our way back to each other, we have to understand and know empathy, because empathy’s the antidote to shame. 

The two most powerful words when we’re in struggle: me too.

And I know it’s seductive to stand outside the arena, because I think I did it my whole life, and think to myself, I’m going to go in there and kick some ass when I’m bulletproof and when I’m perfect. And that is seductive. But the truth is, that never happens. And even if you got as perfect as you could and as bulletproof as you could possibly muster when you got in there, that’s not what we want to see.


Why You’re Critics Aren’t The One Who Count

I know it sounds cheesey and cliche that a quote can change your life but sometimes when you hear something – when you need to hear it – and you’re ready to hear it, something shifts inside of you.

They said: ‘Do not read the comments online’. So I read all the comments online. They were devastating. They were super personal. 

It’s not about winning. It’s not about losing. It’s about showing up and being seen. If you decide to show up and be seen, there’s only one guarantee. And that is: you will get your ass kicked. If you’re gonna go in that arena and spend any time in there what-so-ever, you will get your ass kicked. If courage is a value we hold, this is the consequence. You can’t avoid it.

If you’re not in the arena, also getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback. Period.

If you’re in the cheap seats, not putting yourself on the line, and just talking about how I could do it better, I’m in no way interested in your feedback.

The arena is right there. The fear is this: I’m scared, lot of self-doubt, comparison, anxiety, uncertainty. And so what most people do when they’re walking into the arena and those things are going to greet them? You armor up. But god that stuff is heavy, and that suff is suffocating. When you armor up against vulnerability, you shut yourself off.

Get naked. Get really real. Put yourself out there and walk out there, so people can see you and see what you’ve made and see what you’re doing.

I used to think the best way to put your work out into the world is to make sure the critics are not in the arena. But you have no control over who’s in the arena. The best is to know that they are there and what they’re going to say to you. There at always 3 seats in the arena. Shame always has a seat. The other seat is scarcity. What am I doing that’s original? The third seat: comparison. 

“I don’t care what people think, I don’t care about the critics in the arena.” Sends a huge red flag out for me. When we stop caring about what other people think, we lose our capacity for connection. When we become defined by what people think, we lose our capacity to be vulnerable. Not caring what people think, is it’s own kind of hassle. Trust me.

Rather than locking those people out of the arena, reserve seats for them, which doesn’t seem like a good thing to do. To reserve a seat, to take the critics to lunch and to simply say: “I’m trying to do something new and hard and original. I see you, I hear you. But I’m gonna show up and do this anyway. I’ve got a seat for you and you’re welcome to come but I’m not interested in your feedback.”

If you’re gonna spend your life in the arena, if you’re gonna spend your life showing up, there’s a couple things that you need. The first is a clarity of values. If courage is my value, I have to do this. The other thing is you gotta have at least one person in your life who’s willing to pick you up and dust you off and look at you when you fail – and hopefully you will because if you’re not failing, you’re not really showing up – but who’s willing to look at you when you fail and say ‘Man, that sucked!’ ‘It was totally as bad as you thought. But you were brave. Let’s get you cleaned up ‘cause you’re gonna go back in.

This is someone who loves you not despite your imperfections and vulnerabilities but because of them. And they should have great seats in the arena. I’m trying to win over the people who hate me, you simply love me, you simply hold my hair back when I’m puking.

The world keeps going whether you know it or not. Critics are in the arena whether you identify them and think about the messages that keep us small. They’re there whether you know it or not. The people who have the most courage, who are willing to show they are vulnerable, are the ones who are very clear about their critics, the ones who reserve seats for them. I hear you, I get it, I know where the messaging is coming from. I’m not buying it anymore. 

One of these seats [in the arena] needs to be reserved for you. Who do you think the biggest critic in the arena usually is? Yourself. In that chair should be that person who believes in what we’re doing and why we’re doing it and the person who says: ‘Yeah, it’s so scary to show up, it feels dangerous to be seen, it’s terrifying.’ But it is not as scary, dangerous, terrifying as getting to the end of our lives and thinking ‘What if I would’ve shown up? What would have been different?’



Hästi hea alla 3 minuti video, mis on illustreeritud väikse joonisfilmiga. Kuna räägitakse suurest ‘august’ ja empaatiavõimelisest inimesest, siis praktiliselt story of my life. Läks väga hinge. 🙂

What is empathy and why is it very different from sympathy? Empathy fuels connection, sympathy drives disconnection. 

Four qualities of empathy. Perspective taking – ability to take the perspective of another person. Staying out of judgement – not easy when you enjoy it as much as most of us do. Recognizing emotion in other person and then communicating that.

Empathy is feeling WITH people. [Pikemast videost: Sympathy if feeling FOR people.]

Empathy is sacred space when someone’s kind of in a deep hole and they shout from the bottom of it: ‘I’m stuck. It’s dark. I’m overwhelmed.’ And then we look and we say: ‘Hey!’, and climb down. ‘I know what it’s like down here. And you’re not alone.’

Sympathy is: “Uuuh! It’s BAD, hah?’

Empathy is a choice and it’s a vulnerable choice. In order to connect with you, I have to connect with something in myself that knows THAT feeling.

Rarely, if not ever, does an empathic response begin with: ‘At least…’ Someone just shared something with us that’s incredibly painful and we’re just trying to silverline it.  

One of the things we do sometimes in the face of very difficult conversations, is we try to make things better. If I share something with you that’s very difficult, I’d rather you say: ‘I don’t even know what to say right know. I’m just glad you told me.’ Because the truth is: rarely can a response make something better. What makes something better, is connection. 

Oh well, pidi üks lühike viidatud postitus tulema, aga kokku sai hoopis romaan… See teema on mulle oluline ja kui keegi teine seda postitust lõpuni ei lugenud, siis saan mina siia alati tagasi tulla ja neid olulisi mõtteid meelde tuletada.

4 kommentaari “Brené Brown – the vulnerability researcher

  1. Üks tema raamatutest tõlgiti mõni aeg tagasi ka eesti keelde – mind kõnetas see tohutult! Olin seni arvanud, et ainult minu peas keerlevad need mõtted, aga tema on suutnud samal teema raamatu isegi välja anda. Väga inspireeriv naine oma jutustamise kunsti ja mõttemaailmaga!


  2. mu lemmikpostitus viimastel nàdalatel, kôikidest blogisest kokku! olen ka ise analoogseid videosid vaadanud ja yli inspireerivad on. sain siit palju hàid môtteid, mida kaasa vôtta ja vaatasin viimase videokese ka àra-niiii ôige lihtsalt. aga lisaks sulle endale, olen ka mina +1 , kes siia postiuse juurde kindlasti tagasi tuleb, et iuesti lugeda ja ylejàànud klipid ka àra vaadata.
    jàtka samas vaimus! 😉


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