Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dare Greatly

Dr. Brene Brown is one of my favorite people.
I don't know her.
We've never met.
We probably never will.
I just like her. A lot.

She's given three different TED talks: "The Power of Vulnerability," "The Price of Invulnerability," and her latest, "Listening to Shame." Watch it here. Now:

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

"Vulnerability is not weakness...How many of you when you're thinking of being vulnerable think, 'This is weakness.' The majority. Now, how many of you when you see vulnerability in someone else, see it as pure courage? Again, the majority. Vulnerability: emotional risk, exposure, uncertainty, it fuels our daily lives. Vulnerability is our most accurate measure of courage. To be vulnerable, to allow ourselves, to be honest.

"We have to talk about shame...Shame is the swamp land of the soul. We need to put on some galoshes and look around.

"Theodore Roosevelt said, 'It is not the critic who counts. It is not the man who sits and points out how the doer of deeds could've 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 worse he loses, but when he fails when he loses he's does so daring greatly.'

"And when you dare to step into the arena, shame is the gremlin who says, 'Uh-uh, you're not good enough.' Shame is that thing. We look up and the critic we see pointing and laughing, it's us. Shame drives two big tapes: 'never good enough' and 'who do you think you are?'.

"Shame is a focus on self. Guilt is a focus on behavior. Shame is "I am bad." Guilt is "I did something bad.

"Guilt: I'm sorry I made a mistake.
Shame: I'm sorry I am a mistake.

"Shame is highly correlated with addiction, depression, violence, agrression, suicide, eating disorders. Guilt is inversely correlated with those things.

"Shame is absolutely organized by gender...For women, shame is do it all, do it perfectly, and never let them see you sweat. Web of unattainable conflicting expectations about who we are supposed to be. For men, shame means not letting people see you as weak.

"You show me a woman who can actually sit with a man in real vulnerability and fear. I'll show you a woman who has done incredible work. You show me a man who can sit with a woman who's just had it, who can't do it all anymore and who's first response isn't, "I unloaded the dishwasher!", but he really listens? Cause that's all we need. I'll show you a guy who has done alot of work.

"Shame is an epidemic in our culture.

"Researchers from Boston College asked, 'What do women need to do to conform to female norms in this country?': nice, thin, modest, use all available resources for appearance.

"And for men to conform to male norms?: always show emotional control, work is first, pursue status, violence.

"Empathy is the antidote to shame. If you put shame in a petri dish it needs three things to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence, and judgement. If you put the same amount of shame in a petri dish and you douse it with empathy, it can't suivive. The two most powerful words when we're in struggle, 'Me too.'

"If we're going to find our way back to each other, vulnerability is the path.

"It's seductive to stand outside the arena and say, 'I'm going to go in their and kick some ass when I'm bullet-proof and when I'm perfect.' "

We need to "dare greatly."


Carley Brown said...

I watched this same TED talk before I even saw your post. I loved it. I wrote notes about it. Thanks for sharing, and btw congrats on your wedding engagement. I don't think I've told you that yet.