The One Where Brené Brown Drops Fire

Brené Brown: the person I’ve heard so much about for years, the one who studies courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy, she who has a Netflix special called A Call to Courage and a very well-know ted talk about vulnerability, and who just recently became the woman who spoke to me, make me feel like I belong, and gave me the biggest kick in the ass. One that I really didn’t know I needed.

If you’ve never seen the Netflix special, I highly recommend it.

Here’s a list of quotes, my biggest takeaways, & all the mic drops:

  1. The online world is the cess pool of humanity

    People say shitty things online, people say shitty things while you’re out of the room. Lesson: most importantly, don’t be that person. Second, learn to let it roll and curate your feed. Only follow people you would want to hang out with (wisdom from a wise friend).

  2. The definition of shame

    “Shame is the feeling you would get if you walked out of a room that’s filled with people who know you and they start saying such hurtful things about you that you don’t know if you could ever walk back in and face them again in your life.”

    Sometimes we are afraid of feeling shame so we make ourselves smaller and avoid taking the leaps we are dying to take simply because we don’t want to be criticized. Shame can also come from within (most times it does): it’s the voice that says “you can’t do it”, “you’re not good enough.”

  3. The best quote with the best lessons.

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

    The lessons per Brené:

    1. If you’re brave with your life and you choose to live in the arena, you’re going to get your ass kicked. (yep.)

    2. Vulnerability is not about winning or losing. It’s having the courage to show up when you can’t control the outcome. (Cue anxiety attack)

    3. Vulnerability is not weakness

    4. If you are not in the arena getting your ass kicked on occasion because you are being brave, I am not interested in, or open to, your feedback about my work.

    5. There are lots of cheap seats in the world filled with people who won’t ever step foot in the arena but they will make it a full time job to criticize and judge others. Let that criticism drop to the floor. Step over it and keep going. You can’t take criticism and feedback from people who are not brave with their lives.

    Pretty much straight gold, right?

  4. Stop saying you “don’t care what anyone thinks.” You care what people think. However, you should be selective with whose opinions matter and only solicit feedback from certain people. The people who should make this list are the people who love you not despite your imperfections and vulnerability but because of your imperfection and vulnerability

  5. The opposite of belonging is fitting in. Fitting in is assessing and acclimating. Belonging is belonging to yourself first, and staying true to yourself. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are, but rather to be who you are. (Mic drop)

  6. Practice gratitude. The end. 

  7. Pay attention to the ordinary moments. Don’t get caught up in chasing the extraordinary moments. (I’m notorious for this. I take too many of the little moments for granted.)

  8. People aren’t good at having hard conversations, so they talk ABOUT others instead of talking TO them.

  9. Vulnerability: the feeling we get when we feel at risk, emotionally exposed, or uncertain. Vulnerability usually feels “icky”. Strive to embrace it and work through it. (see below.)


  10. When you don’t acknowledge vulnerability, you work your shit out on other people. Don’t do this.

  11. You share your story with people who have earned the right to hear your story. Your story is a privilege to hear. You don’t just share it with anyone. Boundaries are necessary.

I’d be lying if I said that I’ve got all of this figured out; vulnerability scares the hell out of me. I decided, for now, to take two things and work on them. If I tried to work on everything at once I’d be sure to fail.

  1. Practice gratitude more often.

    Right now I do that.. hm.. rarely (never intentionally?). So my goal is to set aside time 3x/week to write in my gratitude journal.

  2. Practice understanding how I’m feeling and expressing my needs, rather than projecting my shit.

    Ex. I’m angry so I act a certain way instead of just voicing that I’m angry because blank.

If you haven’t seen the Netflix special and Brené’s TED talk and TED-X talk, go go go!


Lex LancasterFIRSTComment