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We live in a vulnerable world, says social researcher Brené Brown. And what do we do in the face of this vulnerability? We numb it.

But Dr. Brown says we cannot selectively numb emotion. When we do, we anesthetize personal joy and gratitude and happiness. In today's society, we are masters of this numbing, but there are those out there who "lean" into their vulnerability and fragility. They are our teachers, the ones who can model a way forward to love wholeheartedly and see ourselves for who we are. World Domination Summit 2012 - Portland, ORThe key, says Dr. Brown, is to acknowledge that we are "wired for struggle." Her solution: let ourselves be seen, deeply and vulnerably, by others; love others wholeheartedly even though there's no guarantee of reciprocation; practice gratitude and joy in those moments of terror; and believe we are enough.

We're preparing for our interview with Dr. Brené Brown this Thursday morning. If you have a question about vulnerability, courage, authenticity, or shame, post it here in the comments section. I'll be sure to pass them on to Krista and see if we can get some of them asked during their conversation.

Photo by Chris Guillebeau/Armosa Studios and licensed under Creative Commons.

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59 Comments

Life changing insight.

Oh so much talk about shame. At the young age of 65 it has finally sunk into my mind after coming by me several times in my short life that items such as shame are the product of bad mind sets from our youth and often parents and the society that we are raised in. The was a long version of the popular theme of mental baggage.
Shame to me is a self inflicted personal attack that happens because one was taught to believe that such attacks are justified.
I think we practice shame because we have an inaccurate assessment of own assets and limitations. To often we are trained to believe that our standards of what are good character assets and limitation are based on some unobtainable non real standard of society. This is therefore not being true to our self.
I think that my parents generation of the 40's and 50's were not allowed to admit to being imperfect and also were forced to believe in this unobtainable standard of society.

So given all the above, the Question to Dr. Brown is ' Does she think that today's generation of parents are ok with admitting to their children that they can make mistake even as parents and that it is ok to make mistakes and be imperfect and therefore vulnerable '

Thanks for sharing. Your post is a useful cotnribution.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Your gift of articulation has encouraged me!!!!

It seems to me that this speaks to the issue of the damage of using the behaviorist approach with children. Children need to know they are loved unconditionally. When they are treated conditionally -- that is, given rewards only when they behave a certain way -- then they are taught to question their own worth every day.

I. Am inspired by what I am raeding.so many people thunk being vulnerable is a sign of weaknes

I heard your TED talk about vulnerability, I've listened to it several times now and really appreciate what you have to say, it makes sense to me. One of the parts that I find meaningful but which I struggle with is your quote regarding the people you called wholehearted, that they were willing to let go of who they thought they should be in order to be who they were, that they had the courage to be imperfect. I struggle with this as I believe it to be true and I do recognize my imperfections but I don’t know who I really am anymore. How do I let go of who I think I am supposed to be if I don’t know who I am?

What you say makes sense that what is lacking is a sense of connection and that I need to be open to feeling vulnerable, and to let go of the image I have created of myself for the benefit of the world, so that I can fit in. This is all very academic and makes sense until you have to put it into practice, where do I start? How do I become authentic if I don’t even know who I am anymore?

Dear Krista,
I enjoyed your show as I do every time I get up early enough to catch it -- thank you!

As someone who was miserable enough as a child to seriously contemplate suicide, and grew up into a happy adult, I missed in your program the mention of encouragement. Dr. Brown got to the connection of courage to vulnerability, but at least in my experience, had I not had two people in my life who expressed unconditional love, and one neighbor who on a critical day gave me some hope in an exchange of no more than five sentences, I would have made a different rooftop decision. To develop courage one needs some (possibly very minimal) encouragement.
Again, thank you!

Any ideas on how long, grating boredom figures in and how to address I. Particularlarly in school and study,for a start.

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