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  • The Power of Vulnerability

  • Teachings of Authenticity, Connection, and Courage
  • By: Brené Brown
  • Narrated by: Brené Brown
  • Length: 6 hrs and 30 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (5,575 ratings)

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The Power of Vulnerability cover art

The Power of Vulnerability

By: Brené Brown
Narrated by: Brené Brown
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Summary

Show Up and Let Yourself be Seen

Is vulnerability the same as weakness? “In our culture,” teaches Dr. Brené Brown, “we associate vulnerability with emotions we want to avoid such as fear, shame, and uncertainty. Yet we too often lose sight of the fact that vulnerability is also the birthplace of joy, belonging, creativity, authenticity, and love.” On The Power of Vulnerability, Dr. Brown offers an invitation and a promise - that when we dare to drop the armor that protects us from feeling vulnerable, we open ourselves to the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives. Here she dispels the cultural myth that vulnerability is weakness and reveals that it is, in truth, our most accurate measure of courage.

The Power of Vulnerability is a very personal project for me,” Brené explains. “This is the first place that all of my work comes together. This audio course draws from all three of my books - it’s the culmination of everything I’ve learned over the past twelve years. I'm very excited to weave it all into a truly comprehensive form that shows what these findings and insights can mean in our lives.”

Guidance and Insights for Wholehearted Living

Over the past twelve years, Dr. Brené Brown has interviewed hundreds of people as part of an ongoing study of vulnerability. “The research shows that we try to ward disappointment with a shield of cynicism, disarm shame by numbing ourselves against joy, and circumvent grief by shutting off our willingness to love,” explains Dr. Brown. When we become aware of these patterns, she teaches, we begin to become conscious of how much we sacrifice in the name of self-defense -and how much richer our lives become when we open ourselves to vulnerability.

“In my research,” Dr. Brown says, “the word I use to describe people who can live from a place of vulnerability is wholehearted.” Being wholehearted is a practice—one that we can choose to cultivate through empathy, gratitude, and awareness of our vulnerability armor. Join this engaging and heartfelt teacher on The Power of Vulnerability as she offers profound insights on leaning into the full spectrum of emotions—so we can show up, let ourselves be seen, and truly be all in.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Cultivating shame resilience—the key to developing a sense of worth and belonging.
  • Vulnerability as the origin point for innovation, adaptability, accountability, and visionary leadership.
  • Our emotional armory - how we use perfectionism, numbing, and other tactics to avoid feeling vulnerable.
  • The myths of vulnerability - common misconceptions about weakness, trust, and self-sufficiency.
  • Discovering your vulnerability armor - recognizing what makes us shut down, and how we can change.
  • The 10 guideposts of wholehearted living - essential skills for becoming fully engaged in life.
  • Six hours of stories, warm humor, and transformative insights for living a life of courage, authenticity, and compassion from Dr. Brené Brown.
©2012 Brené Brown (P)2012 Brené Brown

What listeners say about The Power of Vulnerability

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Not an actual book

I bought this thinking it was an audio BOOK. I didn't know this was a compilation of recordings of her live speeches/presentations. In these speeches, she uses body language and facial expressions in addition to words (for example saying "She went like" and then showing the expression/pose to the live audience) and obviously, those who only have access to the audio can't see them. Also, the frequent and loud reactions by the audience irritated me no end. I'm sure she had a lot of great things to say, but I had to stop listening less than thirty minutes in - I just couldn't go on. Had this been an actual audiobook, instead of a compilation of recordings of live speeches, I'm sure I would've enjoyed it.

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73 people found this helpful

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Brilliant

I haven't enjoyed this book, I've loved it. I highly recommend it, Brene Brown is brilliant and possibly my new favourite Author, researcher on living life to the fullest. I've laughed endless times and been teary eyed from how close to home much of this information has been for me.

The book finishes with a quote by Theodore Roosevelt called "the man in the arena" it is my favourite of all time and this book epitomises it. Show up, put yourself out there, dare greatly, and know win or lose at least you tried and lived with authenticity, rather than sat on the fence of life and played it safe never experiencing what life truly has to offer.

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50 people found this helpful

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Not worth the money

Would you try another book written by Brené Brown or narrated by Brené Brown?

For starters it is not a book but a recorded seminar. There is a lot of loughs, jokes, and time fillers very little substance for something costing £25+

Has The Power of Vulnerability put you off other books in this genre?

Not genre but possible the author. There are valid point made in the seminar but despite author claiming obsession with data there is little research mention and most of the topic are just glanced over.

Did Brené Brown do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

Not applicable.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Power of Vulnerability?

Laughs, oh ahs and other things that have little value for someone not physically participating in the seminar.

Any additional comments?

Some valid points but all covered on very high level, have the feeling that surface of the topics discussed was just but scratched. And it is not a book it is seminar.

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30 people found this helpful

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One of the best books I've read in a long time

Brene Brown is a shame researcher. She recounts through her research on shame how that impacted her own life, or rather how the data she discovered hijacked her and brought her through a year of soul searching. The areas she covers are shame, wholeheartedness and of course vulnerability.

This is not a dry academic book that contains boring data and statistics, rather Brene reveals through the
Data and the areas I've mentioned above how those areas influence our lives and the lives of others.

She explains well how vulnerability is misunderstood and unpacks what can be good and bad about it, but above all why it's necessary.

As this was the audible version it was a series of talks she did. She speaks on tricky subjects with humour, compassion, sensitivity and honesty. She was not afraid to be open about her own experiences. She comes up with some great definitions too.

I loved this book because it was so unique, refreshing and above all resonates truth.

Finally you can't read this book without it touching you personally.




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26 people found this helpful

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Great Stuff!

If you could sum up The Power of Vulnerability in three words, what would they be?

Authentic, compelling, powerful

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Power of Vulnerability?

Any of Brené's personal anecdotes where she stands clearly in her own humanity - coffee crashing at home, fending off slimy busybodies in car pool line... There are many stories and all illustrate and enrich the concepts being drawn from her academic research.

Have you listened to any of Brené Brown’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I've watched the TED talks and some of an RSA talk, I'm reading the book 'Daring Greatly', but this audio is the best of all of it. Occasionally something gets lost because the listener can't see the gestures or facial expressions, but this is a minor disadvantage.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Several - mostly the personal anecdotes that bring the ideas to life.

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24 people found this helpful

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Loved it!

Brene is so engaging. I laughed and cried like a mad woman in my car listening to this. She is so on point that i dont think anyone would struggle to find something to take away from this talk

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23 people found this helpful

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A must listen in your journey

She has great style talking about her subject and is an engaging narrator. It's not a heavy read but very thought provoking as I found myself stopping and observing the topics in my daily life. It is changing my approach to parenting and to my self feelings. I am also inspired and find it easy to follow an understand. I will listen to this again and again

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13 people found this helpful

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So full of wisdom

I came to Brene through her Ted Talks and Rsa Shorts and this recording built on from these. An enormous amount to take in and so many moments where I had to stop and reflect as I processed new information and so much resonated at a deep level for me. I love Brene's work.

I will need to re listen to really take in everything because of the range and depth of the content.

I think this work is life changing, thank you Brene.

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Game changer

If you struggle with depression, anxiety, exhaustion, feeling burnt out - this is the friendly hug you need to sort yourself out!! Loved it so much!!!

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Absolutely not for me

Right at the outset, I'd like to recognise and appreciate that thousands of people really appreciate the work of Brene Brown and I'm sure many have benefited from her message. However, I found this book a real disappointment, for three reasons.

Firstly, nearly everything that Brown talks about – our fear of vulnerability, our lack of connection, our sense of shame – was with reference to individual psychology, with absolutely no acknowledgment that different people occupy different contexts that bear on all of these questions. For example, early in The Power of Vulnerability, Brown poses the question of why people feel so disconnected from each other, and she answers it with a very simple response: Shame. Shame, she believes, is the culprit:

"I ran into this unnamed thing that absolutely unraveled connection in a way that I didn’t understand or had never seen. And so I pulled back out of the research and thought, I need to figure out what this is. And it turned out to be shame. (Brown 2010)"

Brown believes that quick fixes and top tips just don't work and that we really need to go deep into these subject areas to become better in some way. In my view, taking something as complex as human interaction and boiling it down to one root cause is oversimplification on a massive scale. All that we know about complex, emergent change challenges the notion of simplistic root cause analysis.

I can think of a whole number of other reasons that people experience deep wells of fear, alienation, and disconnection from one another: racism, ableism, homoantagonism, transantagonism, fatphobia, classism, ethnocentrism, poverty, white supremacy, the tyranny of normalcy, unequal distribution of wealth, violence, warfare, the prison-industrial complex, the disability gulag, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, sexism, binarism and even supporting the wrong football club. Just to name a few.

So the whole premise of her thinking, is for me, flawed.

Secondly, I felt a little 'ripped off' by Audible as this is not what I had in mind as an audio book. I've read/listened to 'Mythos' by Stephen Fry which was a wonderful experience, it was the book being read to me by the author. However, this Audible audio book is a recording of a workshop. If I'd wanted that I would have listed to a Ted Talk or listened to a Podcast. My Audible credits are very valuable to me and this was was definitely wasted. It is not an audio book, simple as that.

Thirdly (and this is definitely down to personal taste), the conversational/gossipy high pitched accent and strong US accent really got in the way of my hope that this would be profound.

I understand that Brene Brown has a huge following and very high ratings, I just want to put forward an alternative view....and not feel shame about doing it ;)

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7 people found this helpful