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Vulnerability: The Key to Courage | Brené Brown


Vulnerability is not something I ever personally considered to be a valuable skill to cultivate. That is, until I met today’s guest, Brené Brown-- who helped me understand that being vulnerable is not about weakness, nor is it about sloppy oversharing. Instead, she argues, vulnerability is about honesty, realness, risk, and courage. All qualities that are very relevant for these turbulent times in which we are living. 

Brené is a speaker, author, podcaster, professor, and researcher who has spent 2 decades studying vulnerability and courage, along with shame and empathy. She’s written 5 number 1 New York Times best sellers. She’s had a special on Netflix. And she’s spoken to a lot of high-achieving people about the importance of vulnerability, from executive suites to the CIA to the Seattle Seahawks. 

We recorded this conversation in 2019, during a simpler time… but her insights are evergreen.

Where to find Brené Brown online: 

Website: https://brenebrown.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BreneBrown

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brenebrown

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brenebrown

Excited about our upcoming New Year's Challenge? Download the Ten Percent Happier app today to get ready: https://10percenthappier.app.link/install 

Full Show Notes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/brene-brown-repost

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
From ABC this is the ten percent happier Podcast Palmdale Harris, hey, hey Vaughan. Mobility is not something I ever personally consider to be a valuable scale to cultivate. That is until I met today's guest in a brown who held me understand that being vulnerable is not about weakness, nor is it about sloppy over sharing. Instead, she argued. Convincingly. In my view, vulnerability is about honesty, realness risk and courage, all qualities that are hugely relevant during these turbulent times in which were living. Bernay is a speaker. Author, pod, castor professor, and researcher who has spent two decades studying vulnerability and courage, along with shame and empathy, she's written file,
I've never won your ties best sellers she's had a special on Netflix and she spoken to a lot of high achieving people about the importance of vulnerability from executive swedes to the CIA, The Seattle Seahawks we recorded is conversation back in two thousand nineteen during a simpler time, but I promise you her insights are evergreen while I am on the subject of vulnerability and before we dive into the interview with Bernay, I want to mention the cool that we ve been working on here at ten percent happier after the Polly Syphilis disaster of twenty twenty, which we should say did have some good points for some of us, but it was difficult after this tricky year. We are taking a counter intuitive approach to the new year, where lodging a special series, shows in which we will counter programme against these suddenly pernicious new year new. You narrative, which presupposes two things, one, that you need a completely new
of yourself and too that this kind of transformation is even possible, so we're gonna jettison the fad diets and self loathing and explore something that may sound cheesy at first, but has actually radical and evidence based self love and self compassion Again- and I suspect you know this as a devout anti sentimentalists, I am keenly aware that so love can sound, irredeemably corny or self centered or simply impossible. I am also aware that some of you type a people might wonder whether self love could lead you into passivity way to help you avoid all of these pitfalls. Our attitude and I love this expression. Its nicely someday in something Asia and teacher once told his students, here's the quote. You are perfect as you are, and you can also use a little improvement will be kicking off this ear series next week with a new episode featuring queer eyes, Koromo and s
ecologist Chris Germer a Karamoh in case you didn't know he is a licensed clinical social worker who talks a lot about self compassion and self love on the show. Chris Germer is a clinical psychologist, a lecture on psychiatry at Harvard Medical, school, The co developer at a massively popular programme called mindful self compassion and there's more starting. January forth? Fourth, were also launching a free new year's meditation challenge. In the ten percent happier, We did this last year and I think, the year before people love this. This year were to be featuring, some of our most beloved teachers, Susan Piper, twenty Sola and Jeff Warren. It's a twenty one day. Challenge is really gonna help you take the concepts works, boring here on the podcast and Jane, Lee pound them into your neurons, if by where you have any doubt about whether meditation in the fall a challenge can work for you, listen to this feedback. We got New user, after last year's challenge, she said- and I am quoting here- I downloaded this act
only before a mindfulness challenge began in January. I wasn't certain meditation was for me, but I figured I'd, try the challenge, which was to meditate fifteen times in a twenty one day period. The first few days? I did the challenge meditations and I found the practice calming and relaxing then I started the basics course on the app doing one of those meditations. In addition to challenge meditation. Not only did I meditate every day of the challenge, I have meditated every day since then compare the other meditation apps out there. This one is the rolls Royce of meditation out. I love that some come join us inside. The rolls Royce of meditation apps and start the challenge on January forth, with thousands of other meditated ringing in the new year with some sanity. It is easy and it is free, just download the ten percent happier apt today, Wherever you get your apps or by visiting ten percent dot com
ten percent, all one word spelled out and check it out can be great aright. Atta me. Let's diving now with Bernay Brown such a pleasure to meet you I really enjoyed watching your netflix. Thank you for making typhus it's great to meet. You do so I was just looking for Bio and it says I spent the past two decades: steady, encourage vulnerability, shame and empathy, and I'm just so curious How- and why did you come to these four emotions? It actually makes perfect sense in my mind, so I have a bachelors masters and Phd in social work. And so as a social worker like that, might my big take away from the one hundred thousand dollars of school loans. For that, for that experience was action, is really what matters it is like where Neuro biologically spiritually physically? mentally hard wired to be in connection with each other.
So is very interested in understanding more the anatomy of connection like went like it's such a gauzy word right like what does it mean and so, when I interviewing and Anna had had some experiences around shame. Some personal professional experience is around. Shame like I think I grew up in a pretty shame. Basin Ireland and then when I was in undergrad. I worked in residential treatment with kids that had been reached from their parents and would grow up in residential treatment until they aged out. and we had a clinical director there. That is to say, you cannot. Shame, are belittle people into changing at first I heard him say it. I was like actually scheduled a meeting with have, I was just like. I was just like a direct care person got game about social gray at the time and he sick with up- and I said you can't shame of the little people into changing. I said
you understand. That's the way the world works right. He said he kind of laughed. He said what do you mean? I said parents school's, media marketing, that's the way the world works and he goes. maybe, but there s a clinician of thirty years, you cannot shame or but little people a meaningful, lasting change so I went into my social career kind of holding that shame thing right there and then I got the connection to big dose of connection through my degree. So I went The study. What is connection Does she have a role, and I spent six years like really looking at that and then at the end of that six years, had all this data- and I like, oh my god, I know so much about shame but I'd, but inside the day,
Now that I have already is the answer to that. Another question which is there are actually people who wake up in the morning and say I'm enough, no matter what gets done and what is left undone, no matter how imperfect I am I'm enough like what are those people have in common, because that was a very strange notion to me. I was not one of those people in so I started looking in the same data sat at and I call them the whole hearted people, because there's I meant disco pay in and there's a there's a line in the book of common prayer. That says something about loving with our whole hearts, and I like these are p I would describe as is but who live in love with her whole hearts. So I getting into that data was right. Emerging very clearly was this central Variable that they shared in common with the capacity and willingness to be vulnerable- and I was like- oh my god- this is bad.
This is all I wanted the answer to be. They were shame researcher sleight of hand. They entered a whole hearted misses. You know a lot about shame than that took He too courage and vulnerability from there. That's the long, the long long trail. What kind of change did these conclusions making your own life. I have a mass of breakdown really I did like I, literally, had put the data away cause you to lock it up under, like human subjects. Protocol lock, it up put it away and then go find a therapist at that point in my life I had spent my entire life trying to outrun and outsmart vulnerability. Like I'm, I was not raised to believe their vulnerability was anything but weakness and kind of the first step to giving people something to hurt. You like I just we didn't do vulnerability like at all. So was that.
a problem in your personal life, in your parenting and in your marriage. I didn't think so. I didn't think so at the time I remember like this is a story that I you're out of his works, and I've never told it before. But I remember in the midst of this kind of breakdown period. I was always proving and trying to be perfect and, like wound super tight, so I was kind of alpha parent. You know like people, would call me and say: hey our daughters lobbyists yours perished out and let no one more year and then, as they are, our kids can our kids watch this. Maybe I'm like yes, but a loopholes, I was that, like Canada, Alpha mom had they answers the answers, but I guess terrified on the inside all the time and I remember it's a funny story. I remember
being at I it was. It was Easter Monday, like this, is Easter Monday and are now ten or twelve years ago and be a yogurt shop with Alan Address and I was realities, your daughter islands, my daughter, she's off on college now- and I remember thinking- had these moms and daughters with their kids and everything's monogrammed. I should get more stuff monogram and my phone rang- and I was like she answered answer it. Having this moment when my daughter and I was like hello. and there was a woman. On the other hand, she said Doktor Brown, and I said yes and she is where are you and I said, I'm in Houston? Where uses its Jenny the event coordinator- and I said hygiene- I thought to myself guy these event coordinator, you're, just anxious bunch of people and she has no weak. Where are you I said I'm in Houston and she is there a tooth, and people coming to see you tomorrow morning, including the governor of the state, why
got a notice from the travel agent that you, Mr Flight and like this is this? Is a recurring nightmare from and says like what a nice my flight on the twenty third or something at three o clock and she has its the twenty third, it's for thirty. Oh no- and I remember like time slow down- and I just would like- and I got in a car and ellen- was in the back seat, and she said. Are you ok MA made a big mistake? Molly made a big mistake and I was like texting has been, and I remember he came home to drive me to the airport. I left patients in the waiting room he's a pediatrician and he's like your falling apart. Rang like now I'm not I'm good, and I said, oh, my God S start kindness the way the airport is what's wrong, I'm like normally wagon town. I make all the food in advance, I put Ellen's school close up like with little postpones its mandate. Tuesday, Wednesday and Ngos, and I said,
and there's nothing to eat and have had made nothing in advance. He goes. I don't mean to kick you why you're down, but we don't really either crap on your way. We basically get pizza every night and Ellen, where whatever she wants now and I was like- and that was kind of the height of the breakdown I was like. My life is manageable, like things are not working, and so, I soon therapy for a couple years in kind of try to deal with the perfectionism, and it was all about. The vulnerability was all about. I couldn't manage uncertainty. So can you help me understand what you mean spit typically and grand you alertly when you say vulnerability, and then I guess the second part of question would be. How did you and how does one operational lies that yeah, so The dead, the definition of vulnerability that emerged from the data-
the emotion we experienced in times of uncertainty risk an emotional expect. you're. So vulnerability is that that an affected emotion that we feel when we feel uncertain at risk or emotionally exposed Meaning we may lose control over, motion or were showing the motion, and we can't perceive what people think of us because of emotion. So that's vulnerability, and so de risk, emotional exposure, and I think the best wait. A thing about operational Lizzie net is most of us in order to kind of stay safety and vulnerability Ashley growing, I developed effective, Armor How do we? How did we learn to manage uncertainty and uncertainties, much more threatening as a child and isn't it as an adult right because mean you're survival could be at bay. You at risk over the years we learn to armor up- and there are many different forms of armour perfectionism is one cynicism moves wine control is wind. Power
over mean, there's a lot of different ways. We we armor up against and certain again I've checked all those but yeah yeah, and so. What we know now- and it was interesting because I just finished a seven year- leadership, steady and as parlor leaders- steady. We wanted to see if we can measure courage and vulnerability and peoples work with NBA. MBA students at Wharton at you, PAN, cataloguing, Northwestern and Jones at Rice and we developed this instrument it's an instrument to TED measure. Daring leadership like how courageous of a leader argue that the questions all relate back to vulnerability, meaning you know, can you tolerate uncertainty or do you default to action?
yes, you know, can you stay in problem solving or do you just need to fix anything? Do you talk? If you have something difficult to say, do you talk to people about it or about people? You know like in its really about the capacity to be invulnerability an hour on the run. side of some of those me too me too, but I'm working on it, like I'm aware of my armor and I'm aware how it shows up and when the problem is- and I spent a lot of time- and I mean you know- do work inside of big companies like me of the Facebook's, the Google, the the CIA special forces like I do a lot of leadership work and what was really interesting is. It would take me a long time to convince people that vulnerability was okay. Until about a year and a half when I was at Fort Bragg, and I just asked the simple question that came to my mind: witches: can anyone in here Osborne special forces troops? Can anyone in here give me an example of courage in your life or in someone else's life.
That wasn't defined by. Certainty, risk and emotional exposure. and finally, someone stood up and said many tours. There is no courage without vulnerability, and I thought I was out of that a fluke and then and then see the emotion while I've been in these soldiers then we can with the Seattle Seahawks doing some work with coach Carol asked the same question. They took a minute. Compliments later Michael Bennet said: no, there is no. without own ability and just the other day someone sent me a picture of the Brons James. He writes. The Roosevelt quote that I use tat kind of as the epoch raffer vulnerability encourage on his shoes. If you're going to be brave, you're going to no one indian risk and emotional exposure and, if you think, you're being courageous and you're comfortable you're, probably not being that break, can you reproduce that Roosevelt quote from? or- and I can't it's- not the critical counts. It's not them.
Who points out how the strongman stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done it better? The credit belongs to the persons we in the arena his face is marred with dust and sweat and blood who strives valiantly Who, in the end, while he knows he may know the triumph of high achievement, at least if he said as he daring greatly and so just back to part of my question. But let me start with you when you went through the therapy. yeah to make some of these changes. Your own life. Embracing vulnerability, how did that look when the rubber hit the road in your lived experience? What would your husband tell me if we gave him the MIKE or a kid?
My husband would say that, because I would you say, thank God, probably, but I'll tell you my therapist would say I remember that was an interesting time because, as the Emma. and sober saw between two year sober and may like in a couple weeks and Rosalie fangs. The guy was a big deal and it was a really weird deal for me because I had a very hi bottom, like I did, Aegina Graham like, which is like a family map that social workers and counselors to for my last project in my in a study programme, my masters in such work programme. call my mom. Do me like help me figure out the family tree, and it was like, oh my god, there's so much alcoholism and she's God's really bad. I mean it was just like. I couldn't believe it now like this awful.
I had a proper. I was wild, and so I was like this is not worth it this is not worth is ravage. My family like this, is not worth it and so I remember going to like my first- a meeting there like now you're not drunk enough to be here and there went away mean like now. We think you belong over the codependent, so I went over there and finally, I got like the sponsor useless to get the first week in she's, like you, ve got the Poohpooh platter addictions like a little bit. Everything as like, so what am I supposed to do and she is, I think you should stop drinking smokin interfering in your families live in eating like what's What's laughed yeah, so so I was newly. So as part of this I think was brought on by like I was really kind of working. are really rigorous spiritual programme at the time. and having this breakdown? and I remember one day telling my therapist rooms Diane. I said I need you to give me something and she's like what what do you need, as I need an ant anxiety
medicine if I'm not drinking and I'm not eating, and now when I try to be vulnerable and losing control right out like I need some kind of a medicine and she has come, why you think you need it, and I said because, unlike a turtle without a shell and in the briar patch, like everything is scary and in every everytime. I move it's like. I feel something terrible and she said well, let's work on getting out of the briar patch as like her and she goes before. We give you the shall, which for years, has been drink in our food or in our perfectionism our work, I give you another, shall let's try just moving out of the briar patch and so I think, when the rubber the road it was reexamining my life and saying. no to a lot of things, I was afraid to say no to like I can get into scarcity like. But if you know what, if you ask me,
on the show- and I say no in everyone's- not asking you're feeling unacceptable yeah yeah, yet nobody we like those kind of things like what. If I don't agree Do something and then will people think I'm not grateful and then so not disappointing people I haven't got boundaries, and so that's what the rotten for me, the vulnerabilities, there's nothing more vulnerable when you're raise with like the good girl perfectionist, stick take care of everybody. You no problem that weight to say no and set boundaries. Since I started having set really hard boundaries with my family and the oldest afore, I had to start setting boundaries at work which I can suck at still, but I'm getting better by this had to start saying now. It's interesting because setting boundaries doesn't my vote. Vulnerability really now think about it. Think about think about you, ve gotta parents, I'm trying
get the scenario you ve got apparent- that you live and who loves you and you love to see your parent with your child, but your parent your child in a way that you and your part have decided not to speak your child, so you have to say, accused it's. Ok, I love you altogether. His would not ok. You can't use at language when talking to my child who do you think you are you're still alive? We did pretty good. You know. Boundaries are always vulnerable because you're going to disappoint people. Oh it's in the setting of boundary it's in the city and its in the holding of them in the maintaining of them like here's. What's? Ok, here's what I mean as a leader, you're feeling what you care about. you are an its choosing self respect over making other people happy. Most of us were not raise that way. Right, like I might have been, were you well
yeah, but I think there are downside stood with which we can get gas her. I was raised more like be polite. Make people come you now in some way be some gender stuff? And here too oh no question. There's all kinds of gender or staff and privileged often say I think yet- and their taxes stuff in there. So yes, I started setting boundaries are so I started say no. I started you now. I do we threw some friends yeah, which is hard, but what about the control? The these are not my words into the work of your sponsor interfering in the lives of your family being so loud tied, making sure that they are all the meals are cooked. Before you leave in the closer picked out that continued, I let go. Oh you go. I really like. Oh yeah, I let go and I let go as I let go. The fear
they stuff first, because it just wasn't of personal. Obviously it's not helping and then I just started to let go and it was excruciating because you know that behavior, where you're trying to control everything in it and in its like help, disguised like. It is not really help like I'm trying to manage everything to the fore, the best possible outcome for me, I was imagining vulnerability more as in this may be one of the myths cause you in this in your netflix, specially talk. What the I think, it's six massive of vulnerability, bride and thought it was more like just like want in sharing. Now I'm not a fan of want and sharing. Now. In fact, I think one of the big mess is vulnerability- disclosure, that's one of the six month. It's not it's! You know, I do think it important to share and build trust that
vulnerability? Minus boundaries is not vulnerability at all. It's inappropriate sharing over sharing shock and are desperation, but it's not real vulnerability and robots I got seven leader said to me like: I believe you're saying how often should I cry what I disclose and like, and you may believe what I'm saying: You don't get what I'm saying at all. What I'm saying is, if you want to a leader who believes in Mobility, for example, allowed him to go into companies because they're having struggles, run, innovation and creativity, but they ve set up these perfectionist cultures were failure is completely punished, and so you can expect people to innovate and create, If you don't allow people to fail, because by definition, innovation is adoration failure adoration, like that the definition and so it's not about person, disclosure. In fact, a lot of people use person, disclosure as armor
like I just met you, I really like you like. We have some things in common here's, my deepest darkest secret and what are really doing is testing deceive. You also you'll still be around or confirm my my thinking that no one really cares about my struggles. Yeah. That's that's armor! So Vulnerability is not that it's about the ability to manage uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure without armor and wanna things. It was really interesting. Leadership. Steady is my hypothesis, which was wrong was that beer was the greatest barrier to courageous leadership, but it's not fear is the craziest leaders that we her feet were like I'm, I'm I'm afraid all the time I mean I'm afraid all day long, the biggest barrier to courageous leadership, encourage in general is not fear its armor. What do we do when we feel exposed? What? How do we solve, protect and had of those pieces of
keep us from growing into who wished us to be with you in the armor dawned out of fear. Sometimes, but not always. This are always the driver. I thought you'd be habit, it can be habit, it can be control, it can be. It can be a lot of things that I think the armor, but it's not. It's look one of the biggest findings for me again raised with generosity and Texan. We grew up believing you're either braver afraid, and what I believe is absolutely true. Based on you know, just now, topping four hundred thousand pieces of data is that you can be brave and afraid at the exact same time, at the exact same moment, and most of us are, and so it's not it's not fear thickets
the way it's succumbing to needing to armor up that really gets in the way. It's does that make sense. If it's it's not fears that the problem it's giving in to the fifty living in an end result of getting into the fear is armor, it's actually it's about a kind of embracing your fear or, as you say, embracing the last night. We did this we call of inherent New York and a woman stood up and she was shaking and she said you know. I just finished my first book. I'm writing really, honestly about addiction and parenting.
and in my life and she's, like I just like I'm screwed. If it does well, because people will know more about me and I'm scared of it doesn't do well and I'm just I feel sick like, and I said, congratulations and I said that's what courage feels like an. She is open. It soon comfortable- and I said I now that's what brave feels like, and I said, let me ask you this: do you feel alive she's? Ok, I feel alive from head to toe and I said that's courage. Right now is comfort that somehow we believe. That we are entitled to be comfortable and I've never done anything really meaningful. In my life that was comfortable, my mother was a kind of a trailblazing physician advanced, pretty high in the hierarchy.
Harvard Medical School before there were a lot of women there and she likes to say you know you're out front when you have arrows in your, but I mean that's it any that's it! No one out fried. Is it beat up a little bit? I mean So and what scares me I think about me, there's many through many reasons. I'm hopeful today, as a researcher casting across from people the last couple decades. They think what scares me today, that's relatively, as I see an increasing number of people opting out of love because of their fear of grief, opting out of courage because of their fear of failure opting out a belonging because of their fear of disconnection like, and I think some how it was that we ve been sold a bill of goods that somehow
we deserve or entitled to not hurting, and no one knows how to hurt you now and so. Instead of feeling pain, we cause pain. You now, instead of feeling uncomfortable and just kind of arriving at a little bat and breathing through it. That's why? Wouldn't you like there's an interesting intersection with our work. I think we don't know how to handle the immediate see. That is the physiology of vulnerability like interesting. I did some work with a company very well how they won the fastest rapid growth companies in the United States right now, and I spent a day with twenty senior managers and the minimum tenure in this room was probably twenty five years and we did these roll plays and about half of these folks very senior people tapped out.
The easiest role play. I brought three increasing difficulty tapped out of this role play because they said it was too uncomfortable. It was a really easy role play above. You had to tell someone on your team that the Cologne perfume that there are wearing was giving other team members headaches, and it went from that role play to a role play where I'd have to sit down from you and say Dan. I know you ve been working your but after the last six months, and you really want to project led by the team decided in that to give it to someone else, and I want to be honest with you about why There have been some issues around reliability that have been around for two years and no one has ever given you that feed back people just pass your long from team to team without ever giving me the opportunity to work on this, and I am here to stop that I'm here to say we are not yet because so often that was so well delivered
I haven't in advance, I know the role played, but what I have to do in front. A people like us are like there's. No there's no possible way to do this without being a jerk and in Europe We need there's vulnerability in that, even though the person saying those words is the one with the power it's the vulnerability in being honest, yak, as you can get it, you can like gear up and be like hey, you didn't get it work harder or you could avoidance and just pass them all. I just pass them along right, but the vote. Mobility. I like one of the big one of the big thing for talk about and dare to lead. The leadership book is clear as kind unclear as unkind. You now like, when we are not clear
people, and we know we make up a million stories about wired, hurt her feelings that it's all about art and comfort clears kind. Here's the thing I believe in you. We got some work to do. I think we can do it together. I think is, can take six months. Here's what it looks like operational eyes, just really clear. Here's was ok, here's with not okay list, again clear kind, but that's vulnerable, and you have no idea how many people can't do that, but it's not the. It's not the stereotypical version of our vulnerability. Now. What I like about it is, it is real vulnerability. I started their knowledge, yes and I don't Someone asked the question- and I don't know the answer to it on twitter yesterday or something why, think he's. Myths surround vulnerability and do you think there's there's you think, there's a gender thing here, the vulnerable vulnerable.
You seem, you know as weakness and end the thing about it is that there are. There are women who struggle with this as much as men for sure, and I think it's about shame, because a great ashamed trigger for men is the perceptions of weakness and for women. It's don't be imperfect. be perfect, can take care of everyone while showing no effort, and so vulnerability is just right in the face of both of those does that makes out those I'm just thinking like. Is that the thing that that would, furthermore, shame from me something I would trigger the motion from me would be that I'm somehow irredeemably selfish putty mean Gimme example
Don't care binding breaks out for myself that that stuff in that area we I got the hours I got, sets out around there too. It's not necessarily weakness me. I will be a kind of weakness: it is not its, not the one where I think most minds would go immediately when you think of
guess I think that's why a lot of male leaders will say things to me like too shy cry, and, unlike I dont know, if your crier cry, if you're not don't don't they cry, I mean there's, no, that there's nothing worse than fateful nobility that that will by you and by every time have you ever had a three sixty review. Okay, so I had one recently, I'm writing a book about it, and so said the wizard to the show will be familiar, have talked about a little bit and what a couple the findings go directly to what if result was devastating? Was there forty one page? Sixteen people anonymously interviewed for an hour forty one page report was it was horrifying and I went to a lot of shame immediately after reading it for an extended period time and I could still go back to it. This happened, I would say nine months ago and one of a couple of things it or that came up. One was lack of clarity and feedback so of Ghana, coward
There are around just telling people the truth in kind way and if I did tell him the truth, it was often an unkind way, which was clear, but probably the signal wasn't received because it was up. There is too much can be heard gas as a bigger one, though the number one complaint if memory serves, was emotional guardedness, which goes right to what you're talking about I've wondered, and I still wonder what do I do with that cuz I'm not acquire, I know you're saying you're, not saying, go cry out, but I dont know what emotional lowered emotional gardeners would actually mean. Is it have question What do you? Because you don't know me, I don't know you yeah yeah. I guess. I guess I ask myself if I got that feedback.
I guess the only thing I asked myself. I have mixed feelings about three. Sixty is, first of all a really Africa say more. I don't think there the I think, a three sixty review as super helpful, how their handled and done, I dont, think, is really helpful because they mean to get the resulting you're on your own. While you get the result and you're on your own and I've, never really sad across many minutes had a three sixty that didn't push them and a shame and shame is usually not a catalyst for growth and change right. So luckily, this three sixty was done by a very skilful, serve Buddhist inflicted Company and they ve there's been ongoing. That's great on one on one yeah, that's great watching young! Very strenuous pushing away from me from shame.
So I think, if I were you like this is this- is why the three hundred and sixty is hard I'd rather be in a culture where people can have these conversations directly in the eyes of the people they're giving the feedback, because I would say help me understand that I would. I would want examples and if they help me understand what it might look like, if I were last emotionally guarded, how would I show up different with you or for you? What makes it scary? What? What makes my armor scary around that for you? What makes what makes me is it in my difficult to approach, which I would ask a lot of questions, because I think in those questions, that's where the real heart of change is so like. So I just got I. It was my informal three sixty, but it was like more like a forgetting intervention where people my team,
Let me down and said there is an emotional intensity about you when you're fired up about something when you're really mad, that's very hard to be across from and where used to it that some emerging, your people are not used to it, and we know that important you'd tee for you to have a culture where people can speak up and disagree. If you don't do something with that you're not going to have a culture you want, while also Bernay Brown. the queen of vulnerability. Was can can run a foul of her own now yak is ILO has because I would fees. I would never I myself, the queen of vulnerability, I will say I'm a vulnerability researcher whose working I every day.
that was unfair and my hour. But but basically I meant like the person who has popularized this concept in a way that is really gotten into the culture. Perhaps the most prominently look out, maybe they'll be more farewell put it. So I apologise for the glibness, but it's so interesting. I think very important that you're willing to say this because he does it just because you ve name something described it in advise people effect. Doesn't mean you're advertising yourself as an avatar perfection, now my god now I think that's why people resonate with a TED talk and hopefully with the Netflix Special, because they see me struggling, I'm honest, Stephen, I have been together for thirty years and two amazing kids, but like I'm like me out, Charlie. Will come in and say hey this happen at school and, unlike that's, why I'm trying to do this like Buddhists thing from Pema, Chodron, wear Compassion is now
a relationship between the wounded and the healed, its relationship of equals and the compassion is knowing your darkness well enough that you can sit in the dark with other. So I have a user light metaphor lights, which metaphor with my kids, where if they say something hard going on. I try not to run and put the switch on. I just try to sit with him in the dark and teach them I feel that in the end that that's really good, it's it's really. It's really powerful I'm having the pediatrician, so he like use it a lot to like cooking pots and pans away. How do I fix it and then light healing you sit with them in the dark and teach them to big ask if you can do is teach them how to feel the disappointment and feel their way through it to teach them how, EL the grief or you know, and so on all say you know Turley and have a can you fix it? Unlike you know a cat, but I can be with you in it, and I can tell you about how I felt before, when this summer like this, has happened to me and then I'll be ok. I think I may have some alone time, and then I want.
Look at my husband like with like, like you, bear fix this crap right now I mean you fix, you call those treating you, tell them right now that I will have them a like. I go Chris. Like a human being lighters that emotional intensity there's emotional intensity are like, this friend of mine to hotter guy, like somebody ascertain homecoming dance and an called her and said I decided to someone else. No, she would say yes and I think they got someone better and so the vulnerable response like that that we would be like a really here that it's really hard it's hard to see our kids in pain. But as I oh no, I know someone who knows the Jonas Brothers I have them come pick her up and they will show that little jerky alike and she's like purportedly fourteen am I gonna beat him like now so now, I'm just a normal person that the only difference between me Probably even like you know, I died or people that we're just like don't be vulnerable, says it's dangerous. You now is
I'm aware of what I'm doing, but it's not my default. How did you feel when you got their feedback from your team? I super grateful you're hurt. Here there was a twinge of a man I recognise that it myself and I read, I sat in a lot of leaders that I work with two that emotional intensity at no. It didn't because I trust them, and I think we have this culture at work, that we worked really hard. I, and so like that, store that that the same story, I tell myself we better that we say it twenty times a day. Can you say more, but there could do talk, whether in the special and I think it's really potentially very powerful, took you just talk a little bit about that that expression, the story I tell myself yet was interesting when I was doing the research for rising strong. First of all, this sentence like the story I'm making at the same time, I said has floating around in the data for over a decade
never really saturated for for qualitative researcher. I am not going I'm looking for data that saturate across, like that. I see it so much. It's predictably gonna come up and everything and so but then, when I start doing the research for rising strong, which is about a case of your brave and vulnerable feeling guarantees you're, gonna fall. No failure in dismay sat back and disappointment. How do people get back up? is there a way that people have found that works so every single one of the research participants that we would really classifies highly resilient. Like the highest resuming it you some form of the sinners and what are they started digging into it. It makes little sense because, when something difficult happens, It leads us to a scenario where I work for you and you and I get out of a meeting, and I look at you and I walked back to my office, and I mean hey, good, meaning Dan, and you look at me now what the Hell Bernay and you just give me this terrible, look and then walk in your office. Every one I know would be triggered by them.
right right, and so the brain says my job is to support you and send it survive is my only thing I care about, there's no close. Second, what's going on, I can beauty YO tension executive is not just like a sabre tooth running after us. It's it's a part of our brain. That's like fight flight Paris, sympathetically, freeze, and it still perceive vulnerability, emotional risk as threat, and so the brain, if you give the brain a story and you have the brain in August, we know now pat imaging. The brain recognizes the narrative pattern, a beginning middlemen, and it explains why we view story to teach and communicates since the beginning of time. You give the brain, a story that helps it understand what safe, what's dangerous. What's, okay, what thought? Okay, whose, after you, whose for you you get a chemical reward, if I can say, oh Dan hates me he's always hated me he's, never trust me. He hated what I shared. He hated my presentation that meeting the brain of look. Ok, chemical reward, we know what's happening, we know he's not safe. We know how to protect you
The problem is that the reward happens regardless of the accuracy of the story and then more nebulous and gauzy. The story is the less the reward it doesn't want me like: hey, what's up a tan? Maybe it's not about me no reward. oh, what I found is that so I pick up the phone. I call on my calling it do the meeting with the candidates, yet an hour dont go cancel the meeting. I don't know. What's going on with him he's going nuts he's, I think about it. You may get fired today like how many times a day. Do you think that happens in offices where people start, I mean, have you ever let a team through changed. I've never had anybody report to me in my profession, ok so like in the absence this people can take this at the bank. In the absence of data we make up store. Yes, I've done that a million times ass because more as is right because we're a meaning making species.
Great example is you're you're in a hard tex conversation and you get the three dots and then nothing and then nothing in an hour later still nothing! You ve got a huge narrative built up about what's happening. Right, we're. That person is probably just like you know, for the run, or so I come back to you and I your idea of a second Turkmen. We got the meeting today And I did have a good day you kind of looked at me like you were pissed off the story, I'm making up if something happened, that meeting that you didn't like- and I want to see if there's anything we need to clean up and- that meeting was scheduled till eleven. We got out of there at one thousand two hundred and thirty. I have zumba at one thousand, one hundred and thirty every Thursday and like, but what about the part about me and you're like no part about you and how often do partners? me like have driving what I would say if my partner said she had zoom yeah yeah yeah like a thick, our safety,
like hey I've got there like pediatric asylum meeting tonight, you don't need to go, how ok argument Am I me like, if you don't want me, your party like, if you know like what I'm wearing that's fine you take holiday, get a date is like Jesus, I just some say, look, I know you're busy. I know you're fine out tomorrow morning and these things are so like alike. Are you sure these, like ok with Are you making up for that and I'm like, and we do it together all the time now, but the stories that we make up because we're making them up to self protect the stories we make up grab our greatest shame triggers our biggest fears about ourselves and just explode them in order to assure maximum protection. So it
Shame trigger as for me, you know, like, oh my god, there's a pediatric dinner tonight. I don't have the right thing to wear, and so you think I have closed or tonight you, where are you genes, I'm wearing. I don't care like yours. Why veterans in every cowboy boots door like you could care at last. What I wear, but I'm making up that story is I'm in a bad place because I'm packing to go to New York the next day. I have no cute outfits aware on your part cast. You know like that that its that's how it were in and with kids know you. If a teenager right, before your old. You act like a teenage earlier for you to get a baby. I signed a thirteen year old mother last night, daddy hate you and I know, could I call them and he told me so he acts like a teenage. That's for yeah, but that's that's. That's the beginning of the week the packing of love. Here I was like, while his game is strong game is trial. Well, you better. Better get some of these skills right now. You are still up. No,
Where do I know where he's gettin it from my shame place? That's the story. I tell myself that he's gonna be not a nice guy is daddy known, as you never see me that seventy certainly been call me telling all yours manipulating. That's how I normally here that's for at such a great at that, like it so phase. The great thing about me, married to a pediatrician, is like this is what happened today? It is the wording. Is she easily she's like trying on that behaviour, so developmentally appropriate great news you now, I'm like really is great news That's a b s frame just for me, but I'll, take a better stupor yet know that, like I've, a thirteen year old, a nineteen year old and so teaching them cannot we caught s after the word they would have outlined, will bleep yeah now, as I d first draft, I'm for kids? Don't first draft in churches. So there
This draft is the first story we make up and so when my kids are on social media. Are there like everyone's going everyone's doing this, but me everyone was invited me area there. Everyone gets infractions, but me I might do we know that, for sure, is that a story or making up well as a story, I make an app unlike ok. How do we. get out. It's a you use this in your office, culture which mean that intervention with you. It sounds like that ass well, yeah. It's. Because as we we, we tat we're truth tellers really in its when people. and work with this. Are there near there like I've, never work somewhere like this like we'll do say like when they gave me the feedback. I said: ok, I'm gonna call time out, which is a big part of our culture, because if you're gonna have clear kind heart conversations, you have permission to culture
a call time out for a second I'm feeling a little shea me, because I don't want to be that person. But can we circle back in thirty minutes ago? So I can. I walked around the parking lot and took it in, and I came back. I said that there have been really hard to tell me. I really appreciate it. I will think about it and I will work on it and I have seen that intensity. I gotta know when I get into it and I want to make you responsible for my behavior, but is there anyway? You can give me a sign when it's happening. If I am missing that And they said yeah and ass, an ok, but they ve all been on the receiving end of that, and so it's.
We knew normalize discomfort and hard conversations and an environment miracles can happen. I mean, but I'll tell you like with my CFO. I called him away. If I don't have six months ago is, I think- and I said I think we should allow this partnership right now- a partnership with a big media partner that we were negotiating said. We should plots partnership right now and he's like we're, not even we haven't even into yet Simon we're contract. Yet- and I was like yeah. This is be like I'm, I'm I'm out and he's ok. What's going on, and I said well, the story I make up. Is that They ve had the red lines are not giving back with us there, not interested, so I'm gonna pull out before they say you're, not interested in a sad, ok super for they had a red line for two hours. It sixty two pages. We will not hear anything from them for at least five or six days as it out ok is, I do still one about now the super for excited about it, but I've. Just like you, like you, so
we are always the story. I'm telling myself here. The story I make up is you didn't do that last night because you disagreed with us going in that direction and the person will say I did at last night. I turned it into your assistant and I don't know where it is, but that's not so we constantly checking things. I love the great because it you know I am, I have come to jobs wordy we see news whereof to Ankara couple shows and technically nobody really reports me then. I also have a sort of company Abby or we will have a meditation happen. I'm actually now really starting to get free granular about corporate culture and I'm learning a lot. I've never really been in management positions. They need you. I don't actually have an executive role, the company of a co founder, but I'm interested. in all this because end, then I've got a lot out of your netflix special it on this level of like creek how'd, he greater culture where there is, I think, the term of artists, psychological safety where people feel safe speaking Edmonson yet, and you can be on the right side of clear and kind, and yet all
super interesting. Much more of my conversation with Brene Brown coming up after this healthy lifestyle should be easy right, eat, veggies, drink, green smoothies exercise to get your heart rate up and do yoga to bring your heart rate down all right. Well, maybe not so easy, but there is something that can help just about everything and you can do it. With your eyes. Closed sleep. Sleep number knows what it takes to sleep, your best, the new sleep number three hundred and sixty smart bed lets. You choose your ideal firmness, comfort and support on each side. Your sleep number setting it's the perfect solution for couples. These beds are so smart. They respond to your every move and automatically adjust to keep you sleeping comfortably all night proven quality. Sleep is life. Changing sleep, give comfort and joy to all through life. Changing sleep now save up to seven hundred dollars on the new sleep number three hundred and sixty smart.
add, plus special financing, only for a limited time, you'll only fine sleep number, it sleep number stores or by visiting sleep number dot com. Sash happier. I've asked none of the questions on my list in front of me because he says major saving them just responding on. That's, oh no. I don't have to prepare for anything ever. You said something about. People were whole hearted they wake up in the morning and feel like good enough, no matter what happens Is that a skill somebody can build toward her that olfactory setting? Now that's a scale I get me. The factory settings can can forecast how much work it's gonna take to get there, but it's definitely asked
said: it's definitely like. I think I feel like I'm working toward it. I think I'm further than I was ten years ago. Hopefully out you know, I I feel, like my kids, have it so much there's so much closer than I am. Could Stephen I've been try to be very intentional about not using shame to parent about YO really trying to make some different decisions and how I think how we were parity parents during total best they can they could with us, but I think I think its absolute Lee possible too for anyone to get there. I mean, and one of the big parts have hurt. You talk about this with other people. You ve got a constantly check. The narratives We believe what we tell ourselves about ourselves, you know, and so, if someone couldn't love, you D, never capacity didn't want to love you? It doesn't make you unlovable, because
We will then see value in what you producer create. Does it make you less valuable like we have to really challenge the narratives that we have got into and we built our lives around them? So I think if we can challenge the narrative and learn how to be uncomfortable and emotion, I think almost anything as is possible. Here's. The final question is: maybe maybe one more time after this will see, but I was told going into this that you didn't have much meditation practice that we always on the show. Start. hey how'd, you get it to meditation, but I didn't do that with you, because I somehow I've been led to believe that you don't meditate, but then in our little chit chat before we started rolling, you told me that you might so say more about that. If you will I don't know, does it have to look a certain Wang? Ok, so here's the thing that I have to do something quiet.
alone, an rhythmic on a daily basis. I would probably die. Remember rhythmic! like I'm a swimmer. Ok, so I say, like just you know, because I, like ice, I breathe every third stroke so it's gotta, be really quiet. It's got. to be the way I think about it- the priests and the pre spiritual person, which also happened during that kind of breakdowns stuff. I'm always I was kind of raise Catholic, were fiscal pay now, but pretty how spiritual practice. So I always think about what you mean prayer both. I think because praying to me as talking and then meditation to me. listening, and so I tried to listen in a quiet, rhythmic space, so isn't that meditation saw give a kind of technical area, which is that I think it's great.
when I talk about meditation, I'm talkin about mindfulness meditation and my phone is actually has a specific meaning that I dont know, because I really literally dont know cause I'm not in your mind as you swim or whatever it is you're doing in these times which, by the way, I think it has many many many governments. Cardiovascular psychologically exercise can. But my vanishes is kind of a matter. Awareness neat knowing that you know or sometimes is sometimes people say we are classified as a species as homo sapiens sapiens. So the one who thinks and knows he or she thinks, and so my violence is the ability to see clearly that you have in mind in our thinking and you have his voice in your head, that she Emory at you all the time
and the mildest it takes you out of their traffic. It allows you to see that those processes, and so that you're not owned by it. Oh yeah, I definitely meditate. Ok, so yeah it. With my vote meditation, you are systematically trying to focus on. One thing could be swimming, it could be your breath and then every time you get distracted une you'd start again, and what that the skill that develops over time is. Is my fulness witches ability not to be owned by whatever neurotic obsession just flits through your brain? They definitely that I definitely that like as, if anything anything if aiding comes into my mind in the
of the water over me, then I start over again. Yes, said: that's yeah I'd out, I'm not as good as it might have tried. Walkie meditation before I'm a not interesting, like I d like to sit still bit I'm working on them. Adaptation in that I think is swimming is very meditated. For me, like a saw a good decompression chamber, like you can't hear anything, you can't see a thing. It's just you just breathing, but I m deafening the matter thinking it's an awareness of my thinking. Does that make suggested don't absolutely is fit for its interest and glad. I asked Britain's stepped gingerly when you said that, because often when people say to me running my meditations where's, my meditation, I say actually think running in swimming or or whatever you yarn bombing whatever it is. You do is great, but unless you do it in a specific way, it's probably not meditation. The way I do find it, but actually the parent that, if a phrase there, unless you do it in a specific way,
We are doing it in a specific way that would make would qualify it as my fullest, but I think he has my presentation, even because I separate that swimming from when I like doing timed fifties, or something like that like this is really. This is really- about it's. It's a mental practice for me yeah for sure. So I think I do that very much in the water are gonna actually have few minutes ass. This one last question I want to We talk a lot about vulnerability as it pertains to serve professional relations, wouldn't get up at em parenting alone, but we didn't really get into romantic. They should do it our remaining moments here. What what would that look like? Is it you used the phrase in your netflix special? I believe the willingness to say I love you first, but is. Is that what you're talkin about. I think it's more than that. I think it's like you know. I just picture I most every couple I know myself included that, like we go to the days so armoured get stuff die and you know kicker
ass. Anyone see anything that you know just do it and then, like we inelegant willing climb in bed at night or in these big suit of armor. You know to people that it's like so hard just to be seen. I think you know having a partner that sees you and that he had to see and to be seen as the great human need. and I think, to not be armoured with the people that we love to be able to say. I'm really afraid about this, or this really hurt today or but we don't do that. We go home and we keep it on even with our partner. You know, or I'm really scared about what we are hearing about. Little Sammy Org. You know like to be able to sink into each other as a place of safety and not one more place where we have to prove and perfect and please and worry about what people think me. I think that's the goal. I think it is, and I they adieu thing saying I love you. First,
do they say thinking you know, I'm afraid leg is interesting. Is that this is a great example I. So it is another piece of feedback of I've had procedure. My life is that, instead of getting scared, I can become scary guy laughing because it feels like someone I would do yeah like I can get like like. If I'm scared, I can get pre fear about stuff. But I was talking with Steve before I came to New York and we were riding the car and he's like what it seems it about. Netflix he's like I've watched it. You know I give you real honest feedback, you like thank you crushed it. You know, and I think, to be able to go up there and do that, and it was me why they could change people's lives and important ways and acknowledge that are now. I just hate this part. I hate it going out and the public now I'm scared and is a cool. What are you scared of? And I said I didn't say it because I knew what it was. I didn't want to say it
and his Ike, I'm gonna pull over as I don't you dare fuller demagogue gradually. I think don't make eye contact with me in the light of Atomic came a pull over other stare, you and he's like. Oh, my god, you're so mean if you can drive it I'll tell you like it as they don't look me the anything after I say an army. The test is like ok, and I said I think it's the anticipated worry inciting I'm doing the cheap seek criticism is coming like the first couple days. Something comes out: it's the people who love your work and their like thank uses, Gray really enjoyed it, but then, as it goes as it as it radiates out, the people on the pond, then people are alike. You know screw. You know. I can't those people come and I said so- it's like it's like when you were ten.
You know your brother's gonna frog, you in the arm, but you don't know what it's coming. As I any like I employ never. And I was like It did so he's like that's coming and he's, like you know, that's coming as you put your. Will you put your work out the world for a long time in your super brave, but you know it's coming and you can choose not to read it and I'll, be here and it's gonna be ok and it was worth it. You know I could get in theory. I'd say it like. That's vulnerable, you know, as opposed to just gonna call me like: hey automobiles, go by like to really let someone see what scares you or like which, with kids. Like I remember one time my daughter coming home and she just hard high school, and she said I am run
in issues running for class president of refreshment Class and She came home one day and we were sitting at dinner and we drove around after grace and we say what we're grateful for and she has I'm really grateful for you all and I said- and I said thanks out and we're getting ready to go to her brother and she is because I can tell you how bad I really want this and I'm not going to win. I know I'm not going to win and I said yeah you may not win you may, but you may not, and I said, but when you let people know how bad you want something That you know you may not get you ve already one like that's brave, because most of us would like our care, our cameras, Jennifer the fun. I will see what happens and then you
crying your room alone and then you dry your tears and come out like about asking, unlike in really care about it, but to let people know you care about things like that's vulnerable. This has a gazelle neural. Both sides you and Stephen the car both vulnerable, because he gave you honest, clear feed, but hardly an same with you and Ellen. She was gone or bone and admitting how she felt it. You are vulnerable and not try to make her problem, go away and switch the lights on fur you sat with her in in the fear, and I think it's I think, when the biggest barrier to raising vulnerable, courageous kids, if I think about my own at bringing, is our parents who put too much emphasis on cool was a straitjacket like like steam, now be dancing around the kitchen or socks or somethin in mice, son who's going re reporting Obi like oh, my guy, stop We listened to some very popular song like all tat road or something and show that no this is this is burnt in my vision for an hour
and it will stop it really serious and, like I look we won't ever do that from your friends. We want embarrass you, you don't have to dance with us, but in this house awkward, silly uncool, always rules in place to do that. Steve was right. we did a great job in Africa Donkey and I do recommend unreservedly. The people watch it so until I think you it's heartfelt whole hearted. Even thank you very much really appreciate it. You were, it was great to meet you. I could see tat. I could talk you for five, our media. Maybe we'll do it again at a love that thank you thanks again to bernay. That conversation has really stuck with me. I've come back many times so really appreciate her feminine after having listened to bernay, you might feel ready to put some of her ideas to work in your own law
If so, let me mention again our upcoming new year's meditation challenge. It starts Monday January forth. You can meditate alongside thousands of other people. You can even invite your friends and track their progress, as mentioned at the top of the show you to have a special focus on self compassion and self love which research, guess can be much more effective than shame and self loathing when you're trying to boot up a new, healthy habit or break unhealthy one so download the temper. Happier up right now and sign up big thanks as always to the team who or so hard to make, this show a reality. Samuel Johns is our senior producer. Dj Kashmir is our producer. Jewels Dodson is our eighty are sound. Designer is mad point of ultraviolet audio Maria We're tell us our production coordinator we get in, or missing out of insight and input from our Tpa colleagues such as gender. weren't, make Toby been Reuben ITALY's Levin and, of course, as always, big. Thank you. My ABC News. Comrades, rang Kessler, just call
we'll see you all on Wednesday, four episode with Evelyn AAA. This is an episode that genuinely- and this is an over used phrase I know, but have to be true in this case- genuinely change. My life Evelyn is the co creator of intuitive eating, which revolutionized, my often fraught relationship to food. So what on Wednesday, with that,
Transcript generated on 2020-12-21.