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Brene Brown - the Power of Vulnerability

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Brene Brown - the Power of Vulnerability

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  • March 2013
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1. Summarize the “Ted” talk:

Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, a self-purported “shame-and-vulnerability expert”, is a research professor at the University of Houston, Graduate College of Social Work. Focusing the last ten years of her studies on the topics of vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame, Brené Brown’s work has been featured on PBS, CNN, NPR, and most notably TED. In her TED talk, she shares the findings of her lengthy qualitative research, a massive collection of interviews including a colorful rendition of her own personal struggles, on the idea of human connection which she states “fundamentally expanded her perception” and has “changed the way she lives, loves, works and parents”. Her touching account of her personal struggles with this research centers around her views of vulnerability, which Brown summarizes as our “ability to empathize, belong, and love”. Brown digs even deeper into her exploration of shame and vulnerability, and how they act as obstacles in one's pursuit of true happiness. Brown draws together her ideas in a concept she labels “Wholeheartedness”, and illustrates her theory on how to engage in our lives from a place of authenticity and worthiness.

2. Identify the assumptions made by the speaker:
To summarize her concept of “Wholeheartedness”, Brown begins her talk on the topic of ‘Connection’. “We are hardwired to connect with others, it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives” explains Brown, that in order to allow connection to happen, “we have to allow ourselves to be seen as we are, not presenting only the parts we think others will like”. During Brown’s research on connection, she elaborated on the idea that we often fear being disconnected from others, which she describes as the meaning of ‘shame’. We often feel shame and fear when we feel that we may become disconnected from others. Brown decided to take a one-year detour from her research to explore “shame” in depth, unexpectedly resulting in six long...

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