The Lesson: In this inspiring Ted Talk, researcher-storyteller Dr. Brene Brown recounts her six year journey to understand the key to human connection: vulnerability. She found that vulnerability sits at a paradoxical balance between being the core of one’s struggle for worthiness and yet also the birthplace of true intimacy and belonging. Through equal parts humorous anecdotes and profound discoveries, Brown defines universal feelings in novel ways and reveals how to apply these teachings to lead a more connected life.

Notable Excerpt: “So very quickly — really about six weeks into this research — 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. And shame is really easily understood as the fear of disconnection: Is there something about me that, if other people know it or see it, that I won’t be worthy of connection? The things I can tell you about it – it’s universal; we all have it. The only people who don’t experience shame have no capacity for human empathy or connection. No one wants to talk about it, and the less you talk about it the more you have it. What underpinned this shame, this ‘I’m not good enough,’ — which we all know that feeling: ‘I’m not blank enough. I’m not thin enough, rich enough, beautiful enough, smart enough, promoted enough.’ The thing that underpinned this was excruciating vulnerability, this idea of, in order for connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be seen, really seen.”

The Speaker: Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation – Brené Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work. Brown has and continues to break down the complex topics concerning human nature such as shame, empathy, courage, and vulnerability. Her TED talk – The Power of Vulnerability – garnered over 34 million views as one of the top five most viewed TED talks worldwide.

Books: Brown is the author of four #1 New York Times bestsellers – The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, and Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and The Courage to Stand Alone. Her new book, Dare to Lead: Bold Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts., is scheduled for publication in October 2018.

(LISTEN to the inspiring talk below)

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