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The power of vulnerability

Doctor Brené Brown has spent the past 12 years investigating vulnerability, courage, dignity and shame. She will be exploring these themes at a conference in London on the 4th of July.

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Brene Brown
Brene Brown

Brown, whose 2010 speech “The Power of Vulnerability” has had over 8.5 million views on TED.com (an organisation dedicated to ideas worth sharing), started studying the vulnerability myth after a nervous breakdown.

In this funny and moving discussion, she shares a deep insight into her research, which took her on a personal quest to get to know herself – and all of us – a little better.

She also wanted to be able to define the quality that brings us closer to a state of contentment and personal happiness.

With this in mind she spent ten years studying a wide range of people, happy people, sad people, people in love, lonely people, intelligent people, beautiful people etc. Eventually she reached the conclusion that all of the people who were content with themselves were in this state because they fully accepted themselves for who they were.

This is why she maintains that it is only by embracing vulnerability and imperfection in ourselves that we can live our lives in a courageous and authentic way.

Poder vulnerabilidad 1 Brene BrownShe believes that gaining this knowledge and acting upon it has the power to transform the way that we interact within our family, workplace, school and community.

Brown, a professor of Social Science, maintains that being vulnerable “is absolutely essential, vulnerability is not weakness, which is a dangerous myth”.

She also stresses that “showing our imperfections takes courage, but it is the only path to authenticity, and there is no way to be loved without being authentic”.

Poder vulnerabilidad 6Shame, in her expert opinion, derives from the belief that we are not worthy of love and acceptance from those around us because we do not believe that we are good enough.

She also states that shame is a universal sentiment that is bound up with our ability to empathise.

These words and ideas have had considerable repercussions in society, and have meant that she is able to fill conference halls, and appear on television programmes as important as those of Katie and Oprah Winfrey.

This teacher and researcher from the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work is also the author of the best-selling work “Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead”.

Poder vulnerabilidad 9She will be giving a conference to discuss vulnerability and facing our fears on the 4th of July at the RSA (8 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6EZ).

For more information visit the website.

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(Translated by: Roz Harvey)

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