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Brene Brown on Vulnerability TED Talk
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Brene Brown at 2014 NASW Conference
This is the first in a series of posts I will write to share with you some of my experience at the 2014 National Association of Social Workers (NASW) conference on July 23-26, 2014, in Washington, DC. The theme of the conference was "Social Work: Courage, Hope and Leadership."
Plenary sessions are the "glue" that holds a conference together. They turn the conference into more than a bunch of individuals attending a bunch of individual workshops, and instead can transform the individuals into a cohesive group with a common experience and bond. I found the plenary sessions and keynote speakers at the NASW conference to be very successful at meeting this goal. And who better to set the tone for a social work conference on hope, courage, and leadership than Brene Brown, who was one of the keynoters for the opening plenary session on July 23.
Social work researcher and educator Brene Brown has become a household name when it comes to talking about embracing your vulnerability, shame, and fear and living authentically with your imperfections to learn to live a wholehearted life in which you feel "good enough" and worthy of love. Through her books and speaking engagements, she has reached millions of people with her message of authenticity and "okayness" with being imperfect.
Her 2010 TED Talk (embedded above this article) has been viewed more than 16 million times. Her books, The Gifts of Imperfection, I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn't), and Daring Greatly, are all bestsellers. Her Amazon Author Rank for self-help books is currently at #4. All this is a testament to the fact that people are hungry for her message: that it is okay to embrace your vulnerability and your imperfections, to allow yourself to have the uncomfortable feelings, and to be real.
It was inspiring to hear and see her live and in person at the NASW conference. Here are some take-aways that I wrote down as she was speaking:
- "Social work is not what I do; it's who I am. It's how I see the world."
- "You can choose courage or you can choose comfort. You cannot have both."
- "Get clear about whose opinions matter to you."
- "I want to be in the arena."
- "There is no evidence that vulnerability is weakness."
- "Do you want to wake up one day and ask yourself: What if I would've shown up? We have to show up."
- "Write yourself a permission slip every day."