• I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t)

  • Telling the Truth about Perfectionism, Inadequacy, and Power
  • Written by: Brené Brown
  • Narrated by: Lauren Fortgang
  • Length: 10 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 2010-12-16
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (42 ratings)

Price: CDN$ 33.54

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Publisher's Summary

The quest for perfection is exhausting and unrelenting. We spend too much precious time and energy managing perception and creating carefully edited versions of ourselves to show to the world. As hard as we try, we can't seem to turn off the tapes that fill our heads with messages like, Never good enough! and What will people think? 

Why? What fuels this unattainable need to look like we always have it all together? At first glance, we might think its because we admire perfection, but that's not the case. We are actually the most attracted to people we consider to be authentic and down-to-earth. We love people who are real; we're drawn to those who both embrace their imperfections and radiate self-acceptance. 

There is a constant barrage of social expectations that teach us that being imperfect is synonymous with being inadequate. Everywhere we turn, there are messages that tell us who, what, and how were supposed to be. So, we learn to hide our struggles and protect ourselves from shame, judgment, criticism, and blame by seeking safety in pretending and perfection. 

Based on seven years of ground-breaking research and hundreds of interviews, I Thought It Was Just Me shines a long-overdue light on an important truth: Our imperfections are what connect us to each other and to our humanity. Our vulnerabilities are not weaknesses; they are powerful reminders to keep our hearts and minds open to the reality that we're all in this together. 

As Dr. Brown writes, "We need our lives back. It's time to reclaim the gifts of imperfection - the courage to be real, the compassion we need to love ourselves and others, and the connection that gives true purpose and meaning to life. These are the gifts that bring love, laughter, gratitude, empathy and joy into our lives."

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2007 Brené Brown (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

What the critics say

"Brené Brown’s ability to explore shame and resilience with humor, vulnerability and honesty is both uplifting and liberating. If we want to change our lives, our relationships or even the world, we must start by understanding and overcoming the shame that keeps us silent. This important and hopeful book offers a bold new perspective on the power of telling our stories." (Professor Jody Williams, 1997 Nobel Peace Prize Recipient; Campaign Ambassador, International Campaign to Ban Landmines)
"Grounded in exceptional scholarship and filled with inspiring stories, this is one of those rare books that has the potential to turn lives around." (Harriet Lerner, Ph.D., author of The Dance of Anger)
" I Thought It Was Just Me can be a doorway to freedom and self-esteem for many, many readers. (Martha Beck, Ph.D., columnist, O, The Oprah Magazine, and author of Finding Your Own North Star)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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INCREDIBLE

This book woke me up to so much about myself and what I've been going through in life. Shame is a tremendous feeling that both men and women experience and I now believed that change can happen when we come from a places of empathy, connection and compassion for ourselves and each other. Practice daily ordinary courage and you can start to walk out of the shame web/box.
I recommend this book to everyone!! A must listen/read.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kia
  • 2018-12-09

This book is about shame

This book wasn’t at all what I expected. It’s completely about shame and women. It’s was okay, but no real new information here.

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excellent for personal growth

I prefer "Gifts of imperfection" but this is still excellent. would be good if you're a parent.

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Will listen again.

As a psych student, I found these insights to be very beneficial to my learning and practice!

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such a great book<br />

profound learning and amazing growth can come from thus book. I'm so grateful gir Brenes research and vulnerability.

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Amazing!

The wait list at the library was soooo long for this book and now I know why! Brene Brown has such a gift at communicating , she speaks/writes from her research and experience and if you follow her work, you will be reassured that you are not alone. Shame is a huge part of our psyche and being vulnerable is key to a happy & healthy life. Everyone should read her books. #audible1

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  • Sherry
  • 2013-09-01

Missing Brene's own Vulnerability Voice

If you are one of the squillions who have watched Brene Brown on TedTalks or Oprah's Super Soul Sunday you may empathize with my review. I missed hearing the book narrated by Brene Brown herself. Lauren Fortgang's effort was not without merit, however after having been engaged by watching Brene then buying the books I missed her delivery of her own words.

The book itself was worth the investment, I've listened twice since purchasing.

132 of 138 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Leslie A Hill
  • 2011-08-09

I'm sure its great if you are a mother ....

I'm sure this book has a lot to offer to most women; unfortunately not so much for me. Most of the book focuses on motherhood and parenting.. I don't have children, so could not relate a good deal of the time and lost interest.

265 of 279 people found this review helpful

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  • Justyna
  • 2017-01-02

Interesting but not for me

Definitely there were parts that I appreciated for being insightful and explaining things, soon the book became pretty boring and repetitive as it constantly circled around the issues of parenting and family.
I'm in my mid 20s, I'm still a student, and I have no interest in creating a family, let alone having children. A lot of the examples and discussions in the book simply weren't for me. I might re-visit it in 10-15 years when it becomes more relevant. That's really the only thing about this book that dissatisfied me, and of course that's a very subjective reason.

48 of 50 people found this review helpful

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  • Dara Burwell
  • 2016-03-13

Important points, anemic delivery

What was most disappointing about Brené Brown’s story?

This book makes a number of interesting and relevant points. Unfortunately it’s not a smooth read/listen – it is much longer and more repetitive than it needs to be. The book has the appearance of something that was adapted from a thesis, but wasn’t rearranged to be reader friendly. I think that Brown’s evaluation of shame vs. humiliation vs. embarrassment is very important. I just wish it had been more clearly conveyed.

Did Lauren Fortgang do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Fortgang did a good job narrating this book. She sounded compassionate and sincere, and conveyed the emotion that I think Brown intended.

Any additional comments?

I believe the book could have been streamlined. Sharpening the points and examples and making the book about half the length would have made it far stronger.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Stacey
  • 2012-07-23

Good self-help book; not well-suited for audio.

I thouroughly enjoyed Brené Brown's TED talks on vulnerability and shame; I had hoped that this book would be an expansion on those discussions by the author.
This book contains a lot of useful information and interesting anecdotes regarding overcoming shame, embracing reality, and having compassion for oneself and others. However, it is not written in a style that works well with audio. It contains many parts that I would just skim in a print book; it has reader exercises that would be more useful in a visual format; and there are parts that I would like to mark, think about, and come back to (not ealily done in this audio format).
A critique of the material is that it seems to focus primarily on women like Brown, herself: white, educated, mid-upper income, etc. Though there is a nod here and there to people who are not in those categories, it is pretty clear that this book does not do much to address the broader experience of people outside Brown's comfort zone. Then again, the audience that actually buys self-help books like this is primarily comprised of women, white, educated, mid-upper income, etc. (including me).

105 of 117 people found this review helpful

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  • Dave
  • 2013-04-14

Wonderful insights

Would you consider the audio edition of I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t) to be better than the print version?

No. I would recommend reading this book over listening to it. The performance verges on annoying and I would've preferred to scan some sections throughout the book.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Brenee's research into shame and the accompanying insights are fascinating and deeply helpful. She draws on countless interviews to populate her data with strong evidence.

What didn’t you like about Lauren Fortgang’s performance?

Repetitious and not subtle.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • Tracer McLeod
  • 2012-12-12

Required Reading for Humankind

Would you listen to I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t) again? Why?

I will most certainly listen again for the insight and information. But the narration should've been done by the author.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

The story-like writing style

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

She did fine; I've just heard the author in interviews and I prefer the timbre of her voice.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Towards the end the author begins discussing her new research with men. While women seem to be caught in a web she finds that men are put in a box and punished when they try to escape. It reminded me of when my little brother started getting teased and bullied when he got too old (7 or 8 years old) not to stay in the box. Broke my heart again.

24 of 27 people found this review helpful

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  • E. McNair
  • 2017-02-12

Every time I think she's shown me at all…

I have read three of Brene Brown's other books before I read this one. I had no idea how much this one would change how I felt. In some ways I wish I had read this one first, but at the same time having already dabbled in her theories I was more familiar with what she was talking about. I will forever be changed from reading this book.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Nanurala
  • 2016-09-07

Such great material

I really enjoyed this book. The narrator was good however I prefer when read by Brene herself. There is so much helpful information in this book to help understand shame in our own lives and others. I will relisten to this book again soon because the material is so rich and I have so much to implement in my own life and work. Thanks Brene and support team!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Kimberly
  • 2017-08-10

This just wasn't for me...

Maybe this is more for a younger crowd, most women I know have accepted who they are and how they look and are not ashamed.

I was expecting to hear about deeper resonating aspects of shame. However, I am sure there may be some who need to read/hear this----particularly those plagued with bulimia and anorexia nervosa.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful