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The Power of Vulnerability

Teachings of Authenticity, Connection, and Courage
Written by: Brené Brown PhD
Narrated by: Brené Brown
Length: 6 hrs and 30 mins
5 out of 5 stars (546 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

Show Up and Let Yourself be Seen

Is vulnerability the same as weakness? “In our culture,” teaches Dr. Brené Brown, “we associate vulnerability with emotions we want to avoid such as fear, shame, and uncertainty. Yet we too often lose sight of the fact that vulnerability is also the birthplace of joy, belonging, creativity, authenticity, and love.” On The Power of Vulnerability, Dr. Brown offers an invitation and a promise - that when we dare to drop the armor that protects us from feeling vulnerable, we open ourselves to the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives. Here she dispels the cultural myth that vulnerability is weakness and reveals that it is, in truth, our most accurate measure of courage.

The Power of Vulnerability is a very personal project for me,” Brené explains. “This is the first place that all of my work comes together. This audio course draws from all three of my books - it’s the culmination of everything I’ve learned over the past twelve years. I'm very excited to weave it all into a truly comprehensive form that shows what these findings and insights can mean in our lives.”

Guidance and Insights for Wholehearted Living

Over the past twelve years, Dr. Brené Brown has interviewed hundreds of people as part of an ongoing study of vulnerability. “The research shows that we try to ward disappointment with a shield of cynicism, disarm shame by numbing ourselves against joy, and circumvent grief by shutting off our willingness to love,” explains Dr. Brown. When we become aware of these patterns, she teaches, we begin to become conscious of how much we sacrifice in the name of self-defense -and how much richer our lives become when we open ourselves to vulnerability.

“In my research,” Dr. Brown says, “the word I use to describe people who can live from a place of vulnerability is wholehearted.” Being wholehearted is a practice—one that we can choose to cultivate through empathy, gratitude, and awareness of our vulnerability armor. Join this engaging and heartfelt teacher on The Power of Vulnerability as she offers profound insights on leaning into the full spectrum of emotions—so we can show up, let ourselves be seen, and truly be all in.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Cultivating shame resilience—the key to developing a sense of worth and belonging.
  • Vulnerability as the origin point for innovation, adaptability, accountability, and visionary leadership.
  • Our emotional armory - how we use perfectionism, numbing, and other tactics to avoid feeling vulnerable.
  • The myths of vulnerability - common misconceptions about weakness, trust, and self-sufficiency.
  • Discovering your vulnerability armor - recognizing what makes us shut down, and how we can change.
  • The 10 guideposts of wholehearted living - essential skills for becoming fully engaged in life.
  • Six hours of stories, warm humor, and transformative insights for living a life of courage, authenticity, and compassion from Dr. Brené Brown.
©2012 Brené Brown (P)2012 Brené Brown

What members say

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Well-researched, meaningful and timely.

Wonderful, well researched and entertaining audiobook. It provided brand-new insights not only into my clinical practice but more importantly, into my own life. I can't wait to share it with my sisters!
Ms. Brown gets to the "heart" of vulnerability very succinctly. It's not as much of a how-to as it is who-are ... and that is more meaningful. Credible and well researched this has sparked my own interest in vulnerability and shame research. Looking forward to hearing and reading Brene Brown's next book.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Just read it.

I resisted reading this for ages and learned a lot more than I though I would. I'm 100% certain that there is something in it for everyone.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Loved the Power of Vulnerability

Brene is amazingly funny and real in this book! I have listened to it 3 times and have recommended it to many friends. She reminds us of the beauty of vulnerability and how it allows us to live our best lives. #audible1

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great Listen

This is a great book to listen to, since it's presented by Brene Brown herself in a lecture format, she's hilarious and presents the information so well. Perfect thing to listen to if you want to gain more insight into your own comfort with vulnerability and how you can increase that comfort. #Audible1

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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FRICKEN-AMAZING!

Brenee Brown is my true soul-sister and her books have changed my life. She's REAL.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Highly recommended

Dr Brown’s compelling voice delivers a profound message. Her stories are so relatable and touching, I felt deeply moved and energized to act on the lessons she shared.

#Audible1

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A keeper - I’ve listened to this book many times over.

Brené is on point. She narrates the book well. It’s as if she is speaking to you. The content is fantastic and has helped me re-assess the role of vulnerability in my life. Her anecdotes are hilarious and help you really understand the content better.

My only complaint is that this book is a gateway to all things Brené. Suddenly, I wanted all her books...makes it hard to stick to only one credit a month.

#Audible1

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Essential information on living

Everything I have heard or read from Brené Brown thus far has been eye opening and enlightening. In just two weeks I have already been able to shift my outlook on life and relationships, and have changed the dynamic of a long standing stagnant relationship.
It is safe to say that her knowledge, understanding and information can help everyone, no matter who you are or where you are from.
If you are ready for hope and for change, listen to this audiobook. You will be grateful you did.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great Listen

Could't stop listening. The speaker is engaging and the topic of shame/vulnerability is very relevant to today's society. #Audible1

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic! I loved this book!

This is such a great book!
#Audible1
It’s read by the author herself- Brene Brown. She is a fabulous story teller; an engaging personality. I felt as though she was talking directly to me. In her own unique way she makes you realize that its OK to be exactly who you are; a unique and imperfect human being.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sadie
  • 2013-09-14

The audio makes all the difference.

If you could sum up The Power of Vulnerability in three words, what would they be?

Comforting, Insightful, Fun

Have you listened to any of Brené Brown’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I haven't. I wish she were the narrator of all her audiobooks. I want to buy more of them, but I'm afraid to be disappointed!

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

Two things really struck me. The first was her assertion that we don't call shame "shame," and people want to avoid the subject. The second was her description of perfectionism as a "20-ton shield" we carry.

Any additional comments?

I don't think reading this in print would even compare to the listening experience. I'd hear it in my own voice - and this message is something that I needed to be "told."

127 of 132 people found this review helpful

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  • D Smith
  • 2015-10-18

Not a book but loved it.

I was initially disappointed that this was a live recording of Brene Brown teaching, but ended up loving the content!

56 of 59 people found this review helpful

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  • Lori R.
  • Chicago, IL
  • 2016-04-27

Great for everyone!

My therapist suggested this read when I was having trouble finding compassion for selfish family and friends. This book changed my mindset in many ways especially with issues I believed I was doing great with. I bring up chapters from this audiobook to discuss in therapy and it has helped build on solutions and personal goals. Highly recommend!!

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • James C. Walter
  • Miami
  • 2015-03-11

Powerful, moving, and painful at times

This book has made such a meaningful impact on me and my life. I urge the listener to listen in small chunks then take the time to reflect. There were several moments that reduced me to tears.

Also, I am a 46 year old male attorney. The concepts Brene Brown talks about are universal.

64 of 68 people found this review helpful

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  • Stacey DeHoff
  • 2015-08-15

Life changing and entertaining

Brene makes you feel better about the things you do that you were embarrassed to share with others. For me it's random grocery store dance moves and the cry that ends up a laugh.

I called my best friend at various points in the book with some "you should read this, because we aren't as crazy as we thought" moments!

I could definitely do a better job living a whole hearted life, so thanks Brene for providing the guideposts!

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • C. Liriano
  • Tampa, FL
  • 2016-04-11

Um wow

I am not entirely sure what to say about this audio book. I am still a little emotional after the end. Brene touches every sensitive nerve in my body.

I picked up this book because of what I do every day. I coach teams at work. I coach the tech geeks on how to work together. It struck me when I saw the title, that the way they trust me is by me showing vulnerability.

What I didn't realize, is all the places that this book would take me. The part about play struck such a nerve, that I ordered the book called play by Stuart Brown.

I love that this seems to be a recording of a seminar. It makes you feel like you were there because she speaks with full emotion. I will listen to this again and order daring greatly. And hope that I get to see brene speak in person someday.

46 of 49 people found this review helpful

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  • A. Yoshida
  • 2017-06-09

Book for Everyone

The beginning of the audiobook starts off with a recording of the author's appearance on TED Talks. Instead of listening to it, watch the video so you can see her expressions and gestures (which adds to the humor in the story).

If you've ever made a mistake and beat yourself up for it, this book is for you. So essentially, this book is for everyone. Instead of complicating our lives and guarding our insecurities, we can learn to accept that we're all human, appreciate our courage and frailty, enjoy life more fully, and live more authentically.

42 of 45 people found this review helpful

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  • Kevin
  • Cayuga, TX, United States
  • 2013-08-13

A must listen to! For me anyway :)

What made the experience of listening to The Power of Vulnerability the most enjoyable?

This book as Brene Brown's other book has help me understand why things come to my mind as they do. Being a man that's not wired to think about feelings and not even talk about them! This with her other books has realy help me to take and not be afraid to say how I feel about what ever. Thanks so much to Brene Brown for your work! and please don't stop looking and doing what you love.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Elaina
  • 2013-07-10

Wonderful!

I loved this talk. I have listened to, "The Gifts of Imperfection," "Daring Greatly," and her 2 hour talk on parenting. I think this talk is the best overall. If you only buy one of her downloads, I would buy this one. She covers all the topics in the other books. The format is great, Brene is a brilliant speaker. When you listen, it sounds like she is talking to you personally, not to a room full of people. (You can hear people laugh and clap, but the audio is recorded well and it is not annoying.) A great listen! One I will refer to many times when I need some guidance and an extra boost of confidence. Thanks Brene!

106 of 117 people found this review helpful

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  • ABChamberland
  • 2014-08-23

Gets real for real people - Thank you

What did you love best about The Power of Vulnerability?

Brene Brown explains vulnerability and demonstrates how vulnerability manifests in people. Then, she shares tools you can use NOW on how to grow and work with it instead of fighting it.

What did you like best about this story?

The tools shared are now in use with my daily living. Even deploying one tool at work has given me insight of how I was allowing others to affect me - demonstrating what's acceptable and what is not.

What about Brené Brown’s performance did you like?

Brene Brown comes across as "just one of us" and we are all in this boat together. It doesn't matter your economic status, family status, or anything else. Her stories were true and genuine - authentic! We are all human. I loved this about her presentation and demeanor. Most importantly, there was no condescension, just uplifting messages. Thank you!

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

Yes and No. I think taking the book in chunks is better. This allows you to reflect on the message. AND, it was so good, I could sit one day and just listen. This is definitely in my replay library.

Any additional comments?

Thank you for this opportunity to listen to your messages and how to work with vulnerability in life. There were a lot of "aha" moments - and they say awareness is 90% of the journey. Thank you for sharing some tips and messages to help with the other 10% of the journey.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Lokinou
  • 2018-05-05

Great storytelling, funny, good tips, unscientific

I was in awe at the beginning finiding out how fun that speecher is. The storytelling is really great and captivates immediately. The author has definitely a good and fullfying research carrier. But these speeches are about a personal interpretation that made sense to the author. Shortly: shame is a dark friend; happy people defuse its dramatic influence appropriately by self awareness and self-indulgence.
Surprisingly for a doctor, no research is cited which should advise the listener to take the content as self-help tips.
After 4 hours the speecher starts repeating herself and making her point while talking about the new book. Yet it was worth listening for half of it at least.

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  • Joara
  • 2018-04-02

Perfect book to get better

This book really helped me getting better. It’s about being yourself and accepting every part of you.
Worth the price.