he Lesson: If you have been stressing out amidst the chaos of quarantine, then you may need to listen to this podcast about FFTs (“’effing first times!”)—that is, how hard it is to be new at things, from small incidents to global pandemics. When we have no relevant experience or expertise, the vulnerability, uncertainty, and fear of these firsts can be overwhelming—but showing up and pushing ourselves past the awkward, learner stage is how we get braver.
Notable Excerpt: “This pandemic experience is a massive experiment in collective vulnerability. We can be our worst selves when we’re afraid, or our very best, bravest selves. In the context of fear and vulnerability, there is often very little in between because when we are uncertain and afraid our default is self-protection. We don’t have to be scary when we’re scared. Let’s choose awkward, brave, and kind. And let’s choose each other.”
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 45 million views as one of the top five most viewed TED talks worldwide.
Books: Brown is the author of five #1 New York Times bestsellers—The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and The Courage to Stand Alone, and Dare to Lead: Bold Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. She is also the first researcher to have a filmed lecture, The Call to Courage, streamed on Netflix since it debuted on the streaming service on April 19th, 2019.
Podcast: “Unlocking Us” is Dr. Brown’s brand-new signature podcast. She uses it as a space to host such notable guests as Alicia Keys and David Kessler, who join her in “conversations that unlock the deeply human part of who we are, so that we can live, love, parent, and lead with more courage and heart.”