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I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t): Telling the Truth about Perfectionism, Inadequacy, and Power | [Brené Brown]

I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t): Telling the Truth about Perfectionism, Inadequacy, and Power

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.
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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."

©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 Rating

4.1 (467 )
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4.1 (352 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Meghan De Beque, CO, United States 01-11-15
    Meghan De Beque, CO, United States 01-11-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful material"

    The material in the book was wonderful and really makes you rethink how you've been viewing yourself and your life. The narrator made it difficult to tell if it was another person's story or the author's first person story because she didn't change her inflection or tone when switching back and forth.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jolie Belle 01-08-15
    Jolie Belle 01-08-15 Member Since 2014
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    2
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    "Realistic advices"

    I enjoyed listening to this book. It portrays the reality of women and shame to the point that at times it was hard for me to listen. I experienced sadness recognizing how much I live in shame and how I also shame others. The shame resilient model is easy to understand and her examples of how it works in real life scenarios were very helpful and useful. I highly recommend this book to men and women of all ages!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Ciocia New York, NY 12-01-14
    L. Ciocia New York, NY 12-01-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Great insights if..."
    Would you consider the audio edition of I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t) to be better than the print version?

    ...you can get past the narrator. For some reason I found it painful to listen to.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kurt 10-21-14
    Kurt 10-21-14
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    "Love the book, can't listen to the narrator."
    Where does I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t) rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top 10 of all books I've read.


    What does Lauren Fortgang bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Honestly, I cannot stand her dry, monotone voice.


    Any additional comments?

    Brene' has such a wonderful delivery in her talks/discussions. It makes it hard for others to even approach her ability to "capture" the audience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tanyush 10-06-14
    Tanyush 10-06-14

    dia_mantine

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    "I would love to love this book... but couldn't"

    I love Brene Brown, I totally admire her books, her talks, her ideas. And I was very eager to listen to this particular book on shame.
    Unfortunately I was a little bit disappointed. Probably because the first book I read of B.Brown was her latest book on vulnerability that totally blew my mind. This book in contrast didn't impress much.
    It's really good from the standpoint that it clearly contains lots of research conclusions and observations but on another side 80% of the book contains only these examples. I don't mind examples in general but in moderation. There were some new and useful ideas for me but I had a desire to constantly skip the real life stories since a lot of them were repetitive and didn't relate to me much.
    I also think that for some this book might be very insightful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kgro 09-08-14
    kgro 09-08-14 Member Since 2013

    Love to listen!

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    "Eye opening, professionally and personally"
    What did you like about this audiobook?

    Stories of other women who experience shame very interesting.


    How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

    The connections made in this book interesting and relevant to my career.


    Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

    She has created a story out of her research that keeps the listener engaged.


    What did you find wrong about the narrator's performance?

    Nothing.


    Do you have any additional comments?

    Read this book for a qualitative research class...I couldn't put it down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Canadian Customer 05-23-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This is not a book about Perfectionism"
    What did you like best about I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t)? What did you like least?

    Good narration, very detailed research


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    n/a


    Which character – as performed by Lauren Fortgang – was your favorite?

    n/a


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    n/a


    Any additional comments?

    This book is about SHAME and women's stories. I dont remember hearing the author use the word perfectionism. I forced myselft to get to chapter 4, but I just "did not get it". Good analysis, but failed to provide recommendations for improvements (or I just missed them in all the analysis and examples)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    beachrose 04-15-14
    beachrose 04-15-14 Member Since 2014

    beachrose

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    "eye opening book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I struggled with a situation that for years I couldn't figure out what was happening. This book gave me the knowledge to understand the situation. Shame can be such a subtle thing especially when you feel like the person/people are well intended. If you have ever walked away from conversations not knowing why you feel like crap after talking to certain people then this book my help you. Also if you struggle with perfectionism then this book might help you get to the root of it.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t)?

    When she explained the difference between empathy and sympathy.


    What did you learn from I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t) that you would use in your daily life?

    I think I will practice more empathy with others. I'm better able to spot shame even if it's subtle.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristy 02-05-14
    Kristy 02-05-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    13
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    "Greatful to have read this"
    What did you love best about I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t)?

    Because I really did think it was just me but it really isn't


    What about Lauren Fortgang’s performance did you like?

    She's a great narrator. Brings richness to the words.


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

    A lot of things but I definately laughed hard at one of Brene's shame stories about being the "perfect" working, stay-home mom.


    Any additional comments?

    I have to read everything by Brown. This is changing my life for the better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caylene J. Vincent Ballarat, Australia 02-08-14
    Caylene J. Vincent Ballarat, Australia 02-08-14 Member Since 2012

    UQH

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dissappointing"
    Would you try another book from Brené Brown and/or Lauren Fortgang?

    Not at all, in fact, I didn't even finish listening to this one


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    The book I am listening to simply labelled "Just Listen" a whole lot more value than this book


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Nope


    Any additional comments?

    Elanor Rooservelt comment still prevails "No one make you feel inferior without your consent" You have to have a thought, about something before you can have an emotion to it, which is in direct opposition to Brene's thoughts.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
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