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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

4.0 (362 )
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  •  
    Kari Clive, IA, United States 11-06-11
    Kari Clive, IA, United States 11-06-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Love the book, not the narrator"

    Brene Brown is brilliant and i LOVE this book. But having heard her speak, and knowing her drawl and cadences made the narration feel somewhat jarring. It would have been fabulous is Dr. Brown had done the narration, but really, when would she have had the time? That said, this is one of her most wonderful writings and I would highly recommend it!

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stacey AUSTIN, TX, United States 07-23-12
    Stacey AUSTIN, TX, United States 07-23-12 Member Since 2012
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    "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).

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherry Calgary, Canada 09-01-13
    Sherry Calgary, Canada 09-01-13 Member Since 2007
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    "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.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie A Hill Murray, Utah United States 08-09-11
    Leslie A Hill Murray, Utah United States 08-09-11 Member Since 2010
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    "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.

    36 of 40 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Inna Kiryat Ono, Israel 12-17-12
    Inna Kiryat Ono, Israel 12-17-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This booken helped me a lot, very deep and step by"

    I loved this book very much, it helped me a lot. It's not easy to read book, because of the main subject of the book - shame, you know.. Very deep and detailed book about this not so comfortable subject. In this book you will find many personal stories about shaming, judgement etc, and practic ways how to deal with those things best. As the title of the book says, you begin to understand that it's actually universal thing and you are NOT THE ONLY ONE handling this issues - for me it vas very relieving.. The author, Brene is AMAZING - human, touching and professional, some stories in this book are her personal experiences. One thing you may take into consideration, this book in my opinion mostly written for women, because all the stories and the examples are about women...

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave Sherwood, Australia 04-14-13
    Dave Sherwood, Australia 04-14-13
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    "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.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracer McLeod 12-12-12 Member Since 2009
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    "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.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susana Arenys de Munt, Spain 12-02-13
    Susana Arenys de Munt, Spain 12-02-13 Member Since 2007
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    "THOUGHT - PROVOKING AND LIBERATING"
    Where does I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t) rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It is one of the books that has impressed me most lately. I enjoy the fact that helps you look at things in a different way, it makes you reconsider some of your own opinions and behaviours.When I read it, I saw so many little ways in which I could be a better person, more approachable, and certainly a lot more understanding with myself.Brené not only explains the theory and science behind the topic, she is also very good at including real life stories that most of us relate to. Her approach is very kind, understanding and practical. I liked it very much.A book everyone should read at least once in a lifetime.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan DURHAM, NC, United States 05-12-13
    Susan DURHAM, NC, United States 05-12-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Good Parts"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Probably not. It seemed a bit "fictional" with most examples having a happily ever after.


    What could Brené Brown have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Maybe varied the interviewees in the book. It seemed everyone was able to resolve their problems effortlessly.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Yes, it read like a fictional book.


    Do you think I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t) needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. D. Jones Houston, TX USA 08-30-12
    J. D. Jones Houston, TX USA 08-30-12
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    "Love the content, not so much the person reading."
    Where does I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t) rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The content is great. The person reading it was difficult to follow unless I was going along with the book. It was hard to tell when she was reading the "stories" of the people the author worked with, and when it was content from the book.


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

    There is so much information that is helpful that it is impossible to say which is the most memorable moments. Perhaps the author's experience of the phone interview for a research grant, with a screaming infant with explosive poop, lactating breasts, and holding back her own diarrhea was pretty memorable.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Again, the person reading seemed to be trying to relate the dramatic effect of the content, but it wound up detracting from the information for me. There was a sense of a lack of continuity.


    What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

    Shame effects many areas of one's life. Handling shame well in one area does not necessarily mean that someone does so in all areas of their life.


    Any additional comments?

    Looking forward to hearing the author speak in Houston on September 12th, 2012.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Candida
    wallasey, United Kingdom
    4/17/13
    Overall
    "life changing buy this book"

    This book has finally unlocked the pain I have been carrying for over 40 years. wonderful book read by a warm narrator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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