Latest from Brene Brown

In this article I want to talk about a book I came across called The Gifts of Imperfection. It’s by this amazing woman and accomplished researcher, Brene Brown. If you haven’t heard of her, you must be sleeping under a rock.

About Brown

She’s a shame researcher who writes a blog but has now a handful of bestselling self-help books on achieving authenticity and personal growth through a variety of means.

Instead of the usual concepts that include “loving yourself” and “guided meditation”, Brown breaks things down for those of us who don’t like the woo-woo and are more likely to be persuaded by facts accrued through academic research. That’s exactly what she does in her books.

She’s documented the interviews of thousands of people who share their experiences, stories, and life paths. By compiling the data, Brown has revealed some amazing findings. The most inspiring that we can choose to live “wholeheartedly” despite our upbringing, despite our past experiences and despite previous choices. If we want to change course, it’s an uphill battle, but the rewards are worth it.

For those of you turned off by the study and learning of authenticity through scientific means, stick with me—it’s amazing. Brene Brown is a self-admitted perfectionist who once believed getting straight A’s, keeping a clean house and going to church was the way to live a fulfilled life. Essentially, doing “the right thing”.

Now she’ll be the first to tell you that though she once thought the only things that mattered were things that could be measured, she’s made the realization that “if it can be measured, it’s probably not that important”.

Believe it or not, this came from her scientific research. Oh, the irony.

However cruel this irony felt at first, the truth is that it was a gift in so many, many ways. Our next article will explore those gifts further.

Vulnerability and Writing

In this article we’ll cover a bit on book cover design and a bit on book publishing. In the last article we talked about how TMS and pain can be influenced by our book writing. Next we’ll dive deeper into the real reason you publish, how to write in your authentic voice and why you need to be aware of the importance of great book cover design. (We like CoverDesignStudio)

How many book publishers or self published writers have you met? How many have your really gotten to know? I know a few, and I can attest that while some have come along on the path of authenticity, others write books as a way to deal with their own anxiety and stress. The repressed emotions they are managing cannot be handled by attending a yoga class a couple of times a week—they must be self published authors, completely engrossed in their subject.

I bring this up because mastering book design serves as another distraction from the emotions they haven’t yet resolved or learned to deal with. By no means do all writers or teachers suffer this problem, but it’s worth looking at. Why are we so quick to dismiss our own book covers design?

Are you writing to please others? Do you make yourself vulnerable when you write—note authentic is not the same as over-sharing or divulging too much information. Are you putting an equal amount of focus on your writing as you are on your book cover design? I ask, because very few people I talk to are invested in the final look of their book cover.

If writing has become a shield from which to hide behind or a form of escape from real life, it may not be serving you the way you think. Getting your thoughts out can certainly be valuable, but being a perfectionist and worrying about the way people perceive you is not authenticity.

How do you know when your book represents your authentic self? We’re so conditioned to plow ahead, invite the busiest life we can form and show the world we can do it all. Unfortunately, none of this really looks like an authentic life.

This is precisely why it takes so much courage to live true to ourselves and own our unique gifts. We can’t share those with the world when we’re running around like headless chickens.

Now that I have your attention, the next articles will focus on that very bravery.

What do you think?

Perfectionism and Publishing

What happens though when ­the publishing bubble has burst and we must seek out learning and personal growth elsewhere? What happens when the back pain catches up with us and we must begin toID-10031365 find healing and authenticity in a new place?

I for one, am scared to death of what this means. I make a living self publishing. I suffer from what some people describe as “Dr Sarno back pain”. Dr. Sarno, a physician from NYU Medical, has labeled this pain TMS (tension myositis syndrome). Will I finally have a clinic I can go to? Or will it be an online source where I can vent my frustrations and repressed anger to virtual strangers online?

So far the only option is MindBodySchool and a few others.

In a book Sarno recently published called “MindBody Prescription” you can read about how emotions fuel not only emotional pain but physical pain—primarily in the back and neck.

Perhaps freedom from publishing will mean freedom from repressed emotions. It’s doubtful that could be the case. On the other hand, maybe all the writing and editing we do is more for our own good than anyone else’s. Do we care if anyone reads or buys the book? Of course we do.

The bigger question is, how much our readership is tied to our own self-worth. If readers can bring worthiness, they can take it away. As we learn to be more authentic, which we often claim to do through our blogs and books, we must also learn to put ourselves out there without expecting or demanding perfectionism. Dr. Sarno believes perfectionism is the root cause of TMS pain and Dr. Brene Brown describes perfectionism as a “twenty-ton shield”.

Who are we really trying to please here? Ourselves or others? Are we willing to do what it takes to get rid of pain, food allergies and all of the other trendy ailments of the day if it means being vulnerable. Because according to the experts, the research insists that we must.

What do you think?