Brené brown: That's HOW I want to live!

The annual 99U conference brings together nearly a thousand creative viewers and speakers with stories not only about inspiration and success, but about fear, failure, pain, and creativity. Brené brown has become one of the speakers at the conference.

The name 99U, by the way, chose to quote Thomas Edison: "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration". Speakers talking about what you usually prefer to remain silent, extolling inspiration.

Brene spoke from the stage about what was a good half of the Semester course Living Brave: her favorite quote from Theodore Roosevelt speech at the Sorbonne, "the man in the arena".

Brene means beneath the arena every opportunity to show courage, to do something important, consistent with their values. For the course Living Brave Semester each participant chose the "my arena", it could be career or family... or even respect for themselves.

Originally the Latin word arena means "sand, sand Playground for fighting," but can be translated and how scene, and Colosseum. For the arena the necessary courage and the 99% perspiration.

And now a word from brene:

I explore the connection between people, vulnerability, love, and the design helps to bring people together. There is nothing more vulnerable than the creative process. And what is art if not love? That's probably why I ended up here.

I was warned not to talk about inspiration. So the working title of my presentation — "Sweaty creators".

I know what it's like to be sweaty by the Creator. I want to talk about the least noble form of sweat, which is usually silent. Cold sweat, punching at the most inopportune moments, when we conduct the presentation of fresh ideas or talking about important. Do you know this? Each of us remembers when we begged our body get out of control. That's about it — my statement today.

Today I will talk about how Theodore Roosevelt quote changed my life, or rather the attitude to the creative process. Sounds pathetic: quote changed life! but sometimes I hear something at the right moment, until then I have almost figured it out myself, and everything falls into place.

I work as a researcher and never dreamed of the fame and public career. But suddenly my TED talk has spread around the country like a flu epidemic, and I for many months was on the news sites: CNN, NPR, then everywhere. Horror as strange and uncomfortable.

The husband and the therapist strictly punished: "do Not read comments on the Internet". So, as you know, I read all the comments. One morning I Wake up, look in the Internet and find a couple of fresh articles. Turn to reviews, and there is some kind of hell. No one writes, no word on my studies, instead of discussing me.

You are probably faced with condemnation. So, understand what it means to fear condemnation in advance so because of this, so nothing to do? Think: what if convicted? And the truth is — all of a sudden?

If I were to ask each of you: "What would you do if you weren't afraid, what about you say the worst?". Imagine what you could say. So, that morning in the comments mentioned absolutely everything I could imagine and more.

"Of course, her work is dedicated to imperfection. Her face you saw?"
"But she has children! That's what a pity".
"Less research, more Botox".

Vicious, aggressive attacks. Their I avoided, not wanting to speak in public and eschewing publicity. I was protecting myself.

That morning Steve and the kids left, I stayed home, lay down on the couch and watched "Downton Abbey" 8 hours in a row. When the Abbey was over, I didn't want to return to. To take his son to soccer, make dinner... and even these hateful people. Maybe he needs Botox? Maybe a little less to move when I go on stage?

In General, not to break away from the Abbey, I decided to find out who was President during Downton Abbey. Have you ever caught yourself unwilling to leave the atmosphere of the film or TV series, reading additional information, figuring out where another actor? It is the same.

It turned out that the President of America at that time was Theodore Roosevelt. I came across his famous speech from the early 20th century at the Sorbonne, it is often called the "speech of the man in the arena", and she nailed it.


"Changing the world is not a critic,
not one who in time will indicate
that man in the arena does not
or that he could have done differently.

We praise the one who is in the arena
blood, sweat and dust. We admire
who at best knows the taste of luck
and in the worst — know that applied all my strength and swung at the great".


After reading this piece, I closed my laptop and realized three things.

First: I have 12 years researching vulnerability, and this quote holds everything I found out during this time. The vulnerability is not in victory or defeat. It is the courage to make important and be noticeable.

Second: that's how I want to live! I want to create. I want to be an innovator. I'm ready to be visible in life and at work. And if you dare to be visible, one thing is certain: you definitely will arrive. The audience will kick your ass! Without a doubt. It's the only thing you can be sure. Leaving the arena, deciding to spend her time, and especially as a representative of creative profession, get ready: you get your ass kicked. Keep this in mind, making important decisions. If the courage of your values, it's logical consequences.

Third: I'm much easier to live with the following attitude to criticism — if you do not entered the arena themselves, if you are not ready to live much, your comments and advice completely uninteresting to me. Alas.

Something constructive I accept with joy. I work in a University debate — my everything. Advice from colleagues in the spirit: "You forgot to consider this book", "I had to study here...", "I would formulate differently..." is useful.

But if you're sitting in the gallery, do no matter what do not dare, and tell me how and what should I improve... your words are simply worthless.

I want to talk about the moment just before going on stage. This is where we sweat, agree?

Here you can see the lights of the arena, here I'm afraid, I doubt myself, there is no certainty.

What to do consumed by fear? How to protect yourself before going into the arena, where waiting for a ruthless audience? You can don the armor. The surest way! Just remember the knights and the heavy metal armor.

But the armor is horrible how heavy! White light can not see from under the helmet. This, of course, protection, but under a heavy armor easy to lose contact with you. Armor you separate yourself from everything that you love that supports you, what's important to you.

Vulnerability, of course, accompanied by doubts, insecurities, shame... But vulnerability is born from something else. Love, intimacy, joy, trust, empathy, creativity and innovation are impossible to create without being vulnerable. If you have chosen a creative path, you will need a daily pass through this hall, climb the stairs and get naked. Defenseless. Yourself.

Then the audience will see you and what you are doing, not armor.

We go to the arena and see the stands... people are going to see us a lot. But notice we are only critics. I used to think that I will be able to arrange it so that critics were not in the arena by the time of my exit. But is it possible to monitor who is looking at me?

The only way to protect, not interfere, is to know that they are there. Be aware of what they can say. Perhaps each of us deep down knows what his criticism.

Three places are probably busy in the arena when you show your works to the world: shame, scarcity and comparison.

Shame is a universal emotion. It is for everyone. He whispers, "who do you think you are?". Even those who are confident in the arena will be a place for shame.

Here I was confident before this performance and that still rushed from the "I'm not going" to "I can!". And only calms down again, "who do you think you are?". The shame is always there. And failure is not far behind.

"What is unusual about my work? All have been doing this."
"A zillion people have already talked about this, they're much smarter than me."
"The importance of what I'm doing?"

Third place goes to the comparison. Familiar?

Today I decided before going on stage with no one to speak in the Green Room because I was afraid that it would break down:

— What will you say? Hmm, great, I'll go first.

Can breccia is from the fear that my speech will lose in comparison. And anyway I gotta catch a plane to Dallas.

Who's in fourth place — you decide. Everyone is busy with their figure. Teacher? Someone from the family? Angry former colleague?

But if it makes me not care what is said about me, it's time to sound the alarm. Person physically important interactions. If I stop worrying about what this says about me — I'm losing my humanity. But if I give myself appreciating the words of the critics — too bad, so I lose the ability to be vulnerable. In General, it is impossible to do while remaining indifferent.

Instead, to avoid the critics, going to the arena, is to invite them to the viewing. Looks is counterintuitive. But I processed 13 000 interviews and has lived in this thread for 12 years, and that's what became apparent to me, that I could apply to my life: invite your critics, do not turn away from them. Starting to do something new, difficult and unusual, say, "I see. I hear you. But I'll do it anyway. Here, come, sit down, please. However, keep in mind that I do not care what you think".

What helps to live and survive in the arena?

Will help clarify their values. Leaving today on stage, I knew that the concert could be complete failure that you can be disappointed or bored... But I was not. I decided that courage is one of my values? So, I have to go again and again. Successfully or not — doesn't matter.

Will also help you to know that you have people ready to cheer you up, shake off the dust, look you in the eye when you fail (a failure will come, otherwise you will not be able to be noticeable). People who sincerely say, "this stinks! However your courage. Let's get you cleaned up because you guess it's back on the scene".

This man loves you not despite your imperfection and vulnerability — and for them. Give him a ticket to the best seat in the arena. 12 years I've forgot the kind of audience, you know? I reject those who were already on my side. I thought, "You're not my fan, you always support me, why should I remember you? I'm trying to win the haters! You already love me. You hold my hair when I'm sick. You pay me the bills, raising kids with me. What is important to you? I'm looking for a stranger to show him his toughness".

Familiar to you? Well.

And finally... the World will spin regardless of your desire. Critics will appear regardless of whether you are ready for it. Regardless, if you think about their words and expectations.

Studies always give me a lot of material for reflection. And that's what is striking: the daredevils, ready to repeatedly enter the arena, know who are their critics and what they say. Brave men do not run from the critics; on the contrary! They say, "I know, I know these words. But now me they do not scare."

And very finally — the most difficult.

One of the places in the arena should be occupied by you. When you move a fresh idea, when you are ready to do something new when you are busy with art or design, who is your biggest critic? You. We ourselves definitely need a place in the arena.

I have never watched a single one of my TED talks. I don't want to be distracted by regrets about what I did wrong. I try to concentrate on what will improve my work. It is good to lament "Oh, that's silly of me, I differently wanted"? We are full of self-criticism.

To watch the speech in full:

(subtitles can be activated with the SS button, choose the language and the settings wheel next)


Very often, not only I, but also people of different professions, often — creative, cross-checked with some unattainable ideal of what they "should", ignoring those parts of ourselves that do not fit this ideal.

So from the whole person of betraying the different aspects of the self, the only remaining option is self-criticism. Please leave at least one place in the arena for yourself: what you started... your family... people who love you, when you are by yourself.

And the man in the mirror? He believes in us. He knows why we do it all. He said, "Yes, to be visible — scary, painful and unpleasant. But still it's better than to grow old in thought about how to "could be". He doesn't want to regret and think, "How would my life look if I chose to?"

So, sweaty creators. Thank you for your attention! published


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