Bréne Brown



April 14, 2020
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What value do they hold? 

It’s much easier for me to listen to a personal account of something (whatever it might be. A new book, series, restaurant, savings scheme or…) by someone I know, and take to something. And if it’s not someone I know, I am slightly less inclined to try whatever out. 

But what goes as best practice these past years, is to gather testimonials. In writing, or on camera. Showcasing them on websites and offers, in commercials and marketing. And I’ve never really thought much of it, until I spoke to C about it. And he said, bluntly:
F*ck em. Couldn’t care less. Don’t want to know, don’t want to read, don’t want to hear. 

Which had me baffled. (And you’ll understand why I love hanging with him since he is so skilled at providing me with tankespjärn!)
Mostly because I had simply never really stopped to consider them. Testimonials. What good are they? Which ones provide value for me? Which ones don’t? And do I honestly receive the value I perceive from them, or am I simply affirming my own biases? 

The latter reminded me of a pod (in Swedish unfortunately) with the professor of marketing and consumer behavior at the Stockholm School of Economics Micael Dahlén. He spoke on biases and grades, TripAdvisor and book reviews and basically said the same thing C did, but with a bit more data to back him up. 

Now… I love receiving constructive feedback from others, on things I’ve done, on courses I’ve given, on workshops I’ve facilitated, and it feels great to have my ego stroked when the feedback if gushingly positive, but is there any use in showcasing that type of feedback? Or are they more of an ego-boost?

I’ve heard and read Seth Godin say, on a number of occasions, to not look at reviews or comments.
I’ve heard and read Brené Brown say, on a number of occasions, to not listen to anybody who isn’t themselves in the arena, to use her phrase. Not the negative expletives. understandably, but not the positive gushings either, because both will skew your view. Neither is of service to you or your craft.

So. What’s the value of a testimonial? Truly?

Tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.

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Daring Greatly (book 12 of 26)

June 17, 2018
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in Tip

“When we stop caring about what other people think, we lose our capacity for connection. When we become defined by what people think, we lose our willingness to be vulnerable. If we dismiss all the criticism, we lose out on important feedback, but if we subject ourselves to the hatefulness, our spirits get crushed. It’s a tightrope, shame resilience is the balance bar, and the safety new below is the one or two people in our lives who can help us reality-check the criticism and cynicism.”

Daring Greatly, subtitled How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent and lead, is a book by Brené Brown, shame- and vulnerability-researcher, made famous by her TEDxHouston Talk, which is well worth a look if you’ve yet to see it.

The-gap-starts-here-We-can-t-give-people-what-we“Here’s the question: We don’t intentionally create cultures in our families, schools, communities, and organizations that fuel disengagement and disconnection, so how does it happen? Where’s the gap?

The gap starts here: We can’t give people what we don’t have. Who we are matters immeasurably more than what we know or who we want to be.

This is the first of her books that I’m reading in English, which I strongly recommend, compared to the lousy translation to Swedish of one of her earlier works that I suffered through a while back. Daring Greatly is an easy read, and there’s loads of stuff within it to think about, to try out, to discuss with family, friends and colleagues, for sure. All the while, having listened to her in numerous pod’s, it’s as if I already know most of this.

“Minding the gap is a daring strategy. We have to pay attention to the space between where we’re actually standing and where we want to be. More importantly, we have to practice the values that we’re holding out as important in our culture.”

There were a few tender moments while reading though, centering on recent events, making me cringe a bit…. knowing I’ve n o t been vulnerable enough, knowing full well that I am trying to skirt the issues at hand. Grateful for the reminder, most definitely, and getting ready to shed my armor.

“Giving and soliciting feedback is about learning and growth, and understanding who we are and how we respond to the people around us is the foundation in this process.”

Voicing my discomfort, to someone in a position to help me reality-check the feedback, as well as help me through it (not around, not away from: through!), certainly is one of the best ways for me to keep me on a road of expansion, or growth, of a deepening understanding and knowing of who I am, and how I am. Voicing my discomfort, the shame and fear and disgust and confusion, makes it all real, bringing it outside of the dark recesses of my brain, where it would otherwise – perhaps – be lurking around for ages, doing no one any good. Better to bring it out into the light to see what it’s actually about. Starting to dance with it, sooner or later I know I will have learned new dance moves, that will help me as I dance along in life.

The book I am blogging about is part of the book-reading challenge I’ve set for myself during 2018, to read and blog about 26 Swedish and 26 English books, one book every week, books that I already own.

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#blogg100 – Show up and be seen.

May 5, 2017
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“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.”

I read the words of Brené Brown and inhale sharply, almost gasping at the air. perfect me

Knowing this is where I am at.
A moment of truth.
A time to show up and be seen, with absolutely no control whatsoever of the outcome.
Time to be vulnerable, showing up wholeheartedly, not leaving any part of me behind.

Showing up, as me.
Being seen, as me.
The perfectly imperfect and flawed human being I am;
on display.

Do I have the grace to pull it off?
Am I courageous enough to face whatever may come, whatever may happen?

#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 66 of 100.
The book “Rising strong” by Brené Brown.
English posts here, Swedish at

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#blogg100 – Courage or comfort.

April 27, 2017
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Courage Comfort“We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time.”

And when I choose one over the other, it has consequences. Regardless of the choice, be it courage or comfort. There are always consequences to face.

Right now, I am done with the one.
It is time for me to dance to a new tune; I am choosing the other.

#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 58 of 100.
The book “Rising strong” by Brené Brown.
English posts here, Swedish at

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#blogg100 – Too far in.

April 19, 2017
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the dip“You’re too far in to turn around and not close enough to the end to see the light.”

That could have been my sentiments today, as I reach the half-way mark of the #blogg100 challenge. For the specific challenge of daily blogging for one hundred consecutive days I am not experiencing The Dip, which is what Seth Godin calls that moment when you just cannot seem to get anywhere… when you’ve tried everything, but still feel as if you are stuck in a rut. With persistence the dip can be overcome though, and all of a sudden, you push through to the other side.

The risk you face is that it isn’t a dip at all, but rather a bottomless pit, and the trick is to know when to persevere, and when to let go. Because if you persevere with a bottomless pit, you are wasting time, energy, effort, for nothing. Well. Experience, I guess, trying to find a silver lining, but besides that, you’re better off letting go, to enable letting come… of what? Possibly the thing, that’s been eager to show up in your life, but for the fact that you’ve been so busy trying to fill that bottomless pit, blind to everything around you.

#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 50 of 100.
The book “Rising strong” by Brené Brown.
English posts here, Swedish at

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#blogg100 – Generous assumptions.

April 15, 2017
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What’s the most generous assumption that I can make about his response while still acknowledging my own feelings and needs?

Brené Brown is speaking about her husband, telling a story from their marriage. Being vulnerable, and showing all her struggles, her misinterpretations, her expectations and fears.

What’s the most generous assumption that I can make about someone’s response while still acknowledging my own feelings and needs?

What a great question to carry with me, in any setting, any relationship, any conversation with a tendency to turn sour. Because here’s the stinger: it’s all make belief anyway. I mean, whatever assumption I make, I am making an assumption, i.e. making up a reason for what caused you to do what you did, or to omit to do what you should have done. Why not make that assumption as generously as possible, giving me some breathing room and most definitely putting rose-tinted glasses on? Why would I ever do the opposite? Making an assumption that puts you in the worst possible standing in front of my eyes, making you out to be the worst monster on earth – why would I do that? Causing me heartache, and sending that energy right back at you, likely causing you heartache as well.

BoldomaticPost_with-a-generous-spiritNo, better to be generous. As kind as I possibly can. I can experience being snubbed, stood up, taken for granted or any number of other feelings, all of which might hurt, in one way or another. But thinking generous thoughts about your possible reasons for doing – or omitting to doing in some cases – it, makes it less of a problem really. It takes away a lot of the hurt inside. And when I am being generous in my mind, towards you, it’s actually easier for me to act in the same manner towards myself. From that view point, it’s a lot easier, and likely much more constructive, to voice my needs and acknowledge my feelings. When I speak from my perspective, with a generous spirit, I am less likely to cast blame on others and fall into the role of the victim.

I’ll be playing around with this for a while, and I’d love for you to join me:
What’s the most generous assumption that I can make about someone’s response while still acknowledging my own feelings and needs?

#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 46 of 100.
The book “Rising strong” by Brené Brown.
English posts here, Swedish at

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#blogg100 – Only a rumor.

March 25, 2017
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“Knowledge is only a rumor until it lives in the muscle.”

So say the Asaro tribe of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, and when I read it in Rising Strong, I nod my head in agreement. Because I can know a lot. But if I do not live it, what good is it to me?

Rising strong bwIt’s like when we force our children to “say you’re sorry” when they’ve hit a friend, or snitched the toy car from baby Jane in the sand box. We tell them to “Say you’re sorry.”, and they do. Not knowing why. Not understanding that a sorry doesn’t give you carte blanche to do the same thing again and again, in the days to come. As if a sorry would be enough, making it ok to keep on acting the same way, hitting a friend, snitching the car. It’s not. It’s an excuse, and if it’s a wholehearted excuse, a sorry that we truly feel, then attached to that is the unvoiced promise, that we will not act like that again. We won’t repeat the behavior that caused the apology in the first place, again, and again. At the very least, we vow to tro to be better, act better, grounding ourselves in values and a worldview on how to treat fellow human beings (and everything else on Earth).

If we do, keep it up, repeat it, over and over again – we’ve not understood anything.

And I claim, when we force kids to say sorry, we are making it into a rote behavior, rather than having them understand – with empathy and compassion – what just transpired and feel the sorrow within, the regret, the knowledge that what just happened was unwelcome, and an apology is one way forward.

“Knowledge is only a rumor until it lives in the muscle.”

Knowledge is of use, when it is used. When I make use of it, having it “live in my muscles”, becoming part of who I am, what I do, and why I do it. When I use it to help me be the better me, become the best me possible. And it’s great to have a repository of knowledge within, that I can use when it’s appropriate. I am n o t stating we should only learn that which we see a direct gain for, a reason for, when we plan an implicit action ahead. Oh no. Having a wealth of knowledge within, to utilize if and when I am faced with a new situation, is vital. Ensuring I have the resources when the time comes. But if I don’t use them, when it is time, that’s a missed opportunity. That’s when I should have practiced what I’ve learned, that’s how you walk your talk. Perhaps insecure, a total beginner, never having utilized the knowledge. And that’s fine. We all know it sometimes take a little bit (or a lot!) of practice to get good at something. But refraining from acting, on the basis that I’ve not done it before, don’t really know how to, unsure if I’ll do it good enough – that’s how knowledge remains a rumor. Don’t let it. Please. Make it live in your muscles, and I’ll be doing the same.

#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 25 of 100. 
The book “Rising strong” by Brené Brown.
English posts here, Swedish at

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#blogg100 – Show me a woman.

March 20, 2017
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“Show me a woman who can hold space for a man in real fear and vulnerability, and I’ll show you a woman who’s learned to embrace her own vulnerability and who doesn’t derive her power or status from that man. Show me a man who can sit with a woman in real fear and vulnerability and just hear her struggle without trying to fix it or give advice, and I’ll show you a man who’s comfortable with his own vulnerability and doesn’t derive his power from being Oz, the all-knowing and all-powerful.”

I remember hearing Brené Brown say this, in a podcast I listened to, and I remember how I pressed rewind, to listen to it a few more times, because the way she said it, the feeling behind the words she was using, was so strong, so powerful and with such longing. Longing for more of us to experience this, to simply be held, in a space of love, which is one of the most amazing experiences of life. Rising strong bwNot to be fixed. Not to be told what to do. But simply held. In a space of love.

And I realize that sometimes, in a silence between two people, I am actually n o t being held. That silence rather the sign of a man not knowing how to fix, how to advice; who cannot fathom saying “I don’t know what to do or say when you are so sad and upset. What do you need from me right now?” and hence, simply refrain from doing anything. That place, that space, is not a space of love, trust me. That is a man not comfortable in his own vulnerability, and the feeling behind the non-spoken words reveal that all to clearly.

But am I that woman?

Sometimes yes. Sometimes no.

And often – how weird is this? – I wonder if I am not that man, instead: trying to fix, giving advice. Wanting to h e l p, wanting to get someone out of a muddle… Even when it’s not my muddle, not my action to take, not my responsibility to do anything but simply be there, holding a space of love. I’m practicing though. Practicing holding space for both men and women in real fear and vulnerability, without me having to assert power and status, without me fixing the issue or giving advice how to… Simply holding space. Nothing more, nothing less, and yet, speaking from personal experience, it is somehow the grandest there is. Being held in a space of love is the finest gift we can give each other. And, unfortunately, all too rare.

#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 20 of 100.
The book “Rising strong” by Brené Brown.
English posts here, Swedish at

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January 1, 2017
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As I pondered intentions for the year ahead, wholeheartedness popped up, and stayed. That’s it. The word, as Brene Brown uses it, is all-encompassing and provides a backbone for me to lean upon, get strength from, and grow with.

For me, the word holds vulnerability, compassion, integration and resilience, connection and love, acceptance, joy and laughter. Living a life. Not surviving it. Living it. Fully. With up’s and down’s, tears of joy as well as sorrow, and simply riding the waves, making the most of them, paddling when necessary to position myself in the optimal space to be able to ride, ride, ride, as the wave lifts me up, letting me use the energy of it in an effortless way…. until it ends. Then there’s the paddling to get into position again.

This mix, of effort and effortlessness, never contrieved, not in a way that drains energy. Resilient stewardship of me, of my life, of making sure my onlyness is put to use in the best way possible, at the service of all, whatever that may look like.

Grandiose, perhaps you think. Full of myself. Who do I think I am, believing I have something to contribute to the world in this fashion? Well. I, like Marianne Williamson, believe we all have something to share:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

So I release myself from the fear of letting my light shine. I intend to (even more deeply) explore wholehearted living in 2017, which in the words of Brené Brown means:

“Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It’s going to bed at night thinking, Yes I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid but that doesn’t change the truth that I am worthy of love and belonging.”

Wholehearted living 2017

2017 – my year for diving headfirst into wholehearted living.

Worthy of love and belonging – yes, I am – and you are too – hell yes!

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