Living Brave: Oprah Winfrey

This is the very first of our Living Brave Interview Series! Courage is contagious and this series is a collection of conversations with people who are being brave with their lives and making me a little more courageous in my own life. I was so honored and excited to have Oprah as my first guest. Enjoy! 

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  1. Avatar missing CoachMurphy15 says…

    Our world is a better place with Oprah!

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Avatar missing CoachMurphy15 says…

    Our world is a better place with Oprah!

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Avatar missing elizawilson says…

    Wonderful! Thank you.

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. 12093364 1486640408331972 1017484790 a JeanneJournal says…

    Brene wonderful interview with Oprah, such great questions! Oprah gave robust answers, sharing her whole self with us.
    She is the ultimate teacher, teaching through her experience so openly. Thank you.

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Avatar missing hvettleson says…

    I love this interview. Chills. Oprah has an authenticity that just radiates from her. When she talks about being so full of herself that she spills over to give to others, I feel it. I feel full of myself because of her wisdom. Thank you both, Oprah and Brene. I love and appreciate you, wise women, for sharing with us.

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  6. Avatar missing mkaide59 says…

    I appreciated identification of two types of shame...."who do you think you are?" and "you're not good enough." I definitely struggle with "you're not good enough."

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  7. Avatar missing AmyRVDB says…

    So nice!
    I love that bit about failure just being a sign to go a different direction.
    Thanks O for that!

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  8. Avatar missing JenMurph says…

    The popularity Oprah has attained over the past years, has given her a broad power to speak into several generations of people! With power comes great responsibility ! This I have learned can be a GREAT burden at times but also a GREAT priviledge, to speak into others vulnerable journeys or generation as well! I feel this burden and priviledge as well in my smaller influence of power as a daughter, wife, parent, friend, co-worker and leader in my community as well. I like to call on the "burden" to guide me toward a simplicity in my journey. I know when my journey seems heavy, I have taken on too much. That "too much" could be trying to assuage my insecurities, shame, guilt or striving for a hope or happiness that needs to come from somewhere else. I really enjoy processing my journey with Brene' ! Reveals so much !

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  9. Avatar missing greektrisha says…

    I think what a cool thing to see Oprah interviewed...and to talk about being human. I think the narrative many people have is that when you have more money than God you are no longer one of us. Oprah proves once again that she is at the core - still one of us.

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  10. Avatar missing nannapotatoe says…

    I was first introduced to Brene through my granddaughters DBT therapist. How awesome Brene is and now "courage works"... I also participate in the "Systems of Care" in my area for Mental Health... I believe that more research and action needs to start in the schools... I am working on advocating for our area. I hope to one day to meet Brene and attend one of her classes. Thank you so much for all your hard work and your honesty to share and teaching us!!!

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  11. Fullsizerender 13 jcushinberry says…

    Excellent interview. I love love love it!!!!!

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  12. Avatar missing lightalo says…

    It was such a treat to see Oprah being interviewed by Brene. I have been a huge fan of Oprah since, forever. And It was through the O Magazine I have gotten to know Brene, her work and her books. In 2014 I took the Daring Way course in a 3 day workshop offered by a local Life Coach. It was a good experience. But VERY LITTLE COMPARES to hearing Brene speak and have authentic conversations with people. Another time I recently heard Brene was when she joined Liz Gilbert's podcast on BiG Magic. This was another brilliant conversation and coaching for me. I am so looking forward to participating in CourageWorks. I am starting a courageous journey of my own.

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  13. 10/04/2016

    I have been really immersing myself in all of these books, videos, classes, and practices. I do have a few questions that I am trying to figure out. I am hoping someone here can shed light!

    1. I do not want to measure myself against the perfectionist measuring stick any longer. HOWEVER, I am very aware that perfectionism and the fear of not being perfect has been a sole motivator for me throughout my life, such that I have enjoyed success and accomplishment as a result. So, my fear is that letting go of the measuring stick will leave me without motivation to get stuff done. How do I make a decision not to shame myself for not being perfect while still motivating myself to do my best and strive for better? What suggestions do you make about what I can ask or tell myself to get where I want to be?

    2. The "talk to yourself as you would someone you love" presupposes that I am kind to those I love. I am working through controlling my outbursts of anger toward others, in fact. So, what sort of mantra can I tell myself? "Talk to others as Brene would want you to" isn't helpful enough (and devolves into shaming rather quickly). I am trying to sit in the vulnerability of biting my tongue (typically my comfortable place is speaking my mind, no matter how harsh). But, when I do speak, I need to go into love and compassion. It is hard to get from where I naturally go to my heart. So, while "talk to yourself as you would someone you love" helps in situations when I am being hard on myself, what do I say to calm myself when I am being hard on others?

    3. If the only opinions that matter are the ones of the people on that small paper, what does that mean about the people who didn't make the cut? Are there degrees of trust? Are we saying those people are not worthy of "seeing" us? Or are we saying that we just ignore what they say about our true selves? I'm sure boundaries come into play here, but I am not quite getting this.

    THANK YOU ALL! I am grateful for having found this at the precise moment I needed it! Yay for the Universe!

    Reply 3 Replies
    1. Tumblr o5ut7ggvib1tpm2gpo1 400 QuietTenacity says…

      Hey QWT,
      I'm only speaking from the experience that I have under my belt and from what I've understood from Brene's talks but I hope I can help.
      1) In terms of perfectionism, it comes to a point where there's 2 major differences you need to make. #1, there's a big difference between healthy striving and perfectionism. Healthy striving is coming from a place of "I want to do this, this is who I want to be." Perfectionism comes from a place of always thinking "What will people think." and being tied down and bound by that. #2 would be to be able to separate who you are as a person from your successes and your failures. That your work is not a representation of your self-worth, that you are not defined by your successes nor your failures, but that at the end of the day, you are proud of the way you acted in the situation and the work you put out.

      2) In terms on being hard on others, it goes to asking yourself the question, "Do I believe people in general are doing the best that they can." or the perspective taking option of trying to see where people are coming from. We will never know whether or not people are doing the best that they can, but it does make our lives better assuming that they do (as Steve (Brene's husband) has said). Giving people the benefit of the doubt, that everyone is fighting their own demons just as you are, allow's for compassion on others as well as yourself.

      3) If you have the time, Brene did a talk about the anatomy of trust which is a nice 20 minute video where she can explain it way better than I could. You can find it here: http://www.supersoul.tv/supersoul-sessions/the-anatomy-of-trust
      For people making the cut, it's about who deserves and have earned the right to hear your story. Because what you are presenting to them is the very core of your soul (in a sense) and if they are not able to appreicate that, then they are not worth sharing with, because it could also come to hurt you as well. You are absolutely right, it is a boundary thing. Vulnerability without boundaries is not vulnerability at all.

      Quiet Tenacity

    2. 11/02/2016

      Hi QT. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I have watched that video a few times, read all the books several times, and can't get enough of it all. It's like I was dying of thirst and didn't realize it until I started drinking, and now I can't get enough! With regard to #3, I guess I am asking is best explained within the context of an example Brene gave in one of the books (sorry can't remember which), wherein she was in the school pickup line. Some other mom came up to her and asked her how she is able to go on trips for work and have someone else watch her kids (or something similar). Brene said that her old self would have said something nasty/mean (that's me definitely), but that instead she just sort of pretended that she didn't hear it and said she had to go so that she didn't say something shaming herself. So, this example also brings up my #2 question. My instinct is to use words as a weapon to eviscerate that person. I know that doing that is mean and unhelpful to either of us. However, this person would definitely NOT fall into my "people I trust" category. So, what mantra can I come up with to essentially bite my tongue so as to not make the matter worse, while also standing firm and confident in who I am and the decisions I make (being authentic), but not opening myself up to this person's issues? The thought of not responding and going home to work through that feels like suffocation. This is my vulnerability trigger for sure. Biting my tongue is so very hard for me (whereas for others it is speaking up). So, I need to tell myself something that will extinguish or at least lessen the force of anger/shame poison that want to be vomited from my mouth. But, I do not want to swallow that poison either. I want to transform it into something productive. Thank you!

    3. Tumblr o5ut7ggvib1tpm2gpo1 400 QuietTenacity says…

      Hey WoWT,

      Sorry for the late reply, I thought I would get a notification/email if you replied back. My bad.

      In terms of your question, I would refer to the excercise where she asks, "Do you think people in general are doing the best that they can?" And after that answer think of someone who you hold most judgement for and then tell yourself, "That person is doing the best that they can with the hand they were dealt and trying their hardest the only way they know how in this moment." So in that case, when something shitty happens, you can tell yourself, "This person is doing the best that they can just like everyone else, just like me."

      Following up with that, Brene says and I agree cause I do it myself, is that people who think that people who don't have that kind of patience and think people are sucking on purpose just to piss you off (She includes herself in this category too) usually have an issue with they boundaries. Her question then would be B.I.G. "What boundaries do I need to put in place, so that I can stay within my integrity and give them the most generous assumption."
      An example of that is when she asked that to a couple in the church who held so much resentment when they would continuously drop off diapers and formula for this family who lived in a motor home with no electricity where the father would then proceed to sell the donations for money to gamble with. After she asked them the BIG question, they started crying and said, "Either we leave the things with grace or we stop giving to them."
      So perhaps that's something that you need to work on too, I know for sure It's something I need for myself.


  14. Avatar missing DEEEMON01 says…

    I love when Oprah says Failure is there to just move you in a different direction. It totally changes my idea of failure now. Love it!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Avatar missing elizawilson says…

      Me too... loved that answer.

  15. Avatar missing Jaclet7 says…

    I am still crying. I don't cry....
    I can't afford a course yet, but can soon get a book at a time. I soon must find the courage to leave my dead end job. I want to teach both my teen daughters not to be like me, pretending to be strong by not being vulnerable, I just don't know how. After 13 yrs of taking care of a chronic epileptic child, who is now 22 yo with a 16 yo mentality. God healed her in 2014 after 2 brain surgeries now, she is ready to explore the world. My youngest daughter is 17 yo in her last year of high school and had to be so independent, because of her sister's illness. It feels like now that I have time for her she'll be off to school or the Airforce. She wants to serve and her dad and I who were Army veterans. Now, I don't know who I am and I always saw vulnerability as weakness and with all I have dealt with in my 53 years I still feel like I have not grown up yet. I am crying because this is the part of me that has not grown up. I thank God you put words to my deepest feelings. I want to learn and understand your work so that I can help you women in my church on day to live wholeheartedly early in life.. God bless you Brene.

    Houston, TX

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. Avatar missing changepassion says…

      Hi Jacqi!
      I hear you!!! I feel your feelings too! I am 62 and have been taking care of others for a long time. I want so desperately to break free and dig into my own "stuff" and take a course. I know I won't have the time to really concentrate on it and get from it what I need. I also don't have the money right now either ;-/ It is difficult to find that elusive balance we need between kids, job, parents, life, it can be incredibly difficult! When did/do we have time to be vulnerable, we are too busy being strong for others. God bless you Jacqi, I know you will get it because it is on your heart to do it sister!!!
      Eileen Davis (changepassion.com)

    2. Avatar missing 70schild says…

      Jacqui and Eileen,

      I also am at a turning point in my life. not only was a single mom taking care of her babies(4 of them) but most recently was helping my one daughter babysitting my grandson. I also look in on my 89 year old Dad who is not really ready to admit he is older and needs more help than we currently give him.
      These haven't been healthy relationships, as always "being there" has not gained me any respect!!!!

      My daughter has found additional help (thank God) with the baby and I am kind of scouting out someone to be a "personal aide" to my Dad. Meanwhile, I need to figure out what i want to do with my life, i feel i haven't yet lived. I do need this distance, however, i don't think its healthy to "throw people away" that aren't healthy for me,... but I do need distance. I have learned at this age in my life, it's completely healthy and normal to crave alone time, and to spend it in contemplation. I am learning self-compassion and at the very least learning to identify what some unhealthy relating patterns are. And I am 52 !!! I hope I can further instruct my grown kids in what is truly important in this life.

  16. Avatar missing changepassion says…

    I love, love, love this work and all the learning and growing that I have gained through watching, reading and studying Brene's work! I started learning about shame resilience with "The Gifts of Imperfection," and read each new book as it came out. Recently, I have engaged in the Connections Program by Brene and I love it! Through this I am now reading "I Thought It Was Just Me, (but it isn't)," which was only on my Amazon Wish List until now. I have a blog where I talk about life and spiritual growth and would like to discuss what I am learning through my readings/learning process but wanted to make sure I was not infringing on any copyright laws. I am wondering who I ask about this and how I can get a hold of this contact person. I hope someone can point me in the right direction-thanks in advance!!!

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  17. Annette solo at julies 2016 Netters says…

    Thank you both from the bottom of my heart!!! For your examples of being brave - being honest - being kind - for shining the lights of your beingness - for those of us who choose to be brave - honest and kind. It is a comfort to know that woman of great personal power, such as both of you, are still knowingly unfolding into more of yourselves - if we are still here - we are still unfolding and that encourages me. I also appreciate what Oprah said about failure being a message to inform one when we are heading in the wrong direction - I can shine that light on my (perceived) failures and this helps me to shake off the stickiness of guilt and be brave enough to get up.......and move along. I will remember these words of wisdom. Oh, yes, and the cabinet - wise - food for thought for me. I will watch this interview again :)

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  18. Avatar missing Mama29 says…

    Love, love, love this - best interview ever! Bravo to you both - I love how Brene really listened and Oprah was candid and honest! Can't wait to hear more!

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  19. K l LenoreWirtz7 says…

    Loved it!!! There was a lot to learn from that conversation, but what I found the best part was hearing what she said about herself, ".....she had a beautiful soul" It was inspiring to hear her talk so positively about herself.

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  20. Me may 2016 RobynLynCarey says…

    Beautiful interview! I never wanted the conversation to end.

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  21. 09/10/2016

    Truth. Vulnerable truth is honest. Courage to admit your struggle.

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  22. Avatar missing Bevlife says…

    I'm not sure I would call this "an interview". It was more like two very good friends sharing what they have learned in life. It was touching and amazing and the kind of brave truth we all long to share. Bravo and thank you both.

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  23. Avatar missing Sheer_Miracle says…

    Loved this interview with Oprah! It was awesome to see the interviewer on the other side of the questions. Great video! xo-Jane www.sheermiracle.com

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  24. Avatar missing curtiskeisler says…

    It was so neat to see Oprah being interviewed like this. Can't wait to see who you have on next. GREAT questions!!!

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  25. Briana'sheadshot6x6inches150dpi brianacreates says…

    Excellent, excellent interview. Thank you Oprah and Brené! I love when Oprah says she learned from listening to other people's stories that "failure was just there to inform you to move in a different direction." Powerful! Thank you.

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