In 2010, vulnerability researcher Dr. Brené Brown gave a TED Talk that quickly became an internet sensation. The Daring Greatly author soon found herself in the spotlight, giving interviews and appearing on online news sites. While countless people were inspired by her words, the harsh, negative online commenters drove Dr. Brown toward a vulnerability breakdown.
While speaking with Oprah on "Super Soul Sunday," Dr. Brown opens up and how the online nasty comments -- and a "Downton Abbey" marathon -- ended up leading her to title her book Daring Greatly.
Despite being cautioned by her therapist and husband not to read any online comments, Dr. Brown couldn't resist. "One day, I was reading the comments and I was devastated," she tells Oprah. "They were comments like, 'Of course she's embracing imperfection. If you were Brené Brown, you'd have to. What choice would you have?' Or, 'Less research, more Botox.' Or 'Maybe you'll be worthy in 20 pounds.'"
Hurt and upset, Dr. Brown saw her husband off to work and sent her children to school. Once she was alone, she needed to be distracted from the pain. "I stay in my pajamas and I sit down on the couch and I watch about 10 hours of 'Downton Abbey' reruns," Dr. Brown admits. "Just numb myself out."
After watching the episodes, Dr. Brown began looking for another distraction. "I'm like, 'I don't want to go back to my world where all that hurt is,'" she says.
So, Dr. Brown got out her laptop and began searching the internet to learn about what was happening in the U.S. during the "Downton Abbey" era. That's when she came across a Theodore Roosevelt quote she'd never forget.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again... who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.
"It changed my life, that moment," Dr. Brown says. "From that millisecond forward, I made a commitment that if you are not in the arena getting your butt kicked on occasion, I'm not interested in your feedback."
Brené Brown's eCourse, The Gifts of Imperfection Part 2, takes place April 3 - May 19. Get the details.