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  • I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t)

  • Telling the Truth about Perfectionism, Inadequacy, and Power
  • By: Brené Brown
  • Narrated by: Lauren Fortgang
  • Length: 10 hrs and 44 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (338 ratings)

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I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t) cover art

I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t)

By: Brené Brown
Narrated by: Lauren Fortgang
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Publisher's Summary

The quest for perfection is exhausting and unrelenting. We spend too much precious time and energy managing perception and creating carefully edited versions of ourselves to show to the world. As hard as we try, we can't seem to turn off the tapes that fill our heads with messages like, Never good enough! and What will people think? 

Why? What fuels this unattainable need to look like we always have it all together? At first glance, we might think its because we admire perfection, but that's not the case. We are actually the most attracted to people we consider to be authentic and down-to-earth. We love people who are real; we're drawn to those who both embrace their imperfections and radiate self-acceptance. 

There is a constant barrage of social expectations that teach us that being imperfect is synonymous with being inadequate. Everywhere we turn, there are messages that tell us who, what, and how were supposed to be. So, we learn to hide our struggles and protect ourselves from shame, judgment, criticism, and blame by seeking safety in pretending and perfection. 

Based on seven years of ground-breaking research and hundreds of interviews, I Thought It Was Just Me shines a long-overdue light on an important truth: Our imperfections are what connect us to each other and to our humanity. Our vulnerabilities are not weaknesses; they are powerful reminders to keep our hearts and minds open to the reality that we're all in this together. 

As Dr. Brown writes, "We need our lives back. It's time to reclaim the gifts of imperfection - the courage to be real, the compassion we need to love ourselves and others, and the connection that gives true purpose and meaning to life. These are the gifts that bring love, laughter, gratitude, empathy and joy into our lives."

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2007 Brené Brown (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Brené Brown’s ability to explore shame and resilience with humor, vulnerability and honesty is both uplifting and liberating. If we want to change our lives, our relationships or even the world, we must start by understanding and overcoming the shame that keeps us silent. This important and hopeful book offers a bold new perspective on the power of telling our stories." (Professor Jody Williams, 1997 Nobel Peace Prize Recipient; Campaign Ambassador, International Campaign to Ban Landmines)
"Grounded in exceptional scholarship and filled with inspiring stories, this is one of those rare books that has the potential to turn lives around." (Harriet Lerner, Ph.D., author of The Dance of Anger)
" I Thought It Was Just Me can be a doorway to freedom and self-esteem for many, many readers. (Martha Beck, Ph.D., columnist, O, The Oprah Magazine, and author of Finding Your Own North Star)

What listeners say about I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t)

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what I needed and wanted to hear 15 years ago

If you could sum up I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t) in three words, what would they be?

Deep compassionate insightful

What was one of the most memorable moments of I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t)?

That men go through shame just as much as women do.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The description of what listening isn't and how empathy looks like.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yes

Any additional comments?

Can't wait to listen to the next one.

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9 people found this helpful

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doesn't feel like Brene's work

I love Brene Brown, but the message gets lost with this reading of her book. it's seems to be read like a novel, and not capture the heart of Brene's work.

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6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Didn’t love the narration!

Wouldn’t have purchased if it had of noticed that Brene Brown wasn’t narrating her book. Buy the hard copy!!!

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5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Brilliant book.

Deeply though provoking read. Worth it for all to read, highly recommended. Would be better if narrated by Brene herself

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3 people found this helpful

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A must read! Important points explained very well

Excellent read! I'm especially impressed with the clear descriptions and real examples of how shame based behaviours still exist as a social norm. offers great self reflection topics and practical strategies to identify and address shame infused situations.
highly recommend for anyone wanting to improve self awareness, lead more courageous conversations, improve relationships and fine tune conversations to reflect your integrity. what a strong contribution to society moving forward!!
This book is a keeper! Do yourself (and your relationships) a favour and read this.

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3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Gained a new perspective!

As someone with a heightened sense of self-awareness, I am aware that I am very hard on myself, and in turn impose these standards onto others. I had thought that the solution is to be kinder towards others, but Bene has offered a perspective: to be kinder to oneself first. Examples are very relatable to and points to common day to day conversations and topics.

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2 people found this helpful

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Great book, narration ruined it

I love Brene's work and her narrations actually bring her books to life. I didn't realise this was not narrated by Brene and am struggling to get through the book. What a shame. I'll buy the hard cover book instead.

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1 person found this helpful

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  • RM
  • 28-09-2019

It is an informative book that is well presented in entertaining way. Enjoyed listening twice.

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1 person found this helpful

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Great introduction to the subject

I had seen this book a number of times before I decided to give it a go and I am glad that I did. I wasn’t particularly interested in shame and a few of the reviews said that the subject matter was heavy going so it took me a while to decide to try it, but I’m glad I did. I really enjoyed this. I thought it was more practical than the other Brene Brown book I have read. It has inspired me to think differently about my own shame perspective.

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A must read for every woman today.

So insightful and eye opening. I have read all of Brene's other books and somehow missed this one. It was the hardest read because the topic of shame is so heavy but every chapter was so valuable. So I took longer to finish it but so so glad I did. I will always prefer Brené narrating her own books but nevertheless I still enjoyed this book

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