First Times, Brené Brown, and Coronavirus

May 11, 2020

Mixed with small examples from her everyday life, Brené shows how hard the small things and big things can be – from learning to ride her Peloton bike to getting new bangs and managing them. Right now, during this crazy pandemic, we’re all going through something new and this new podcast of Brené’s is a balm of wisdom and courage and, “ugh! you’re right’s!”

According to the woman most known for examining and explaining vulnerability today, being new at something is the epitome of vulnerability and by the time you reach middle age, you’ve developed a sense that to get through, you’ve got to push right through the middle of the discomfort.

Here’s a snippet of the knowledge bombs she drops in her first episode of Unlocking Us, her new podcast:

Being new at big things is hard, but it’s not just the big things that are tough when new, little things/daily things can be just as hard.


New is hard and we don’t like the discomfort and through [her last] 20 years of research [she’s] found that sometimes we stop trying if we already don’t have the expertise to do it and do it well, we won’t do it. When we give up being new at things we stop growing and we start declining. When we no longer go after that discomfort of exploration, things start to shut down inside of us. So being a rookie again is our lifeline.


The more we are willing to embrace this sucky feeling, the more new things we are willing to try. Imagine knowing that you have what it takes to get through the awkward moments – knowing we have the strength to survive these moments with new habits and skills – that is how we get braver with our lives and hearts.

– Brené Brown

She gives a strategy to embrace the horribleness of new. It’s called FFT.

With her usual style, Brené talks to you like a dear friend, cursing included, and shares this amazing and simple way to get through new things so you can come out braver and more courageous on the other side. But she also gives you a chance to make it child-friendly so you can share this crucial wisdom with your kids, so they can grow and thrive, too. TFT (terrible first time).

F*cking First Time

  • Name it when you’re in it. What is going on right now? What am I feeling? Why am I feeling this right now? Oh, I’m in an FFT.
    1. Myth-naming feelings/experiences give it power. Truth – when we name hard things, it gives us power. “Power is the ability to affect change and achieve purpose.” – MLK Jr.
  • This leads to three steps:
    1. Normalize it. Oh, this is exactly how new is supposed to feel.
    2. Put in perspective. This feeling is not permanent and it doesn’t mean I suck at everything.
    3. Reality check your expectations (for everyone involved). This is going to suck for a while. I’m not going to be amazing at this right away. There will be a learning curve. It’s gonna take 2x as long and be 10x harder. “Expectations are just resentments waiting to happen” – Unknown. When you check expectations, you minimize resentment.

She shares some of her big and small FFTs and what they feel like for her right now and how she uses this FFT strategy to walk you through how she dealt with them from her new podcast to being in this pandemic.

Want a Gorgeous Takeaway?

Brene doesn’t do wobbly. Most of us don’t. But just because she preaches vulnerability, she tries to practice it. She is not into it, but she is always trying. She is NOT the representative of vulnerability. She’s the researcher. She’s the person who has done a brilliant job making it accessible to all of us who didn’t have words for what we were feeling.

Oh, it’s vulnerability.

In an FFT, we have a tendency to armor up and not let ourselves be our best selves. How crazy true is this? But also, who doesn’t want to be their best selves?

If you knew you were doing something to not be your best self, would you still do it…consciously? Probably not. So going through this exercise is crucial for all of us.

Loving this quick summary? It’s just the first 10 minutes. There are almost 30 more minutes of pure gold in there to laugh with, learn from, and connect to. You can find the episode on Spotify.

You’ll be hooked, and even if you’re not, you’ll come away with some valuable information on how to handle all the first times that we are all going through right now. From cutting your own hair to consistently cooking all the time, to being cooped up at home, to having to attract and sell to customers in a completely different way.

What Are My FFTs?

For me, my projects are changing. Instead of making marketing plans like I’m used to, I’m taking on transforming businesses so they can work online. Most of my business came from referrals, but now, I’m using paid social to help people who need these specific FFT services find me. And as a marketer, I LOVE evangelizing my clients’ products, but I hate talking about myself. I like to be in the background making things happen and not being in the front. Now, I’ve gotta be in the front.


It’s daunting. It’s not fun. But it’s necessary. It’s growth. And it’s growth that allows me to help more people. So ultimately, all is good.

What are your FFTs and how have you handled them?

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