Megan Bruneau, M.A. RCC is a mental health therapist, wellness coach, writer, and host of The Failure Factor podcast. After struggling with perfectionism, eating disorders, depression and anxiety for most of her life, Megan discovered a liberating way of relating to herself and the world. She now helps her clients and readers do the same. Megan's work has been featured in The Huffington Post, Forbes, MindBodyGreen, Entrepreneur, Elephant Journal, Thought Catalog, Bustle, Psych Central, Gaia, and more.
What do you do best?
Find the positive in a difficult or unwanted situation. Or, as some might call it, “rationalize” (haha). I read Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl when I was 22, and it changed my life. A quote that really stuck with me was: “Even the most negative aspects of human existence such as guilt, suffering, and death can be viewed positively, given the right attitude.” This is not to say that we shouldn’t have compassion for ourselves during challenging times, but trusting that we’ll find meaning in that suffering is essential to resilience. I live by the philosophy that life is our teacher and there’s a lesson in every disappointment and challenge.
What makes you the best?
I’ve always been told I’m easy to talk to, and that people feel comfortable around me. I’m super sensitive and emotionally attuned. At times this can be challenging as it makes me more vulnerable to over-identifying with people’s pain; however, it also allows me to be present for and offer compassion to those around me–which makes it totally worth it :) .
What are your aspirations?
I’m an idealist. My goal is to help as many people learn the utility of their emotions as possible, and develop compassion for themselves and others. I think if we all increased our emotional intelligence and developed more self and other-compassion, we’d be a much happier, more connected, less violent society.
As for personally, I just want to continue working on becoming more comfortable with uncomfortable emotions, responding inwardly and outwardly with compassion, and talking less.
My biggest “accomplishment” is transforming my relationship to eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and perfectionism. I struggled for almost two decades and never imagined I could embrace life in the way I do now. It’s not that I don’t feel difficult feelings or have distressing thoughts, but I relate to them in a more mindful, compassionate way, and am able to rely on impermanence to eventually dissipate them. This transformation has allowed me to take risks I never would have taken when paralyzed by perfectionism-invoked fear.
Most Challenging Moment?
Most challenging moment was definitely heartbreak when everything else in my life also felt like it was going to shit. I was 24, in the midst of depression and anorexia, finishing my masters thesis under a very tight deadline, and dealing with health and family issues that were out of my control. Everything crumbled at once and I was broken open. However, I believe the growth and success I’ve had since was a direct result of surviving that challenging time, but in the moment (and for about 2 years afterward) it was devastating.
Life is your teacher.
Favorite People/Role Models?
My clients. I’m humbled and inspired by them every day. It’s amazing how resilient and courageous humans are, yet so many don’t recognize it. I wish everyone could see themselves the way others see them, especially those of us who are privy to their stories.
Now that I live in New York, going home to British Columbia is my favorite travel destination. I love Whistler in the winter and Vancouver and a lake in the interior in the summer. I spent 28 years in BC and admit I never realized its beauty until I left!
Oh geez. I don’t have much, haha. I would say my yoga mat because I associate it with self-care and processing, so every time I’m holding it I know I’m either on my way to yoga to through some stuff, or I’m on my way home and have (most likely) worked through some stuff!
Researching and learning both internally and externally; and writing, creating, imagining, connecting, and moving my body.