Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead Info

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The #1 New York
Times
 bestseller. 
1 million copies
sold!
Don’t miss the hourlong Netflix
special Brené Brown: The Call to
Courage
!

From thought leader Brené Brown, a
transformative new vision for the way we lead, love, work, parent, and
educate that teaches us the power of vulnerability.

 

“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 at the best knows in the end the triumph of high
achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while
daring greatly.”—
Theodore Roosevelt
Every
day we experience the uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that
define what it means to be vulnerable or to dare greatly. Based on
twelve years of pioneering research, Brené Brown PhD, LMSW,
dispels the cultural myth that vulnerability is weakness and argues that
it is, in truth, our most accurate measure of courage.
Brown
explains how vulnerability is both the core of difficult emotions like
fear, grief, and disappointment, and the birthplace of love,
belonging, joy, empathy, innovation, and creativity. She writes:
“When we shut ourselves off from vulnerability, we distance
ourselves from the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our
lives.”
Daring Greatly is not about winning or
losing. It’s about courage. In a world where “never
enough” dominates and feeling afraid has become second nature,
vulnerability is subversive. Uncomfortable. It’s even a little
dangerous at times. And, without question, putting ourselves out there
means there’s a far greater risk of getting criticized or feeling
hurt. But when we step back and examine our lives, we will find that
nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous, and hurtful as standing on the
outside of our lives looking in and wondering what it would be like if
we had the courage to step into the arena—whether it’s a new
relationship, an important meeting, the creative process, or a
difficult family conversation. Daring Greatly is a practice and a
powerful new vision for letting ourselves be seen.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead:

5

June 25, 2013

Some people flip houses. This book will flip your life.
Last week I was sitting outside a coffee shop reading a book on my kindle when a youngish guy walked by carrying a coffee and a computer, looking for a place to sit.

Since all of the tables were occupied and he was looking a bit displaced, I offered him a seat at my table. Relieved, he sat down and expressed his gratitude. I promptly went back to my reading but I could feel his eyes boring into me as I anticipated the dreaded question.

"What are you reading?" he finally blurted.

Now I know this is neither a profound nor earth-shattering inquiry but there were two problems at hand here.

One, I'm terrible at summarizing books. Just awful. (Which you're about to discover.) There's just something about the vast amount of information that I'm pressured to wrap into one or two sentences that completely overwhelms and paralyzes me.

And two, I was reading a book about shame and vulnerability. Which ironically, I was ashamed to admit for fear of being vulnerable. Clearly, I had just started reading the book.

Part of me was tempted to lie to youngish guy by replying, "oh, it's just some silly novel."

But then it occurred to me how shameful it would be to lie about reading a book about shame and vulnerability instead of just being vulnerable. Besides, as I'm sure it's obvious--I could use the practice.

"I'm reading Daring Greatly by Brené Brown. It's about shame and vulnerability and how shame can truly only dissipate by allowing yourself to be vulnerable", I quickly blurted.

Allowing myself to be vulnerable led Patrick and I into a conversation for the next hour. Patrick, if you're reading this, c'était une joie pour vous rencontrer. (If this is wrong I blame Google translate.)

This moment of unabashed vulnerability with Patrick was the beginning of a major shift in my life. And I have Daring Greatly to thank for that.*

I've always been one to be honest and open but Brene Brown's writing in Daring Greatly takes openness to another level.

She reinforces what I've known all along but been afraid of admitting--that vulnerability leads to happiness. Or as Brown calls it, "wholeheartedness".

And I, and maybe you too, could damn well use some wholeheartedness in my life.

We're living in a culture of `never enough'. I'm certainly feeling it. Are you? I never work hard enough, I don't help others enough, I'm not successful enough, I don't eat healthy enough... and on and on.

These thoughts of `never enough' turn into feelings of shame and fear. How do we combat shame and fear? By being vulnerable and expressing gratitude, according to Brené Brown. And now, according to me.

Following Brene's advice and expertise garnered through her research and life stories, truly does work.

It was the reading of Daring Greatly that prompted me to finally divulge my long kept secret of my history with an eating disorder; which wound up being my highest trafficked blog post of all time. As Brown explains, we're drawn to other's vulnerability but repelled by our own.

Are you living with shame? Do you always feel an underlying itch of `never enough'? Do you find yourself disconnecting from people you love? If any of these questions ring true then I hope you'll read this book for yourself. Even if they don't ring true, read this book. It truly is a game changer.

Buy It Right. This. Minute. Sit your butt down for an hour, and start reading. I promise you won't want to stop. I promise.Then come back to me and practice your newfound vulnerability. I'll appreciate and love every drop of the real you. And eventually, you will too. That's the truth.

[...]
*If you'll note the vulnerability here in that I'm attempting to review a book, despite my fear of reviewing books.
5

September 1, 2017

My Saving Grace from Toxic Shame
Growing up in a household where obedience is won through criticism, belittling and shaming, it's little wonder I reached adult hood in a poor state of mind and body. With no self-esteem or confidence and full of toxic shame, I wasn't happy with myself in any shape or form. I truly disliked myself, and felt as if everyone else did too. I was a HUGE perfectionist, and very, very hard on myself.

Though I am still a work in progress (I'm 22 currently), I can look back and see how far I've come, and it is all thanks to Brene Brown: her books, her Ted talks, her program, etc. This is my favorite book of hers, though.

If you don't feel worthy of love and belonging, if you feel lesser than everyone else; if you can't forgive yourself for your mistakes or your terrible moments or the stupid things you've done in life; if you can't accept your humanness; if you can't show your face or eyes to others due to shame; if you can't own up to your mistakes for fear of judgement; if you compare yourself to others; if you constantly strive to prove yourself to others but feel as if you never measure up; then this book is for you.

I have read it through and then listened to the whole book about 3 times. I need to be reminded again and again what it means to Dare Greatly, as I have lived most of my life hiding and trying to protect myself. Every time I hear the words in this book, I can't help but say "Yes! Yes! Yes!" over and over again. It all makes such simple sense. I also cannot hear Brene's words - in book or talks - without crying, because they are some of the most beautiful words to my ears there ever was.

We are not in this alone, and our worth is not something that can be measured.

I am planning to get some of her books this Christmas for my family, who all badly need to hear her message and don't bother to look her up despite my urging. I will also have all her books on my shelf someday when I have kids, for them to all read as they are growing up, so that they don't grow up in fear, with low self-worth and full of shame, and to also give them the courage to dare greatly. (Of course I will parent differently than I was raised, and that will make a difference. ;) )

I would give this book a 10 star rating if I could.
1

Jun 17, 2013

Teddy Roosevelt is spinning in his grave if he can hear how his famous quote about "daring greatly" has been turned into sappy psychobabble.

The main theme of the book is "shame." To the author, this is a fundamentally bad thing, even though she acknowledges that shameless people are sociopaths. She also makes the claim that shame has never been shown to be helpful. Actually, there is research suggesting that shame-based societies have less crime and mental illness than societies that are more Teddy Roosevelt is spinning in his grave if he can hear how his famous quote about "daring greatly" has been turned into sappy psychobabble.

The main theme of the book is "shame." To the author, this is a fundamentally bad thing, even though she acknowledges that shameless people are sociopaths. She also makes the claim that shame has never been shown to be helpful. Actually, there is research suggesting that shame-based societies have less crime and mental illness than societies that are more individualistic. So I think there is potential harm to the way she redefines shame. If people are engaging in truly shameful behaviors, then they should feel ashamed; that's healthy. And society should shame evil people/acts. The author uses "shame" as a garbage term for all bad feelings. So getting picked last for kickball is somehow "shame."

This book is advertised as "research" but the underlying science seems goofy; part of her methodology is to ignore the existing scientific literature before doing her study, so that she's amazed--as if she were born yesterday--by well-known facts. The definition of the scientific method is testing hypotheses, but she doesn't do that, so what she does do looks like circular reasoning where the finding is always "shame." It's OK to do "qualitative" research, but if you insist on the pretense of being completely open-minded blah-blah-blah, then you're "hypothesis generating" so at some point you still need to test a hypothesis to do science, and to know if you are helping people. Dare greatly: state your hypothesis and test it!

Much of the book is a running anecdotal monologue about the author.

The author seems like a nice lady who means well, and the original message of courage is a good one. The point of self-help books is to help, so if this book resonates with you, then "bully for you" as Teddy might say. I just found it irritating: another TED talk that can't carry a whole book.

I hope I don't hurt the author's feelings with this review. The point of reviews is to help potential readers figure out if they will like a book or not. People who care about the points that I discuss above will likely share my impression of the book and can save time by avoiding it and just watching the TED talk. I didn't like this book very much and that's my right. And it's part of the risk the author takes in writing a book that she will get some bad reviews. You can't please everybody. I admire her for daring to write a book. But that doesn't mean she should only get good reviews. If the only outcome possible is victory, then victory is meaningless.

-December, 2017 Update:
I keep getting negative comments about this review, and that's fine as long as people can disagree agreeably. I understand many people love Brene Brown. Nevertheless, I have become more concerned about this book and I am lowering my rating to 1* from 2*. Part of the tipping point is the increasing evidence indicating that sheltering children from shame/guilt/failure does more harm than good over the long term:
-Link to plain English article by a pediatrician from this week's Science Times about benefits of shame/guilt for kids: https://nyti.ms/2ia0gji
-Link to recent NYT Magazine article about surge in teen anxiety: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/11/ma...

Of course, a total lack of shame is sociopathy, and I don't think the world needs more of that.


I am also concerned that with a blurb stating "Researcher and thought leader Dr. Brené Brown offers a powerful new vision" people think that this is science, and that it represents some kind of proven new discovery that helps people. I would encourage people who want to understand about the scientific method and evidence-based practice in healthcare to check out one of the following:
.

There are existing solutions for people seeking, for example, to improve their mental health by combatting unrealistic negative self-talk. There are also proven prevention programs for improving socio-emotional coping skills in children. There is no need to reinvent the wheel or the Hindenburg here.


Making words mean whatever you want them to mean is at best confusing and at worst very dangerous.


Finally, I think that reading a biography of Teddy Roosevelt would clarify how he would feel about celebrating failure, etc.
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5

May 23, 2017

This book did an amazing job of helping me understand the difference between sharing ...
This book was life changing for me. I'd already read Gifts of Imperfection, and have been struggling with having healthy boundaries with a psychologically unhealthy parent.

This book did an amazing job of helping me understand the difference between sharing vulnerability in ways that lead to connection and over-sharing in ways intended to manipulate an audience - and why that oversharing has always led to disconnection.

For the men out there - I'd recommend starting with this book (rather than gifts of imperfection) as Brown broadens her research to include men here. And I really liked the way this book works through so many interesting topics and challenging scenarios.

One of my favorite parts is on professing love vs practicing love (below). It made me appreciate that when someone tells me they love me, then treats me badly, that it isn't really love at all.

<i>During a recent radio interview about my research, the hosts (my friends Ian and Margery) asked me, “Can you love someone and cheat on them or treat them poorly?”

I didn’t have much time, so I gave the best answer I could based on my work: “I don’t know if you can love someone and betray them or be cruel to them, but I do know that when you betray someone or behave in an unkind way toward them, you are not practicing love. And, for me, I don’t just want someone who says they love me, I want someone who practices that love for me every day.”</i>
5

Feb 19, 2013

This book came highly recommended by seemingly the entire internet, and the concept was one I'm VERY familiar with. I'd watched a couple of Brene Brown's TED talks and I was impressed with the topic of her research and with how long and how thoroughly she's been researching.

Oh yeah, and I also remembered that I am the most sewn up and invulnerable control freak that I know. It's been something I'm aware of, and I wasn't always this way. But I know it's keeping me from joy and love in a lot of This book came highly recommended by seemingly the entire internet, and the concept was one I'm VERY familiar with. I'd watched a couple of Brene Brown's TED talks and I was impressed with the topic of her research and with how long and how thoroughly she's been researching.

Oh yeah, and I also remembered that I am the most sewn up and invulnerable control freak that I know. It's been something I'm aware of, and I wasn't always this way. But I know it's keeping me from joy and love in a lot of areas in my life, so I'm working on it.

This book doesn't fix everything, but boy is it good at calling you out and naming things. The very act of naming bad emotional habits, harmful tactics with people, etc...it takes away their power somewhat. At least that's how I felt.

Ms. Brown's book takes a hard look at what vulnerability is, why we're so afraid of it, what keeps us from allowing it (shame) and how it affects men and women differently. She backs up her conclusions with research data, numbers, anecdotes and helpful insights into her own life. I really enjoyed her humor and candor. She takes a look at vulnerability as a professional, as a partner, a friend, and as a parent. All are really valuable view points.

The bottom line is, we're hard-wired to be connected to others. We can't experience joy or peace without these connections. However, we can't have these connections without allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. I really can't recommend this book enough to anyone, any gender, and in any life situation. It's valuable and the topics she brings up need to be addressed. ...more
3

September 6, 2016

Shame and its path
This is one of those books that seems ubiquitous. Everywhere I turned I saw Brene Brown’s book with the solid gray background and colorful letters spelling out Daring Greatly across the cover. Even more omnipresent are the book’s praises. There is an endless line of praises from acclaimed icons. Which is why I am shocked by my response: I found the book sort of boring.

The crux of the book is simple: shame, it is powerful and universal. We all have experienced shame. Most of us continue to carry the burden of shame and even throw it on to others. I can easily connect to the idea of shame. Every day is a fight beyond shame.

Pulling from the amazing words of President Theodore Roosevelt, to dare greatly is try something big; to live with courage. Taking the safe road while criticizing others is the easy road (and it is the road we see on social media all the time), but living a life of greatness does require some failures. We cannot be scared of failures. This is a concept we all need to grab hold of.

I only marked two pages in the book the intrigued me.

“Vulnerability isn’t good or bad…Vulnerability is the core of all emotions. To feel is to be vulnerable.”

“Hope is a function of struggle. If we want our children to develop high levels of hopefulness, we have to let them struggle.”

Perhaps I am a little late to the party and that is why I did not connect with the book like others. Perhaps not hearing her TED talk is fatal flaw on my end (she refers to her talk multiple times in her book). The information is good and grounded, but in the end the book felt long and arduous.

Sometimes I think an author and reader just cannot connect, it does not make the book bad or the reader poor. It is just an unknowable difference.
If you think I’m defending a book that I didn’t like, you are correct.
4

Dec 22, 2012

"For me, and for many of us, our first waking thought of the day is "I didn't get enough sleep." The next one is "I don't have enough time." Whether true or not, that thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it. We spend most of the hours and the days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining, or worrying about what we don't have enough of... Before we even sit up in bed, before our feet touch the floor, we're already inadequate, already "For me, and for many of us, our first waking thought of the day is "I didn't get enough sleep." The next one is "I don't have enough time." Whether true or not, that thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it. We spend most of the hours and the days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining, or worrying about what we don't have enough of... Before we even sit up in bed, before our feet touch the floor, we're already inadequate, already behind, already losing, already lacking something. And by the time we go to bed at night, our minds are racing with a litany of what we didn't get, or didn't get done, that day. We go to sleep burdened by those thoughts and wake up to that reverie of lack... This internal condition of scarcity, this mind-set of scarcity, lives at the very heart of our jealousies, our greed, our prejudice, and our arguments with life..." ...more
1

Jun 16, 2013

I usually don't bother writing reviews for books I can't finish. And usually I give the book a fair chance -- say, at least 100 pages -- before giving up. Some books I even read all the way to the end before wishing I could just get my time back.

In this case, I read an interview with the author in O Magazine, and the interview was so interesting that I immediately requested this book from the library.

Well, once the book arrived, I quickly discovered that I had trouble following even the I usually don't bother writing reviews for books I can't finish. And usually I give the book a fair chance -- say, at least 100 pages -- before giving up. Some books I even read all the way to the end before wishing I could just get my time back.

In this case, I read an interview with the author in O Magazine, and the interview was so interesting that I immediately requested this book from the library.

Well, once the book arrived, I quickly discovered that I had trouble following even the introduction, and I thought maybe I was just distracted. So I flipped to the center and chose a random chapter...nope, still not really getting into this. Okay, let's try this in order and begin with Chapter 1... I GIVE UP.

You know what's wrong with this book? It is disorganized. I can't follow the author's thoughts and logic. And worst of all, whoever designed this book was totally carried away by his/her power and went completely crazy with the font formatting. Seriously, I can't even look at this book without wincing: bold text, italic text, large text, large text with huge spaces in between the letters, medium-sized text...

Read the interview in O Magazine. Don't read this book. Your eyes will thank you. ...more
1

Mar 10, 2013

The premise of this book rocked, and I was very interested in learning more about how to be more vulnerable and dare to do more things. However, the book was written completely in generalities. I need to hear the details of your research, the way you helped clients overcome their problems with vulnerability, facts, and stories. I need concrete advice and concrete science. Couldn't finish this fluffy-ass book.
3

October 18, 2018

A big problem I have with this book is the author redefines "vulnerability" and then criticizing others for not wanting it
For some reason, the author intentionally tries to confuse the reader about what the meaning of the word "vulnerability" is, insisting that we accept her own definition instead of the one that we all know about: vulnerability by definition means exposure to possible harm or increased risk of attack. I looked hard for any other meaning and did not find it. She uses different definitions at different times in the book. For a researcher, this is very sloppy thinking in my view. This reminds me of Depak Chopra's abuse of the word "quantum" in his statements. If you redefine words to fit your own ideas, then of course you are going to meet resistance from people who use the words in the way they are intended and not your own weird way.

Here is an example of her weird logic at work. She says, "When discussing vulnerability, it is helpful to look at the definition and etymology of the word vulnerable. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word vulnerability is derived from the Latin word vulnerare, meaning “to wound.” The definition includes “capable of being wounded” and “open to attack or damage.” Merriam-Webster defines weakness as the inability to withstand attack or wounding. Just from a linguistic perspective, it’s clear that these are very different concepts, and in fact, one could argue that weakness often stems from a lack of vulnerability”. Um nope. Weakness often stems from a lack of admitting your own vulnerabilities to yourself, or not sharing them with people that can support you with them. But weakness does not stem from a lack of vulnerability.

Here's another example. She says, “Vulnerability is based on mutuality and requires boundaries and trust. It’s not oversharing, it’s not purging, it’s not indiscriminate disclosure, and it’s not celebrity-style social media information dumps. Vulnerability is about sharing our feelings and our experiences with people who have earned the right to hear them. Being vulnerable and open is mutual and an integral part of the trust-building process.” Nope. Vulnerability is not defined by your mutuality and boundaries. It's not about sharing your feelings. These things can increase or decrease your exposure to risk, but they do not form its basis and it does not strongly depend on them. What does depend on them quite often is our FEELING of being vulnerable, which is often illusory and this delusion is not helpful.

At one point she seems to get it. She says, “the critical issue is not about our actual level of vulnerability, but the level at which we acknowledge our vulnerabilities around a certain illness or threat.” So which is it? She is clearly using the word "vulnerability" here in the normal accepted way. This is why I'm annoyed at her. She knows what the word means, but also wants to shoehorn this weird extra thing in there.

Because of this weird word abuse I find her book very hard to read. She should have said "sharing your vulnerabilities with people you trust" instead of "being vulnerable." Because the real problem is confusing the two concepts. Instead of furthering the confusion, it would be far better if she would clearly separate them.

So if you can look past this recurring semantic issue and read her intentions instead of her words, it's a valuable concept to understand and can help grow. That's the way I'm approaching the book. But I really wish she would use English in an accepted way and not blame readers for misunderstanding the Truth when they object to it....
4

Mar 01, 2017

Daring Greatly was not what I expected it to be instead it gave me a very different outlook to vulnerability and a new understanding of what it means to engage with our vulnerability, understand how shame and shaming others affects us, how to combat shame, and being vulnerable for the sake of making real connections with people. Not only has it helped me understand my vulnerability but understand other people’s vulnerability and understand scarcity and how wholeheartedness can affect us.

I Daring Greatly was not what I expected it to be instead it gave me a very different outlook to vulnerability and a new understanding of what it means to engage with our vulnerability, understand how shame and shaming others affects us, how to combat shame, and being vulnerable for the sake of making real connections with people. Not only has it helped me understand my vulnerability but understand other people’s vulnerability and understand scarcity and how wholeheartedness can affect us.

I highly recommend Daring Greatly to truly understand what vulnerability really is and understand the opportunities being vulnerable can create for us.
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2

May 05, 2014

I really, really, really wanted to like this book. It came so highly recommended, and it started off so well. The first chapter was spectacular--I found myself nodding along to just about everything: feeling vulnerable, a culture of scarcity, the new economy, etc. This book was speaking to me. My fears, my anxieties, my worries. And I hoped Brown would be the person to help guide me through it all.

But no.

The book promptly went downhill--and fast. Instead of direction and guidance, we get I really, really, really wanted to like this book. It came so highly recommended, and it started off so well. The first chapter was spectacular--I found myself nodding along to just about everything: feeling vulnerable, a culture of scarcity, the new economy, etc. This book was speaking to me. My fears, my anxieties, my worries. And I hoped Brown would be the person to help guide me through it all.

But no.

The book promptly went downhill--and fast. Instead of direction and guidance, we get narrative upon narrative, mindless platitudes, and silly "case studies" (it's not Brown's fault, but the inclusion of Lululemon as a model of great corporate culture is rather hilarious these days).

Brown mentions nothing about the cultural structures at play that make being vulnerable virtually impossible and leaves so many questions unanswered. Why do the underlying issues exist? How do we address the cultural issues surrounding doubt, especially in terms of parenthood? How can we change the cultural narrative? How do we opt out of the "rat race" and still function? How do we convince ourselves that we are, in fact, loveable, and therefore able to be vulnerable?

Overall, a very unsatisfying book (but one that had such promise) that wasn't helped by an audiobook narrator who perhaps was *too* successful at being vulnerable. She sounds incredibly insecure, not confident, and definitely not like someone who is "daring greatly". So many of the sentences could have been more powerful if they were spoken with determination and without annoying upspeak. ...more
5

Sep 24, 2012

Do you want to change the world?
Do you want to have more powerful interpersonal relationships?
Do you want to explore into your own soul
to make sense of your life?
Do you want to live whole-hearted?
Do you want to rid yourself from shame?
Do you want to understand men and women better?
Do you want to give your heart a hug?

I thought I would do something different this time and give you a list of questions for this book review. This book is so jam-packed with the "hard stuff" that I don't even want to Do you want to change the world?
Do you want to have more powerful interpersonal relationships?
Do you want to explore into your own soul
to make sense of your life?
Do you want to live whole-hearted?
Do you want to rid yourself from shame?
Do you want to understand men and women better?
Do you want to give your heart a hug?

I thought I would do something different this time and give you a list of questions for this book review. This book is so jam-packed with the "hard stuff" that I don't even want to dare pretend that I get it all. I will be reading it repeatedly until I have absorbed and memorized every nugget of wisdom. I wish every other person on the planet would do the same. It would seriously bring world peace and most certainly would give everyone inner peace. I'm not kidding, It's that powerful.

I was proud to be a part of this book campaign. I was thrilled. I mean I jumped up and down when I got the e-mail confirmation and cooked a fancy dinner for my family when it arrived in the mail. I have been pouring over its pages and sharing parts with my hubby every chance I get. I have compromised my facebook relationships with the overabundance of quotes from this book. I just can't stop. It's too totally amazing not to share. YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK. If you don't want to buy your own copy, borrow mine. I can't share it though for at least another month until I have it memorized.

I had a powerful experience at work last night, using the principles learned in this book. I was substitute teaching a class at the therapeutic boarding school where I work. I gave the kids a reward for every half an hour of hard work. We listened to a song of their choice (with my approval). One boy chose a powerfully emotional song about a girl who wanted to be with her dying boyfriend forever. I loved it. Another boy in the class didn't. He started to shame the song choice kid. I stopped him and talked with the whole class about "shaming" and talked with them about giving people space to be who they are, even if they are wrong or different. I then turned to the shamer, and told him how much I loved him and admired him and that I would hope other people would give him space to love what he loved. He got teary-eyed. He turned to the other kid and said, "Dude, I am so sorry, I don't like that song, but it's cool if you do."

World peace, people. World peace.

A huge thanks to marriage counselor friend John Morgan who turned me on to Brene Brown just months ago. He shared with me her talks from Ted. I was hooked. Brene is a researcher and has a PHD and LMSW. Her life's work is shame and vulnerability. Here are her videos. Watch them both. Come back if you have to. They will make you understand why you need to read this book. Even if you aren't into that psychological mumbo-jumbo, you need to be.
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4

May 26, 2019

I don't think the whole premise is very mature.
All the narcissism and vulnerability talk and social media talk... Are their no other problems with people? Other than what they waste their time on FB, whether they are narcissists (catch-all!) and other what-not?
Some points are really good:
Q:
For the first time in history, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that automobile accidents are now the second leading cause of accidental death in the United States. The I don't think the whole premise is very mature.
All the narcissism and vulnerability talk and social media talk... Are their no other problems with people? Other than what they waste their time on FB, whether they are narcissists (catch-all!) and other what-not?
Some points are really good:
Q:
For the first time in history, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that automobile accidents are now the second leading cause of accidental death in the United States. The leading cause? Drug overdoses. In fact, more people die from prescription drug overdoses than from heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine drug use combined. Even more alarming is the estimate that less than 5 percent of those who died from prescription drug overdoses obtained their drugs from the folks we normally think of as street-corner drug dealers. The dealers today are more likely to be parents, relatives, friends, and physicians. Clearly there’s a problem. (c)

Q:
Group A: “I make a pot of coffee after I tuck in my kids so I can take care of all the e-mails between ten P.M. and midnight. If there are too many, I wake up at four A.M. and start over again. I don’t like getting to work with any unanswered e-mail in my in-box. I’m exhausted, but they’re answered.”
Group B: “I’ve simply stopped sending unnecessary e-mails and asked my friends and colleagues to do the same. I’ve also started setting the expectation that it might take me a few days to respond. If it’s important, call me. Don’t text or e-mail. Call. Better yet, stop by my office.”
Group A: “I use red lights, grocery lines, and elevator rides to stay on top of my calls. I even sleep with my phone in case someone calls or I remember something in the middle of the night. One time I called my assistant at four A.M. because I remembered that we needed to add something to a motion that we were preparing. I was surprised that she answered, but then she reminded me that I had told her to keep her phone on her nightstand. I’ll rest and let off steam when we’re done. Work hard. Play hard. That’s my motto. And it doesn’t take much to play hard when you haven’t slept in a while.”
Group B: “My boss, my friends, and my family know that I don’t take calls before nine A.M. or after nine P.M. If the phone rings after or before those times, it’s either a wrong number or an emergency—a real emergency, not a work issue.” (с)
Q:
“Yes, I know vulnerability. I know it well. It’s an exquisite emotion.” (c)
Q:
Like many of the folks drawn to social work, I liked the idea of fixing people and systems. (c)
Q:
I had realized that social work wasn’t about fixing. It was and is all about contextualizing and
“leaning in.” Social work is all about leaning into the discomfort of ambiguity and uncertainty, and
holding open an empathic space so people can find their own way. In a word—messy.
As I struggled to figure out how I could ever make a career in social work actually work, I was riveted by a statement from one of my research professors: “If you can’t measure it, it doesn’t exist.”
He explained that unlike our other classes in the program, research was all about prediction and
control. I was smitten. You mean that rather than leaning and holding, I could spend my career predicting and controlling? I had found my calling. (c) Seems like the guy just chose his profession unwisely.
Q:
1. Cultivating Authenticity: Letting Go of What People Think
2. Cultivating Self-Compassion: Letting Go of Perfectionism
3. Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness
4. Cultivating Gratitude and Joy: Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark
5. Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith: Letting Go of the Need for Certainty
6. Cultivating Creativity: Letting Go of Comparison
7. Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as SelfWorth
8. Cultivating Calm and Stillness: Letting Go of Anxiety as a Lifestyle
9. Cultivating Meaningful Work: Letting Go of Self-Doubt and “Supposed To”
10. Cultivating Laughter, Song, and Dance: Letting Go of Being Cool and “Always in Control”
As I analyzed the data, I realized that I was about two for ten in my own life when in comes to
Wholehearted living. That was personally devastating. This happened a few weeks before my fortyfirst birthday and sparked my midlife unraveling. As it turns out, getting an intellectual handle on these issues isn’t the same as living and loving with your whole heart. (с) No shit, Sherlock. ...more
3

Nov 18, 2012

This book was recommended on a blog that I follow by a person whose thinking somewhat mirrors mine. She recommended it in a big way, so I was anxious to read it. And I'm feeling odd about not giving it a higher rating, because I think it probably deserves one. I'm giving it three stars not because I have issues with the content (exactly) or with the writing, but because the subject matter is old hat to me.

Ms. Brown is fairly well known as a speaker and writer on the subject of 'shame' and how it This book was recommended on a blog that I follow by a person whose thinking somewhat mirrors mine. She recommended it in a big way, so I was anxious to read it. And I'm feeling odd about not giving it a higher rating, because I think it probably deserves one. I'm giving it three stars not because I have issues with the content (exactly) or with the writing, but because the subject matter is old hat to me.

Ms. Brown is fairly well known as a speaker and writer on the subject of 'shame' and how it debilitates us and keeps us from being the persons we want to be. She is right, of course. The weight that we give to shame is disproportionate to the weight it should have in keeping us to our personal code of ethics and values. She also addresses shame in this book as a chapter explaining why not being good at vulnerability often means that we are good at shame and how learning to be shame resilient is necessary to being able to achieve comfort with being vulnerable.

In particular, she focuses on how being willing to be vulnerable and to acknowledge that vulnerability - embrace it - creates opportunities for growth and increased closeness to those we love.

In my youth I was very vulnerable (ha!) to shame. Terrified of being judged not good enough, I spent a lot of time trying to make myself invisible. The summer after 10th grade, I spent some time thinking about the enjoyment of life I was not having. It was at that point that I decided that I would work to be me, whoever that was, and if that wasn't okay with the rest of the world, then they could kiss my skinny brown butt. I have spent the majority of my life since then trying to be only who I am in all social situations - 'what you see is what you get', 'keeping it real' and so on.

So I found nothing really new or life-changing in Ms Brown's book. But that doesn't mean you won't.

It's a good book. And if shame and lack of vulnerability are keeping you from being who you would like to be to your family, your friends, and your Self, then you should read this book. You should definitely read this book. ...more
4

Feb 19, 2014

I picked up Daring Greatly after watching Brene Brown's amazing TED Talk on the power of vulnerability. I find it fascinating that someone can conduct research centered on human topics such as shame, vulnerability, connection, and happiness. When I first entered college I possessed the notion that research was something done with test tubes and beakers in the back of a laboratory, but Brown's work shows that in-depth research can apply to anyone, inside or outside of academia.

The quality of I picked up Daring Greatly after watching Brene Brown's amazing TED Talk on the power of vulnerability. I find it fascinating that someone can conduct research centered on human topics such as shame, vulnerability, connection, and happiness. When I first entered college I possessed the notion that research was something done with test tubes and beakers in the back of a laboratory, but Brown's work shows that in-depth research can apply to anyone, inside or outside of academia.

The quality of Brown's insights in Daring Greatly deserves praise. She could have fallen back on trite tips that all self-help books preach. Instead, she examines vulnerability, shame, and wholeheartedness with a fine lens, using intriguing analogies and everyday anecdotes to illustrate her points. She discusses how men and women experience shame differently, how people who change their behaviors handle anxiety better than those who just cope with it, and how shame itself leads to distractions such as sex, alcohol, and addictions to Smartphones.

Brown incorporates practical applications of her research, ranging from how to help veterans form connections with others in the community to how modeling shame-based behaviors can result in negative parenting. She even includes scenarios such as when to disclose personal information in order to form connections as opposed to when it's better to keep your life private. Daring Greatly looks at patterns in human behavior that some people might overlook, and it provides ideas on how to change.

I would have appreciated a bit more of the "how" in regard to "daring greatly." Brown drives home the point that we should all strive to dare greatly, and she reveals a myriad of obstacles that obstruct us from doing so, but I wanted a few more concrete suggestions to guide us to success. It also would have been nice if Brown included more information about how she conducted her research throughout the book; even though she discusses methodology in the research appendix, knowing how she came to her conclusions when they're initially presented might aid in comprehension.

Overall, a great read, and highly recommended to those who enjoyed her TED Talk and desire to gain even more insight into the concepts of vulnerability and shame. Brown has an extensive track record through her research, her books, and her presentations, so I will be sure to check out more of her work. ...more
5

June 2, 2018

Engage with the world from a place of worthiness!
This book changed my life! I am an Engineer by profession, I live in a nice house and I am happily married to my best friend. To the outside world, it would look like I have it all. But I have been struggling with the shame, vulnerability, perfectionism, anxiety and the feeling of 'not enough' my entire life.
This book opened my eyes. It gave me a new perspective to my problems. The author not only says why and how these issues arises but also the tools needed to overcome it. After reading this book something in me changed. I feel calmer now, I started to forgive/love myself more, tell myself its ok to be vulnerable/imperfect and that I am enough.
4

May 18, 2019

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown is not my typical read for me. Science fiction and fantasy are my norms. But I saw this author on Netflix and she was saying things I really needed to hear. I was soaking it up! I needed to jot notes down...so I said forget that! She has a book!
This made me really think and feel and laugh! She is so funny! Who knew I could learn so much while laughing! Now comes the daring part! Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown is not my typical read for me. Science fiction and fantasy are my norms. But I saw this author on Netflix and she was saying things I really needed to hear. I was soaking it up! I needed to jot notes down...so I said forget that! She has a book!
This made me really think and feel and laugh! She is so funny! Who knew I could learn so much while laughing! Now comes the daring part! Putting it all in use! ...more
4

Dec 07, 2018

I feel like I'm pretty late to the game when it comes to reading Brené Brown, but I'm so glad I finally got around to it. She's a thoughtful and compassionate researcher who is able to imbue her work with personal experiences while still maintaining objectivity. It's definitely not a book, or type of book, I'd think to pick up (shoutout to the folks who suggested it to me!) because it's a subject matter I'd generally rather listen to a podcast about or watch an interview/conversation. However, I feel like I'm pretty late to the game when it comes to reading Brené Brown, but I'm so glad I finally got around to it. She's a thoughtful and compassionate researcher who is able to imbue her work with personal experiences while still maintaining objectivity. It's definitely not a book, or type of book, I'd think to pick up (shoutout to the folks who suggested it to me!) because it's a subject matter I'd generally rather listen to a podcast about or watch an interview/conversation. However, this book was very accessible—and interesting! I am sure I will be processing this for a long time and trying to incorporate more 'daring greatly' into my life. Even if I walk away with only one small practice, it's worth having read this. Would highly recommend. ...more
4

Sep 30, 2012

Daring Greatly is dense with information on how to combat shame and become vulnerable, authentic, and courageous - not just in romantic relationships, but at work and with your children as well. I have always struggled with vulnerability, but Brown makes a very convincing case as to why it is so important - we can't live fully and wholeheartedly without it. I look forward to implementing some of her strategies, and I am sure that I will be revisiting often. Really a must read for anyone who Daring Greatly is dense with information on how to combat shame and become vulnerable, authentic, and courageous - not just in romantic relationships, but at work and with your children as well. I have always struggled with vulnerability, but Brown makes a very convincing case as to why it is so important - we can't live fully and wholeheartedly without it. I look forward to implementing some of her strategies, and I am sure that I will be revisiting often. Really a must read for anyone who feels a bit closed off from the world and/or the best parts of themself. ...more
3

Jul 06, 2019

Brené Brown shares her twelve years of research into shame and gives tools on how to increase one's vulnerability. In this way, she believes each individual can help change the culture of scarcity and pull the world back from a continual cycle of shaming.

We'll build stronger and deeper relationships, strengthen families and have more productive work places. And, by doing this, we will each, in our own way, live in a manner that "dares greatly" every day.

"I also learned that the people who love Brené Brown shares her twelve years of research into shame and gives tools on how to increase one's vulnerability. In this way, she believes each individual can help change the culture of scarcity and pull the world back from a continual cycle of shaming.

We'll build stronger and deeper relationships, strengthen families and have more productive work places. And, by doing this, we will each, in our own way, live in a manner that "dares greatly" every day.

"I also learned that the people who love me, the people I really depend on, were never the critics who were pointing at me while I stumbled. They weren't in the bleachers at all. They were with me in the arena. Fighting for me and with me." pg 56

I'm going to use the information in this book the most in my work life. As a writer, I attach far too much significance to my work product on the audience's response to it rather than my own feelings about it. As Brown so clearly points out in this book, an outside response will never be good enough or big enough to fill the need that I am looking to fill with their words or their views. Or, if it is wildly praised, perhaps the next work won't be, and then I'm right back to where I started.

"You still want folks to like, respect, and even admire what you've created, but your self-worth is not on the table. You know that you are far more than a painting, an innovative idea, an effective pitch, a good sermon, or a high Amazon.com ranking." pg 64

This desire for connection and a feeling of worthiness, Brown says, comes from the need to survive by belonging to a group. Our brains have evolved to encourage us to belong and form connections. And when we don't by not believing in our own self worth or experiencing shame, it is a physically painful emotion. People do all sorts of things to avoid feeling shame including pulling away or striking out. But, in the end, these connections are life itself.

"Buber wrote, "When two people relate to each other authentically and humanly, God is the electricity that surges between them." pg 150

As interesting as I found Brown's research to be, she lost me when she began a discussion about how much vulnerability is enough or too much and walking the tightrope between extremes. So, be authentic, but don't use it to manipulate people. A few sentences covers what Brown uses 50 pages to unpack.

"When we stop caring about what people think, we lose our capacity for connection. When we become defined by what people think, we lose our willingness to be vulnerable." pg 169

Her message becomes a bit undefined and more general the further the book goes. That's not to say it couldn't be useful for readers who are looking for that type of information. I didn't find it particularly engaging.

Like any self help book, I think sometimes authors and researchers can get lost in the weeds of the problem. I far more prefer to focus on the solution. In this case, that's being brave enough to show up and be seen, demonstrating vulnerability and willingness to care about whatever is going on wherever we find ourselves throughout the day. As Brown reminds readers, it's not about winning or losing, it's about being there. And that's a message worth spreading.

"To love ourselves and support each other in the process of becoming real is perhaps the greatest single act of daring greatly." pg 110

I'm game. Are you? ...more
5

Jul 22, 2019

...nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous, and hurtful as believing that I'm standing on the outside of my life looking in and wondering what it would be like if I had the courage to show up and let myself be seen.

That quote above is one of the reasons I picked up this book and why I'm willing to actually write about it. I read this sort of book from time to time, but I never review them. I couldn't say why exactly, probably that shame thing Brené Brown goes into throughout the book. I'm ...nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous, and hurtful as believing that I'm standing on the outside of my life looking in and wondering what it would be like if I had the courage to show up and let myself be seen.

That quote above is one of the reasons I picked up this book and why I'm willing to actually write about it. I read this sort of book from time to time, but I never review them. I couldn't say why exactly, probably that shame thing Brené Brown goes into throughout the book. I'm dreading this even as I write it because I know I'll put this out there and admit that I'm a mess to anyone who cares to read this. I doubt and berate myself much more than anyone could possibly know. As the book would tell me I've accepted a shame perspective on myself. Apparently there's a difference between guilt and shame. Guilt is healthy and honest. It says I did something foolish, I made a mistake, I lied, and many other things. I own that my actions were wrong through guilt. Shame on the other hand says I'm a fool, I'm a mistake, I'm a liar, and other distorted statements. It reinforces deep within that I'm bad and this is why. Not that I did something bad, but that I am bad . Life is hard enough without me adding to it by killing my own self-worth.

Daring Greatly may not help everyone personally, but it will help everyone relate to some people in their lives who can't stay out of their own way or out of their own head. Maybe it's the person who has so much potential, but is too scared to try. Maybe it's the person who completely crumples under criticism. I've personally spent a long time learning tidbits this book explains and slowly putting those morsels into application. I'm both excited and terrified to read about how much more I have to uproot just to feel like my perception of nearly everyone else.

Daring Greatly is a book worth the read and it could truly change your life or the life of someone close to you. I'm amazed such a book exists and I'm grateful to have read it. Now I just have to apply what it says. Please wish me luck. ...more
5

May 17, 2017

Stop Pleasing, Performing, and Perfecting! It's overrated and SPOT ON!!!
Thank you for Daring Greatly and writing this book. WOW is all I can say. The last chapter on parenting is a MUST read for any parents, new to the game or those who are looking for ways to reinvigorate their relationship with their children. I am not perfect, however I'm sure that I come across this way to numerous people. I realized that I really am a product of pleasing, performing, and perfecting! LMFAO.... This book has humbled me and I am sure that I will need to re-read it a second time. Though reading this book and doing more assessment of my life, I realized that my values have changed quite a bit. I value Diversity, Courage, Vitality, Compassion and Community. Best two take aways, are the feedback checklist and the Parenting Manifesto. Even if you get nothing else out of this book (which would be shocking) these are two pieces that you can sink your teeth into and guess what - I think that they are on her website too.
4

Mar 22, 2013

Brene Brown is fabulous, and I’m so happy I finally got to read this book. I started reading one of her other books, one that was more specifically about her research around shame, and it wasn’t what I needed to be reading then. This, though, was what I needed. She still talks a lot about shame and about fear, and it’s in ways that are relevant for me in my day-to-day life and my work.
One of my favorite parts is her discussion of how over-sharing is not the same as vulnerability. That’s so Brene Brown is fabulous, and I’m so happy I finally got to read this book. I started reading one of her other books, one that was more specifically about her research around shame, and it wasn’t what I needed to be reading then. This, though, was what I needed. She still talks a lot about shame and about fear, and it’s in ways that are relevant for me in my day-to-day life and my work.
One of my favorite parts is her discussion of how over-sharing is not the same as vulnerability. That’s so important for me to recognize. I see it in my clients, and I see it in myself, this tendency to over-share, to spew stories, often the traumatic kind. I share these stores well when I share them with trusted people, in a setting that is appropriate. I share these stories less well when I’m at a social gathering and someone asks what I do for a living and then I spew all the awful that happened this past week. Brene says that people need to deserve our trust- we don’t gain a trusting relationship by telling someone we just met all the intimate details of our life right off the bat- that’s not how we form true and real relationships. She acknowledges the paradox too- that we can’t be vulnerable in a healthy way unless we trust someone, and we can’t trust someone unless we can also be vulnerable with them. It’s a tricky place to muddle through, and it’s so important to do it. There’s a difference between using vulnerability to try to gain something, and actually being vulnerable.
She also says that when we feel vulnerable, what that often looks like to other people is bravery and courage. When we are risking sharing something about ourselves, whether it’s an unpopular opinion, or a life experience, or trying difficult things, we feel naked and open to attack. What others often see though, is someone being brave enough to “dare greatly.” She says that the prevailing internal opinion is that “vulnerability is courage in you and inadequacy in me.” I’ve been trying to keep that in mind too, and move forward with it.
One small thing I’ve done recently is to take the work “but” out of much of my everyday vocabulary. I’m trying to recognize that I often have opinions and beliefs that contradict each other, and that’s okay. I don’t want to negate myself as much as I have been. It turns out that in a lot of my sentences, the word “and” can easily replace the word “but,” and it feels so much nicer to say things that sound more like a continuation than a negation.
She talks too about how shame hits the brain in the same place that physical pain does, so that when someone talks about how shame hurts, it’s even neurologically true. She talks a lot about shame and how we attach to it and carry it with us, how it impacts both men and women deeply, and what shame looks like in big and small instances.
I wish I could keep this book- there are a lot of things I’d like to remember more concretely, about parenting judgment, and having conversations with co-workers to talk about transformation, and about how we attach self-worth to our creative endeavors, and it turns out that I need to Dare Greatly in a small way by bringing this back (a week late) to the library.
...more
3

March 24, 2019

It's not you, it's me
Ok, let's start by saying that I am not really into self-help books but I really wanted to give this a try. I heard about it on Oprah's podcast and most of my friends reference parts of this book as if it was the Bible. I tried to get into it, day after day, week after week..but I didn't. It's just not as gripping as I though it would be and it doesn't reveal any type of untold truth, (I know this sentence will outrage some of the hardcore supporters of Daring Greatly). I was expecting to highlight parts of it and report entire paragraphs in my diary but nope, everything that's said in the book is something that we have already heard before, (unless we were one of the Mole Women in Kimmy Schmidt). It might do the trick for most people but I honestly don't feel like it adds any new information to what I already know or what I have already read in a gazillions of articles online. I must say that it's very well written but it simply didn't do the trick for me. Sorry! (Being very vulnerable by going against the tides here..)

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