Tag Archives: vulnerability

Review: Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

Daring Greatly
Brené Brown
Published September 11, 2012

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About Daring Greatly

“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 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. Whether the arena is a new relationship, an important meeting, our creative process, or a difficult family conversation, we must find the courage to walk into vulnerability and engage with our whole hearts.

In DARING GREATLY, Dr. Brown challenges everything we think we know about vulnerability. Based on twelve years of research, she argues that vulnerability is not weakness, but rather our clearest path to courage, engagement, and meaningful connection. The book that Dr. Brown’s many fans have been waiting for, DARING GREATLY will spark a new spirit of truth—and trust—in our organizations, families, schools, and communities.

Researcher and thought leader Dr. Brené Brown offers a powerful new vision that encourages us to dare greatly: to embrace vulnerability and imperfection, to live wholeheartedly, and to courageously engage in our lives.

My Review

I have this book as an audiobook and I’ve listened to it multiple times. Every single time, I feel like I rediscover gems or somehow notice new information that I’d overlooked before. Or things make sense in a fresh way because of whatever’s happening in my life at the moment I read a particular topic or chapter.

It’s a challenging read, I won’t lie. Like, it really makes me think about the ways I handle my own emotional discomfort and gives an opportunity to make some changes. There are a lot of personal stories, which both soften the blow that comes from feeling so exposed emotionally. It makes you feel like Brown is right there in the vulnerability trenches with you.

One of the biggest changes that’s come from reading this book is in the way my husband and I relate to each other. I realized that when I feel vulnerable, I tend to counterattack. I will pick a fight with him or escalate a fight we’re already having. Now, instead, I try to create a little space in my head. I recognize that I’m feeling scared or hurt or whatever it is and try to process that rather than running from it into feeling angry.

I’m definitely a work in progress. Haha. But I feel like I’ve gotten a lot of really good stuff from this book. I wish there was a version specifically for teens addressing some issues specific to that time of life. I think teens can still read and benefit from the book, so I recommend it anyway.

If you haven’t seen Brené Brown’s TED Talk, that’s a great place to start in order to get more of a feel for what DARING GREATLY is about. Her talk is kind of a dip-your-toes-in look at what she covers in much greater depth in the book. If you watch that and are curious or intrigued, definitely pick up DARING GREATLY.

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 14 up.

Relates stories and data based on a broad range of research.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Strong profanity used infrequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Some brief mentions of sex from the perspective of the way that asking for sex or participating in it means experiencing vulnerability.

Spiritual Content
Mentions going to church.

Violent Content
Vague mentions of abuse situations.

Drug Content
Mentions of drinking alcohol and smoking as a poor coping strategy for vulnerability. She also discusses the connection between shame and addiction.

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