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

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

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. “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...

Title:Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
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Edition Language:English

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

  • Alice Gold

    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.

  • Sarah Nicole

    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 feel

    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.

  • Robyn

    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

    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

    , 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

    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.

  • Timm DiStefano

    "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 be

    "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..."

  • Cecily

    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 a

    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.

  • Kelly

    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.

  • Theresa

    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 impo

    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.

  • Jane

    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 introdu

    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.

  • Andy

    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 i

    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.

  • Brenda

    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 highl

    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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