Book Review: Daring Greatly


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 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.

Book Review: Daring Greatly

My Thoughts:

I knew that shame & vulnerability were the primary topics of Brené Brown’s book. After I shared on the blog that I had called off my wedding in 2012 someone share her most popular TED Talk from TEDx Houston about Vulnerability. I watched it, it resonated but I wasn’t ready to really hear her message until this year.

Before reading the book I grounded myself in two definitions:

Definition of Shame: a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behaviour.

Definition of Vulnerable: susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm.

I love that this book is grounded in research & love. I was riveted by Brené’s writing and really appreciated her storytelling and the way that she broke down all her theories.

We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honour the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness, and affection.

I know that when I’m vulnerable with the right people I cultivate love. I also know that after calling off my wedding I was covered in feelings of shame. I overshared in the early days & months after to test people but can understand now that I wasn’t be vulnerable but oversharing. I really cherish the section in The Vulnerability Armory on perfectionism and on hustling for worthiness and had an aha moment of how these are my shame tactics. When you recognize things in your life you can then learn to grow and I’m thankful for the self-development this can bring to someone’s life after reading. I can’t wait to now dive into her next book Rising Strong to continue to explore her work.

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