From Tracie: Daring Greatly

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Daring Greatly

Daring Greatly
Brené Brown's definition of vulnerability in Daring Greatly: Vulnerability - uncertainly, risk, and emotional exposure.

I'm having a hard time telling you about Brené Brown's new book Daring Greatly. I was talking about it with a friend yesterday, and we finally narrowed it down to this shining beauty of a review:

"I love it. Go buy it. I cannot even begin to describe the awesome. You will thank me later, and I won't even tell you 'I told you so' because I'm just that nice. I want everyone to read it!!"

But that isn't enough. Not for a book this good. It deserves better. Although I do stand by that review (all of it is true, except possibly the part about me not saying 'I told you so'), I want to share more of it with you. I want to tell you all the words that touched my heart so deeply as I read it.

Brené Brown on shame:
Shame derives its power from being unspeakable...Shame hates having words wrapped around it. If we speak shame, it begins to wither.

I read it twice. The second time with a highlighter, because I didn't want to miss a single word. There are a few tear-stained pages in my copy.

Brené Brown on vulnerability:
Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren't always comfortable, but they're never weakness.

When she shared her struggles with what she calls foreboding joy - planning for every disaster, rehearsing tragedy, and imagining the most terrible possibility as a way to beat vulnerability in moments of joy, I wanted to yell, "Me too!" I do that, having convinced myself it will prepare me if something bad happens. But that isn't how life works. And if I'm honest with myself, I would have to admit that all this practice does is steal the joy I'm feeling.

Brené Brown on not squandering joy:
Every time we allow ourselves to lean into joy and give in to those moments, we build resilience and we cultivate hope. The joy becomes part of who we are, and when bad things happen - and they do happen - we are stronger. 

I am sure there will be a third and probably fourth reading of this book in my future. It is pretty short, at under 300 pages, but there is so much good information and so many life-changing concepts packed in it. I want to soak them in.

Already I have made small efforts to embrace vulnerability, and I like how it feels - scary, courageous, and ultimately empowering.

Are you ready to dare greatly? 
You can join in the conversation about Daring Greatly at BlogHer.
And please check out Brené's amazing talk at TEDx Houston in 2010, and her Ordinary Courage blog.

*Legal Stuff: This was a paid review for the BlogHer Book Club, and I was provided a copy of the book by BlogHer. The opinions expressed are my own, and I was not required to say nice things.


  1. I saw her on Katie Couric the other day, I've been meaning to go buy a copy of her book.

    >>> it will prepare me if something bad happens. <<<

    I used to -and to some extent still do- feel like if I just worry about it enough and I plan enough and I do everything right I can ward off all the bad things. But it really is the thing that happens at 4 o'clock on a Tuesday that you could have never predicted. You have to wonder where humans got the idea that worry is some sort of magical amulet capable of warding off catastrophe.

    1. "You have to wonder where humans got the idea that worry is some sort of magical amulet capable of warding off catastrophe." YES! Exactly. It really doesn't work like that at all.

  2. I DVR'd Katie because Jenny (the Bloggess) was going to be on and Brene was the primary guest. What a powerful woman. I'm not much for non-fiction or self-help books, but she persuaded me with her awesome.

    1. Gotta love an episode that includes The Bloggess and Brené Brown. If only that could be on tv every day.

      Give in to the awesome. You won't be sorry.

  3. I will definitely pick this book up! I have been impressed every time I've been exposed to her wisdom!

  4. Have you read The Gifts of Imperfection? It's been on my "to read" list for over a year now and I haven't gotten around to it. Would love to hear if you've read it and if it's worth spending precious naptime reading!

    I love that you take pics of yellow things. In case you couldn't tell by my blog, I kind of have a thing for yellow!

    1. I quite enjoyed your yellow!!

      On The Gifts of Imperfection: I have not read it yet. But I plan on getting a copy soon. If it is anything like Daring Greatly, or has half of the wisdom and inspiration (and I have no reason to think it won't), it would be well worth the naptime reading.

  5. this book sounds powerful. Never heard of the book or of Brown but will check it out. I love what you're doing here Tracy..empowering all of us. Hope your day shines out there....

  6. Replies
    1. Yay! I hope you check it out. It is really good.

  7. I love her. She has a way of saying something that just stabs me in the heart, it's so truthful.

  8. I am seeing her speak at the Texas Conference for WOmen and I can't wait. I have officially put an order in for it at my library -- yay!


    1. Awesome!! I'm a little (okay, maybe more than a little) jealous of you for that.

      I want to hear what you think of it after you finish!