Brene Brown is a researcher regarding topics such as vulnerability, shame, and guilt. Her Ph.D. in Social Work paved the way for a multitude of published books, articles, and Ted Talks. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, is a transformational experience; redefining the way we interact with each other, ourselves, and life, through vulnerability and shame.

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, can most effectively be established as a “self-help” book. Brown navigates the complexity and vast importance of human connection through vulnerability. She moved through her narrative by referencing her research findings, and observations she’s found in the real world.

The beginning, “What It Means to Dare Greatly,” draws in readers by defining the title of the book, and creates a starting point for change within the readers. While discussing one general subject of vulnerability, Brown weaves her other subtopics into a cohesive and compelling argument.

Brown freely flows through her piece by topically arranging her subjects. When shifting the focus from vulnerability, to shame, and so forth, she never neglects to intertwine her thoughts in a comprehensible manner.

The research over the course of her career prompts the audience to display empathy and compassion, which is, according to Brown, what comes out of fostering vulnerability. She states, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity…. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.” In this sense, merely reading the book is opening oneself to the idea of vulnerability.

Brown expresses that vulnerability is at the core of human interaction and relationships. To be able to open your heart and mind to someone shows that you have a trust and respect in them. Without this, it’s impossible to form meaningful connections. Which is why it is so crucial that we can be as aware of our vulnerability as possible.

Brown confronts the issue that plagues so many of us. It was awkward, uneasy, almost unbearable at points, to realize that I am not being the best version of myself. Especially when it comes to a topic I thought I knew so well. I’m emotional, and I like to talk about feelings. I thought that I undoubtedly knew myself when it came to being vulnerable.

I sat through 263 pages, swallowing my pride with every sentence, to understand that I am not as vulnerable as I thought myself to be. In fact, I discovered that I was approaching vulnerability all wrong. Being vulnerable in my mind was opening up and sharing my thoughts with anyone. But according to Brown, vulnerability is sharing with people that care about you.

The reason why this book is truly more important is because Brown explores traits that everyone possesses. This is unlike many other self-help books that discuss anxiety, depression or are too vague and discuss general desires such as happiness.

Self-help books that guide you through predictable and trivial advice are often times too common. And this lack of predictability is exactly what made Daring Greatly so enthralling. In my mind, Brene Brown almost reinvented the self-help book; the ones that actually help!

My only downfall is that towards the end, I felt like her message had less of an effect on me. This is due to the fact that it was discussing her research within the realm of parenting. Even though it was not as applicable to myself, it was nonetheless valuable. I realized the complexities of parenting, especially during moments of shame.

Ultimately, I trust that every single person would benefit from reading Daring Greatly. If we all allowed ourselves to open up and acknowledge our shame, guilt, and vulnerability, our connections would be so much more impactful.

Brene Brown captures the essence of her book through the quote, “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”

This is not an easy read, but it is undeniably worth it.



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