Daring Greatly

If I asked whether you’d like to wallow in the dull ache of emptiness or plunge into life as a vivid adventure, how would you respond? Could you embrace the challenge of wholehearted living with honesty? Many of us wrap ourselves in the comforts of mediocrity and anonymity, but shrink back from admitting our fears.
The key to abundant living, which Brown calls wholeheartedness, is a surprising and unsettling factor. When most read the underlying secret, we wish it could be something else. Perhaps anything else. The author herself admitted the same initial resistance to this essence of life, the dreaded vulnerability.
Dr. BrenĂ© Brown’s best-selling book outlines the myths of vulnerability. She reveals the courage of a quality most people dismiss as weakness, and whispers the truth of its inevitability. Brown also distinguishes between healthy transparency and oversharing.
Daring Greatly underscores the importance of genuine connection, a dying art in this increasingly anonymous world. Trust and authenticity defeat the enemies of our identity and purpose. Brown exposes our battle with “shame gremlins,” and lists techniques to maintain victory. For example, “The research team found that . . . when people shared their stories and experiences, their physical health improved, their doctor’s visits decreased, and they showed significant decreases in their stress hormones.”
She warns against wrapping ourselves in counterproductive armor, however. When we try to self-protect by opting out of vulnerability, wholehearted living remains beyond reach. For example, many of us try to guard ourselves by resisting joy. We become fearful of loss in the midst of life’s most precious moments. Gratitude serves as a divine solution to bridge the disconnect between insecurity and hope. This section encourages readers to remove all forms of false armor, including perfectionism, numbing, cynicism, and others. Healthy alternatives exist for each problematic defense strategy.
Daring Greatly acknowledges the best of us remain imperfect. We all fall short of our own ideals at times. Instead of masking our imperfections, we must mind the gap instead. Honesty and transparency improve our ability to lead and parent as well as continue moving toward our ideals. The book emphasizes vulnerability as a foundation for effective parenting and engagement as a primary quotient for occupational success. Across various areas and roles, Brown illuminates the discomfort of genuineness as well as its importance in living with significance.
The title springs from Theodore Roosevelt’s 1910 speech, “It is not the critic who counts . . . 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 errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds . . . who spends himself in a worthy cause . . . and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly . . .”
Consider the historic call of Roosevelt alongside Brown’s challenge. Will you dare greatly, live with genuineness and vulnerability? Read Dr. BrenĂ© Brown’s book (available on Amazon), and share your comments about your own journey to wholeheartedness.
I look forward to hearing your heart.
Be Encouraged,

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Ellen Chauvin

    Tina, I’ve read so much about Brene Brown lately, but haven’t yet picked up one of her books. Daring Greatly sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book.

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