Daring Greatly is another bestseller by a favorite author, Ph.D. and social worker Brene Brown. In this book, Brown looks at vulnerability and how it can help you to develop positive feelings like joy, love, and passion.
When you have developed such positive feelings about yourself only then are you able to get the courage to face life, to dare and to take things up a notch.
She states that we could all use a little vulnerability in our lives because embracing it means courage. This daring Greatly summary will detail everything you need to know about this self-help book.
Brown describes in her book what it means to dare greatly. She states that “Vulnerability is not weakness, and the uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure we face every day are not optional. Our only choice is a question of engagement.
Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and the clarity of our purpose; the level to which we protect ourselves from being vulnerable is a measure of our fear and disconnection.”
Chapter 1: Looking Inside Our Culture of “Never Enough”- “What makes this constant assessing and comparing so self-defeating is that we are often comparing our lives, our marriages, our families, and our communities to unattainable, media-driven visions of perfection, or we’re holding up our reality against our own !fictional account of how great someone else has it.
Nostalgia is also a dangerous form of comparison. “ink about how often we compare ourselves and our lives to a memory that nostalgia has so completely edited that it never really existed…”
In this chapter, she talks about how we have been conditioned to think being normal is less. Everyone is aiming for higher in everything they do. Sometimes you just have to settle for what you have and be happy with it. When you accept it at that level, stop comparisons and chasing unattainable dreams you will be happier, and success will soon find you.
Chapter 2: Debunking the Vulnerability Myths – in this chapter the author talks about some common myths about being vulnerable. Here are the myths she debunks so profoundly;
Myth 1: Vulnerability is Weakness – here is what she says about it “Yes, we are exposed entirely when we are vulnerable. Yes, we are in the torture chamber that we call uncertainty. And yes, we’re taking a huge emotional risk when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable.
But there’s no equation where taking risks, braving uncertainty, and opening ourselves up to emotional exposure equals weakness.” Simply when you are vulnerable, you are not weak.
Myth 2: “I don’t do vulnerability” – since vulnerability is the base through which all emotions are built you cannot escape being vulnerable. You will face weakness every single day of your life only that sometimes you will not notice it quickly.
Myth 3: Vulnerability is putting it all Out there – Many people think that when they are vulnerable, they pester others, overshare their feelings or overexpose themselves. The author notes that vulnerability is about sharing your experiences and feelings with a small inner circle of people who you trust and those that can help you.
She goes further to explain how you can determine which people you can trust when you feel vulnerable using the “marble jar theory.”
Myth 4: We Go at it alone – Brown disagrees with being a lone wolf. When you are daring greatly, you cannot go at it all alone. You need to find the support of the people who you can trust and those that will always be there for you.
Chapter 3: Understanding and Combating Shame – Brene explains the twelve categories of shame that you can go through. These are; appearance and body image, money and work, motherhood/ fatherhood, family, parenting, mental and physical health, addiction, sex, aging, religion, surviving trauma and being stereotyped or labeled.
Brene goes further to explain how shame feels and gives a solution on what to do about it so you can dare greatly after overcoming shame.
“Shame resilience…is about finding a middle path, an option that allows us to stay engaged and to find the emotional courage we need to respond in a way that aligns with our values.”
Chapter 4: The Vulnerability Armory – In this chapter, Brene discusses ways in which we try to avoid vulnerability. The techniques she explains here that people often use to prevent themselves from vulnerability are; perfectionism, foreboding joy, numbing, Viking or victim (win or lose), flood lighting, smash and grab, serpentining, and cynicism, criticism, cool, cruelty.
Chapter 5: Closing the Disengagement Divide – this chapter speaks about why people disengage. Brene notes that disengagement is the core of the many problems she sees in families, businesses, and communities. To close the gap, you need to change your aspirational values (what you want to do) to your practiced values (what you actually do).
Many people have aspirational values but they never really practice them. Make a list of your aspirational values and check your schedule every day to see what values you have practiced so you can improve over time.
Chapter 6: Disruptive Engagement: Daring to Rehumanize Education and Work – in this chapter, Brene talks about how to identify shame and disengagement in systems such as schools, organizations, families, and community.
She identifies the need that people have to pass blame around and how to identify that culture. She also talks about feedback and how it is a core element of being vulnerable.
Chapter 7: Wholehearted Parenting: Daring to be the Adults We Want Our Children to be – this part is all about how parents can parent their kids so that they are able to face life in future as great darers.
She states that ““Who we are and how we engage with the world are much stronger predictors of how our children will do than what we know about parenting.”
What I Like About the Book
I like the way Brene Brown writes her books. They are very articulate, easy to read but yet very profound. She ensures that a point will not pass you by. The knowledge is broken down into subheadings all along so that you get bite-sized nuggets of wisdom as you read on.
Why You Should Read the Book
This book is highly actionable and provides insights that you can take and use in your life. For instance, the book will teach you how to avoid the “people in the stands.” These are the people who do not matter most in your life. Stop caring about what they say and their judgments of you.
This book will help you to become free through accepting who you are and facing life with that much enthusiasm.