Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday: “Daring Greatly” by Brené Brown

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Being vulnerable isn’t comfortable, but it is an essential element of close relationships. It’s kinda like going on a trip: there are unknowns and inconveniences, but there is also adventure and fun. Inevitably, one goes along with the other.

Brown’s writing style in her most widely read book, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, can be a bit tedious at times, but the main message is the important thing: don’t be safe. Take risks. Embrace the vulnerability adventure.

Read this book to internalize this lesson and learn how to put it into practice.

Key Takeaways

  • In this and other books, the author argues that vulnerability is not a weakness, but a strength. This is, in large part, because it is an important element in an authentic, wholehearted life.
  • The title of the book comes from a quote by Theodore Roosevelt, where he praises those who are “in the arena” daring greatly, even if they experience failure or criticism.
  • “Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center, of meaningful human experiences,” she writes.
  • The two biggest hindrances to vulnerability are fear and shame. Recognizing deeply held fears as well as shame triggers is an important step toward developing resilience.
  • Practicing self-compassion is another way to overcome shame.
  • When trying to understand someone’s seemingly harmful behavior, notice how shame and fear of vulnerability might play a part. Selfishness, for example, might reveal a fear of being ordinary.
  • To find out what areas of life bring you shame, examine your “never enough” stories. In what way do you feel inadequate?
  • Sometimes, we associate vulnerability ” … with dark emotions like fear, shame, grief, sadness, and disappointment—emotions that we don’t want to discuss, even when they profoundly affect the way we live, love, work, and even lead. What most of us fail to understand and what took me a decade of research to learn is that vulnerability is also the cradle of the emotions and experiences that we crave. Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity.”

About the Author

Brené Brown is an author, speaker, and research professor who has gained widespread recognition for her work on topics such as vulnerability, courage, shame, and empathy. Born in 1965 in San Antonio, Texas, Brown holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Social Work degree, and a Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work.

Brown’s research focuses on human emotions and how they impact our connections with others. She has conducted extensive studies on shame and vulnerability, exploring how these emotions influence our ability to engage in authentic relationships and embrace our true selves. Through her research, Brown has developed transformative insights and strategies for cultivating resilience, empathy, and wholehearted living.

One of Brown’s most influential books is “The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are,” published in 2010. In this book, she encourages readers to embrace vulnerability, cultivate self-compassion, and let go of the pressure to meet societal expectations. Brown shares her personal experiences and provides practical tools for living a more authentic and fulfilling life.

Brown’s work has resonated with millions of people worldwide, and she has given popular TED Talks that have garnered millions of views. Her engaging speaking style and ability to blend personal anecdotes with research findings have made her a sought-after speaker and educator. Through her books, talks, and workshops, Brown has inspired countless individuals to embrace vulnerability, develop resilience, and foster deeper connections with others.


Can’t quite get to all the nonfiction and self-help books that interest you? Read Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday here.


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