Daring Greatly Book Cover

Daring Greatly

How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
Book by: Brené Brown
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What’s inside

In today’s competitive world, most of us feel that we don’t have enough. There’s always something more to be had, something else to be achieved. Selfies, social media posts, swanky destination holidays, expensive clothes – today’s world thrives on self-display. Yet beneath all this, lie our vulnerabilities which we desperately try to hide. Brené Brown argues in this highly influential book that we should embrace our vulnerabilities, instead of being ashamed of them. She debunks the widely held belief that vulnerability is a weakness. Instead, she posits that it is a strength which allows us to lead empowered, confident lives.

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Lesson 1. Shame and its harmful consequences.

Have you ever been shouted at in class or publicly ridiculed by your boss for having done something stupid? Incidents like these make us feel ashamed of ourselves. 

Shame is integral to the human experience. It is triggered by our constant worry about how others perceive us. But what is the underlying reason behind this? 

Humans are social creatures. We need the company of others to survive. All of us seek love, connection, and a sense of belonging with the larger community. So, whenever we fail to connect with people at large, we experience pain. This has also been proven by analysis of brain chemistry. 

So what causes shame? Shame is in fact caused by the belief that we aren’t worthy of attention, love, and company of others. When ashamed, we feel that we simply aren’t good enough. 

This thinking can be harmful since it stands in the way of you attaining your true potential.

Often we link our self-worth with something we have created. And based on how others judge our creation, we determine our value. This results in anxiety, and fear of rejection or being criticized. 

Shame also stops us from reaching out to others. Our feelings of worthlessness make us shut ourselves in a box. Whether it’s presenting your work before others, or saying something to another person, you become hesitant to put yourself out there.

In her research, Brown has discovered that shame erodes our belief that we can improve ourselves. Other research has also shown that shame leads to negative behaviour. 

Though it is natural to experience shame, the impairing effects of shame within present social dynamics, are highly concerning.

Lesson 2. The culture of ‘never enough’ and fear.

Brown argues that most of us have two things in common – feeling of scarcity and fear. Let’s try to understand this. 

Today’s world is overpopulated with narcissists. Self-obsessed celebrities, craze of taking selfies, the world of social media – all these contribute to the culture of narcissism that has taken over the world. Within this culture of excess and self-display, most of us feel that we don’t have enough. Or that we aren’t good enough.

This leads to fear of falling out of the pack. We fear we won’t be accepted anymore. We start resenting ourselves. 

For example, we compare ourselves with Hollywood stars, models, millionaires. We aim for standards we know we can’t live up to. This in turn triggers shame, and feelings of unworthiness. Suddenly our humble lives are not worth it

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About the author

Brené Brown Image

Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston, where she holds the Huffington Foundation-Brené Brown Endowed Chair at the Graduate College of Social Work. She is also a visiting professor in management at the University of Texas at Aust...

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Chapter List
  • Lesson 1. Shame and its harmful consequences.
  • Lesson 2. The culture of ‘never enough’ and fear.
  • Lesson 3. Vulnerability is a sign of strength, not weakness.
  • Lesson 4. Don’t be hesitant to embrace vulnerability.
  • Lesson 5. Shame is an obstacle in the path of accepting your vulnerability.
  • Lesson 6. Stop trying to mask your vulnerability.
  • Lesson 7. The culture of shame and why it’s harmful.
  • Lesson 8. How influential and important people can introduce a culture of vulnerability in their workspace.
  • Lesson 9. Teaching your children to be vulnerable will empower them.
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FAQs

In the summary of Daring Greatly book, there are 9 key lessons. These lessons include:

  1. Lesson 1. Shame and its harmful consequences.
  2. Lesson 2. The culture of ‘never enough’ and fear.
  3. Lesson 3. Vulnerability is a sign of strength, not weakness.
  4. Lesson 4. Don’t be hesitant to embrace vulnerability.
  5. Lesson 5. Shame is an obstacle in the path of accepting your vulnerability.
  6. Lesson 6. Stop trying to mask your vulnerability.
  7. Lesson 7. The culture of shame and why it’s harmful.
  8. Lesson 8. How influential and important people can introduce a culture of vulnerability in their workspace.
  9. Lesson 9. Teaching your children to be vulnerable will empower them.

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown was published in .

Once you've completed Daring Greatly book, We suggest reading out Gods of the Upper Air as a great follow-up read.

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