Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, by Brené Brown
This is a book that I listened to on audio. (Sometimes spending an immense amount of time in the car can be positive!) For those unfamiliar, Brené Brown is a PhD in Social Work whose research primarily focuses on shame and guilt.
Daring Greatly covers an incredibly wide cross-section of human life, including education, work, parenting, gender and connectedness. If anything, the book falters when it tries to cover too much ground—her research about men and vulnerability is particularly interesting, and deserves its own book. (If you’re intrigued by the inclusion of vulnerability at work, you may be interested in reading her newer book, Dare to Lead.) But on to the “guts” of the book:
In one of her early books, Brown writes, “Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change.” As a therapist, one of my fundamental beliefs is that, at every stage of life, each of us is capable of change. Since I read I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t), I’ve been talking to clients frequently about shame versus guilt, and importantly, sitting with uncomfortable feelings and being vulnerable.
Brown defines “vulnerability as uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure,” and goes on to say, “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.”
How powerful would it be if people could recognize their own vulnerability and the vulnerability of others! John Gottman, another therapist and researcher writes about “bids for connection,” and how meeting those bids for connection is what strengthens relationships.
How can you increase your engagement and live with courage and vulnerability this week?
AAMFT Approved Supervisor
Kentucky Board Approved MFT Supervisor
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Clinical Social Worker in KY
Licensed Clinical Social Worker in IN
Disclaimer: I purchased this book with my own funds and no expectations from the author and/or publisher for a positive review.