Friday, March 31, 2017

March Book Club: Daring Greatly

Guys, I can't believe that it is the end of March! This year is just flying by (which I say every single month, btw). I'm excited to share my thoughts on Daring Greatly by Brene Brown! 

Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis on Goodreads: Every day we experience the uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that define what it means to be vulnerable, or to dare greatly. Whether the arena is a new relationship, an important meeting, our creative process, or a difficult family conversation, we must find the courage to walk into vulnerability and engage with our whole hearts.

In Daring Greatly, Dr. Brown challenges everything we think we know about vulnerability. Based on twelve years of research, she argues that vulnerability is not weakness, but rather our clearest path to courage, engagement, and meaningful connection. The book that Dr. Brown’s many fans have been waiting for, Daring Greatly will spark a new spirit of truth—and trust—in our organizations, families, schools, and communities.

My thoughts: First of all, if you haven't already, go check out Brene Brown's TED talk. It's super interesting and is what inspired me to choose Daring Greatly for March. She is an engaging writer who has lots of awesome advice/research. That being said, I had difficulty with how detailed and long this book was. In certain spots, I wasn't as interested in the material and found myself skim reading. In other parts, I was completely engrossed. 

I loved the fact that Brown shows us that we ALL have vulnerability, no matter how strong we think we are. In her research, she found that vulnerability was inextricably linked to shame. Unfortunately, to overcome that, we have to acknowledge the shame and vulnerability in our lives (darn!). It's not an easy road, but I thought this book gave some great suggestions for how to open ourselves up. 

Brene's ideas on scarcity (the never-enough problem) were awesome because it's a trap I constantly fall into. She notes that the never enough mentality is with us often... we wake up and we haven't had enough sleep, we don't have enough time to do everything we need to, we aren't smart enough, pretty enough, healthy enough.. as you can imagine the list goes on and on. 

Overall, this book reminds us that vulnerability isn't a weakness, it's a strength. There is NO person on earth (seriously, none! not even the most perfect person you can imagine), who doesn't experience vulnerability and shame. Accepting vulnerability is the way to experience great strength and to be a better friend/spouse/parent. I'm not a parent yet, but there is a pretty awesome section on parenting too. 

Honestly, the biggest reason that I didn't rate this book higher was the language. I don't like reading a bunch of language, especially when it is completely unnecessary in a nonfiction book. 

Read this book if: You struggle with vulnerability (and if you read the above, you'd know that you're kidding yourself if you think you don't!) and want to understand it/find overcoming strategies. 

Inspiring thoughts from the author: 

I define vulnerability as uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. With that definition in mind, let's think about love. Waking up every day and loving someone who may or may not love us back, whose safety we can't ensure, who may stay in our lives or may live without a moment's notice, who may be loyal to the day they die or betray us tomorrow-- that's vulnerability. Love is uncertain. It's incredibly risky. And loving someone leaves us emotionally exposed. Yes, it's scary and yes, we're open to being hurt, but can you imagine  your life without loving or being loved? Daring Greatly, pg 34

Shame can only rise so far in any system before people disengage to protect themselves. When we're disengaged, we don't show up, we don't contribute, and we stop caring. Daring Greatly, pg 192

The counterapproach to living in scarcity in not about abundance. In fact, I think abundance and scarcity are two sides of the same coin. The opposite of "never enough" isn't abundance or "more than you could ever imagine." The opposite of scarcity is enough, or what I call wholeheartedness. Daring Greatly, pg 20

Please comment and let me know what you thought of Daring Greatly! Go over to Morgan's blog to check out what she thought.

Don't forget to check out our April book, Marriage Matters! You can look at the January and February books here. 

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