When I asked middle school students to describe the key to learning, one girl gave the following reply: “There are times when you can ask questions, or challenge ideas but if you have a teacher that doesn’t like that or the kids in the class make fun of people who do that, it’s bad. I think most of us learn that it’s best to just keep your head down, your mouth shut, and your grades high.”
This sad but true excerpt is just one of many thought-provoking quotes penned by author Brené Brown (2012) in her must read book Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead.
Being vulnerable does not equal being weak. We are hardwired to being connected to other human beings. Worthiness is about love and belonging. Wholeheartedness is the way to go. Being naked is a fear for many. Shame and blame ride together in the front seat. Transformative change needs honest, constructive, engaging feedback. Our greatest critic in the arena of life—ourselves. We can become prisoners when our worth depends on what others think. Joy and gratitude walk hand-in-hand.
This book and those statements above (plus so many more) have made me stop and reflect on who I am, what I stand for, what I believe in, and what direction I’d like my life to go.
Brené Brown’s genuineness, authenticity, sense of humor, and experiences are shared throughout the book. The title of the book was taken from a famous speech given by Theodore Roosevelt called Citizenship in a Republic or better known as The Man in the Arena:
She begins her book by telling of her invitation to speak at TEDxHouston (if you have not watched a TED talk, I highly recommend it). Her TED talk went viral (over 25 million hits as I write this blog. Whoa…it just went up a thousand). She became exposed to a global world. This made her want to crawl in a hole and hide…for the rest of her life. She became vulnerable, she dared greatly…which really means she was extremely courageous.
Brené Brown has shared her research passion through various platforms and with us in her book Daring Greatly. Want a dynamic book to start out your summer reading list? I dare you to read Daring Greatly.
Enjoy and let us know your thoughts.