The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings on Authenticity, Connection, & Courage
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The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings on Authenticity, Connection, & Courage

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  14,677 ratings  ·  1,812 reviews
Show Up and Let Yourself be Seen
Is vulnerability the same as weakness? "In our culture," teaches Dr. Bren? Brown, "we associate vulnerability with emotions we want to avoid such as fear, shame, and uncertainty. Yet we too often lose sight of the fact that vulnerability is also the birthplace of joy, belonging, creativity, authenticity, and love." On The Power of Vulnerabi...more
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Published November 15th 2012 by Sounds True (first published January 1st 2012)
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The Power of Vulnerability by Brené BrownThe 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated by Timothy FerrissHow to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale CarnegieI Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit SethiGetting Things Done by David Allen
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Feb 19, 2013 Cecily rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Cecily by: Everyone
This book came highly recommended by seemingly the entire internet, and the concept was one I'm VERY familiar with. I'd watched a couple of Brene Brown's TED talks and I was impressed with the topic of her research and with how long and how thoroughly she's been researching.

Oh yeah, and I also remembered that I am the most sewn up and invulnerable control freak that I know. It's been something I'm aware of, and I wasn't always this way. But I know it's keeping me from joy and love in a lot of a...more
I usually don't bother writing reviews for books I can't finish. And usually I give the book a fair chance -- say, at least 100 pages -- before giving up. Some books I even read all the way to the end before wishing I could just get my time back.

In this case, I read an interview with the author in O Magazine, and the interview was so interesting that I immediately requested this book from the library.

Well, once the book arrived, I quickly discovered that I had trouble following even the introdu...more
Timm DiStefano
"For me, and for many of us, our first waking thought of the day is "I didn't get enough sleep." The next one is "I don't have enough time." Whether true or not, that thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it. We spend most of the hours and the days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining, or worrying about what we don't have enough of... Before we even sit up in bed, before our feet touch the floor, we're already inadequate, already be...more
This book was recommended on a blog that I follow by a person whose thinking somewhat mirrors mine. She recommended it in a big way, so I was anxious to read it. And I'm feeling odd about not giving it a higher rating, because I think it probably deserves one. I'm giving it three stars not because I have issues with the content (exactly) or with the writing, but because the subject matter is old hat to me.

Ms. Brown is fairly well known as a speaker and writer on the subject of 'shame' and how it...more
Do you want to change the world?
Do you want to have more powerful interpersonal relationships?
Do you want to explore into your own soul
to make sense of your life?
Do you want to live whole-hearted?
Do you want to rid yourself from shame?
Do you want to understand men and women better?
Do you want to give your heart a hug?

I thought I would do something different this time and give you a list of questions for this book review. This book is so jam-packed with the "hard stuff" that I don't even want to...more
Sarah Nicole
Daring Greatly is dense with information on how to combat shame and become vulnerable, authentic, and courageous - not just in romantic relationships, but at work and with your children as well. I have always struggled with vulnerability, but Brown makes a very convincing case as to why it is so important - we can't live fully and wholeheartedly without it. I look forward to implementing some of her strategies, and I am sure that I will be revisiting often. Really a must read for anyone who feel...more
Brene Brown is fabulous, and I’m so happy I finally got to read this book. I started reading one of her other books, one that was more specifically about her research around shame, and it wasn’t what I needed to be reading then. This, though, was what I needed. She still talks a lot about shame and about fear, and it’s in ways that are relevant for me in my day-to-day life and my work.
One of my favorite parts is her discussion of how over-sharing is not the same as vulnerability. That’s so impo...more
Teddy Roosevelt is spinning in his grave if he can hear how his famous quote about "daring greatly" has been turned into sappy psychobabble.

The main theme of the book is "shame." To the author, this is a fundamentally bad thing, even though she acknowledges that shameless people are sociopaths. She also makes the claim that shame has never been shown to be helpful. Actually, there is research suggesting that shame-based societies have less crime and mental illness than societies that are more i...more
Every single day we face the decision to be vulnerable or dare greatly. Brown uses the book as a medium to explain how we can take shame and vulnerability and exchange them for meaning and purpose in our lives. There aren't really any step-by-step instructions so much as a thought process that needs to be changed in the way we think and approach circumstances.

The book is going to really fly off the shelves for those who have a need for change in their lives or enjoy reading self-help books. It i...more
Kelly Elmore
The premise of this book rocked, and I was very interested in learning more about how to be more vulnerable and dare to do more things. However, the book was written completely in generalities. I need to hear the details of your research, the way you helped clients overcome their problems with vulnerability, facts, and stories. I need concrete advice and concrete science. Couldn't finish this fluffy-ass book.
I picked up Daring Greatly after watching Brene Brown's amazing TED Talk on the power of vulnerability. I find it fascinating that someone can conduct research centered on human topics such as shame, vulnerability, connection, and happiness. When I first entered college I possessed the notion that research was something done with test tubes and beakers in the back of a laboratory, but Brown's work shows that in-depth research can apply to anyone, inside or outside of academia.

The quality of Brow...more
Christy Johnson
This was a great book - one of the better books of this type that I've read. There were some really great thoughts that will change me. Even with all the analysis and tools, I still struggle with how to actually make vulnerability happen in my own life. Some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena...more
I liked what I learned from this book, but boy, it was hard to keep reading at times because the writing simply didn't hold my attention. I finished it over so many sittings, picking it up and putting it down, that I almost forgot what the first part was about when I finished it. It wasn't that it was academically dry, because it wasn't at all, but that even with the anecdotes, it became dull and redundant after the first few chapters. I wish it went a bit deeper into the concepts instead of rep...more
I was almost resolved not to read this because I first learned about it from an Oprah magazine interview. The fact that the author is a shame and vulnerability researcher weren't selling points because it sounded like it would be a self help book that would provoke so many uncomfortable feelings inside. Want to feel vulnerable? Want to feel shame? Not really, not today.
But once I chose to read it, I saw that the author was pointing to a broader definition of vulnerability, one that encompasses b...more
Sep 10, 2013 Patricia is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
These are my favorite parts of this book:

"Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It's going to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn't change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging." (p. 10)

"When it comes to paren...more
I'm torn about the value of this book. I have been a Brene Brown fan for quite some time as an online course I teach for another university requires students to watch her TED talk on vulnerability. It has moved me on several levels. My favorite quote is that vulnerability is the birthplace of joy. This book dives deeper into the issues behind vulnerability, namely shame and guilt. Hence, the book is actually quite difficult to read. It's a bit dark in places with light at the end of the tunnel....more
Rachel Smalter Hall
If you're already familiar with Brené Brown's popular TED talk, Daring Greatly follows much in the same vein.

I wasn't familiar with her work, and expected this book to contain practical insights into creativity, innovation, and risk-taking. But instead it remained wholly in the territory of Brown's academic research on shame and vulnerability.

Brown's work is interesting, but not at all what I'd intended to read. With a giant pile of TBR books waiting on my nightstand, my time spent on this book...more
I feel like it was beautiful serendipity that I stumbled upon Daring Greatly. After reading an interview with Brené Brown someone had posted on Facebook and then finally watching her TED talks on vulnerability and shame (another colleague had recommended to me a couple years ago, and I'm just now getting on that beautiful train), I knew I had to get my hands on this book.

Three days later I carried the book in my hand. Three days after that I had devoured it. It turns out that these had...more
Julie Ekkers
Daring Greatly presents a strong case for making one's self more vulnerable, which the author would define as showing up and letting one's self be seen--being the man in the arena from the Teddy Roosevelt speech from which the book takes its name. Brown's writing style is knowledgeable, but straightforward, just like her TED talks. Just like those talks, this book gave me a lot of terrific things to think about: the relationship between vulnerability and trust, the importance of boundaries and h...more
I first heard about Brené Brown from one of my favorite personal blogs, and there I found her TEDx talk on vulnerability and shame. From then on, I was a fan, and I really wanted to read her book that talked more about vulnerability. I considered my 2013 as a year of learning about vulnerability (besides learning how to be brave), and I thought that it was such a mind-blowingly simple thing, this vulnerability. I mean, it's simple because it's all in us, but it's also possibly quite the hardest...more
Okay so this author uses Harry Potter, fellow TED favorite Ken Robinson, Top Gun, Teddy Roosevelt, John Gottman, and even The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin... How could I not like this book with all those references to items I like? Yet, she bases this book around solid research and combines together her own personal stories in the right moments to demonstrate her thesis.

Daring greatly... A phrase she has used from Roosevelt.... She writes, "everything I've learned from over a decade of re...more
Nov 13, 2013 Claire added it
Love, love, love this! I listened to the audio version, which is an audio learning course, presented by her as a series of sessions. She balances her own research with other well known authors and researchers, in addition to her own experiences as great examples of how to apply her theories in daily life.

I am a big picture person, and I loved how she could weave together various aspects of our psychology to formulate an almost all encompassing thesis of living life "whole heartedly". From redef...more
Wow, what a book! The title comes from an amazing quote by Theodore Roosevelt encouraging us all to give things our best shot("...the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena..who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again...who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly...")

The basic thesis is that in order to live our best lives, we need to be vulnerable: to go all out in...more
Originally published at Reading Reality

This is a difficult book to review, because it doesn't tell a narrative. Instead it deals with tough concepts like shame and vulnerability, and the need that all humans have to be connected to each other. About how easy it seems to disconnect, and how much it hurts us when we do.

Of course, reviewing could be said to count as "criticism" in that famous "Man in the Arena" speech from Theodore Roosevelt that Dr. Brown quotes from above and throughout the book....more
I kept thinking all the way through this audio "book" which is actually a set of talks Brown gave over a period of two days at some type of conference, that everyone (most of all, me) needs to hear this. A researcher, a social worker, and a communicator that is attempting to do what she is "preaching," Brown's message is relevant to every human being if he or she has the courage to first listen to it and then apply it. Half way through this audio book, I ordered her book, The Gifts of Imperfecti...more
This book should be required reading for authors! My full review here:
I'm one of those people who are hesitant about picking up self-help books because they either are formulaic, written like a commercial (usually with something the author has for sale on their website) or I read about one-third of them and lose interest. With this being my experience, I debated long and hard whether to purchase Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. I finally decided to go ahead because the topic of vulnerability, livi...more
Melissa Jill
This book was a good read. I think it is especially helpful for parents and business leaders. I found the last two chapters to be the most engaging. I think the author did a good job of synthesizing a lot of research that most of us would probably find dull and boring and making it understandable and relatable. But I'm not sure I had a lot of take-aways from this book that will be especially memorable. In the interest of TRYING to remember some of it, here are a few key thoughts that jumped out...more
This is the book I was hoping for when reading the Gifts of Imperfection. I enjoyed gifts and got a lot out of it but it felt shallow and Oprah-ized. This is much more my speed. I still felt like there could be more, but I eat 900 page novels for breakfast. I digress....for those of us struggling through difficult periods of life, this book is a life preserver. It's a reminder that it's ok that everything is less than you want it to be right now. Sometimes just showing up is the courageous thing...more
This book was fantastic--it gave me some new insights and truths that I had not connected before. It really affirmed the choices I have been trying to make during the last several years, and I was actually able to recognize some of the ways that my children are positively affected, by how I live.

I did not know vulnerability was intimately connected with joy---this was new for me but insightful as I often feel overwhelmed with vulnerability just in the moment that joy washes over me. The experie...more
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Dr. Brené Brown is a writer, researcher, and educator. She is a member of the research faculty at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work where she has spent the past ten years studying connection - specifically authenticity, belonging, and shame, and the affect these powerful emotions have on the way we live, love, parent, work and build relationships.

Dr. Brown teaches graduate...more
More about Brené Brown...
The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are I Thought It Was Just Me: Women Reclaiming Power and Courage in a Culture of Shame The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting: Raising Children with Courage, Compassion, and Connection Men, Women & Worthiness: The Experience of Shame and the Power of Being Enough Women & Shame: Reaching Out, Speaking Truths and Building Connection

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“Don't try to win over the haters; you are not a jackass whisperer.” 466 likes
“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” 191 likes
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