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Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

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4.24  ·  Rating details ·  56,479 Ratings  ·  4,725 Reviews
Researcher and thought leader Dr. Brené Brown offers a powerful new vision that encourages us to dare greatly: to embrace vulnerability and imperfection, to live wholeheartedly, and to courageously engage in our lives.

“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
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Hardcover, 287 pages
Published September 11th 2012 by Avery (first published 2012)
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Popular Answered Questions

Fran I would think so! I'm only 10% in so far and there's already a lot of scope for discussion and learning.
Suzanne Not at all. The concepts apply to any relationship: work, family, love, friends.
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Community Reviews

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Cecily
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
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Andy
Jun 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
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Timm DiStefano
Dec 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
"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
Jane
Jun 16, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
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Brenda
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Daring Greatly was not what I expected it to be instead it gave me a very different outlook to vulnerability and a new understanding of what it means to engage with our vulnerability, understand how shame and shaming others affects us, how to combat shame, and being vulnerable for the sake of making real connections with people. Not only has it helped me understand my vulnerability but understand other people’s vulnerability and understand scarcity and how wholeheartedness can affect us.

I highl
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Alice Gold
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
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Robyn
Nov 18, 2012 rated it liked it
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
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Kelly
Mar 10, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sarah Nicole
Sep 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Theresa
Mar 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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
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Gwen
May 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Gwen by: Larissa
Shelves: well-being
I really, really, really wanted to like this book. It came so highly recommended, and it started off so well. The first chapter was spectacular--I found myself nodding along to just about everything: feeling vulnerable, a culture of scarcity, the new economy, etc. This book was speaking to me. My fears, my anxieties, my worries. And I hoped Brown would be the person to help guide me through it all.

But no.

The book promptly went downhill--and fast. Instead of direction and guidance, we get narrati
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Jennifer
4.5*

I read a memoir recently that discussed the importance of connecting with people, being vulnerable, and feeling gratitude. I’ve also read books about how childhood trauma and events shape the way we are, how we act/react, and how we think. The concepts in this book are not new, but some of Brene’s findings from her 12 years of research are, and the way she communications her findings are eye opening and thought changing. I found myself re-reading many of the passages because they were simple
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Thomas
Feb 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
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Liz S.
Jun 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
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Patricia
Sep 10, 2013 is currently reading it
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
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Tima
Sep 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
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
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Christy Cole
Jul 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
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Gail
Sep 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-read-in-2014
I did it again with this book: I pretty much dog-earred every other page! Something I'm working on in 2016 is scaling back with this technique, especially when I have a tendency to abuse it. But dang it all if Brene's insights weren't so great in this (my first read of hers) that I couldn't help myself. I'll share some of my favorites below, but overall a few thoughts:

1) Brene's writing grew on me--I've read enough about her to know she feels her strength is as a researcher, less as a writer. In
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Melody Warnick
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I didn’t want to read this because I thought, “Shame and vulnerability aren't really issues for me." HAHAHAHAHAHA.
Dominic
Nov 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 TED.com 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
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Stephanie
Oct 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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Chrissy
Jul 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
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Charity
Jun 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Julie Ekkers
Oct 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Darcy
Oct 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this. It's going on the "reread when you need to be fortified/inspired/emboldened" shelf. Also, I don't have kids but I thought the chapter on parenting was just great. Note to self: reread that when you do have a kid. Many thanks to my childhood BFF for recommending.
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
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Jazzmin Hunter
Dec 14, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: psychology-crap
There wouldn't be much left if all the sappy autobiographical stuff was removed. The audiobook reader is irritating too. Imagine a breathy voice saying something like "Once again I amazed myself at how amazing I am in spite of all my humility and vulnerability." and it would pretty much sum up my impression of this book.
Laura
I love love love this book and want to re - read it. I want to give it to all of my friends and family members because I truly feel like daring greatly will change our lives, our families, and our communities in such a powerful way. Brene Brown is amazing and I am so grateful for her research and that she wrote this book. SO good!
Violinknitter
Mar 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
All the stars!!! If I could give six, or seven, or ten stars, I would. I'm planning on re-reading this book many times, because her insight into wholehearted living, vulnerability, & shame vs. guilt is so powerful. Lots of insight for how I want to teach my students, as well.
Rudy Tyburczy
Sep 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Everyone who breathes air should read this book. It can -- not will -- change your life, but that's mostly on you. Anyways, read. Brown is super great and smart and puts in work. Love it.
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Dr. 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 has spent the past sixteen years studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy and is the author of three #1 New York Times bestsellers – The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, and Rising Strong. Her latest boo
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More about Brené Brown...

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“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” 451 likes
“Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.” 421 likes
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