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Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone
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Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone

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4.16  ·  Rating details ·  48,324 ratings  ·  4,565 reviews
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - A timely and important new book that challenges everything we think we know about cultivating true belonging in our communities, organizations, and culture, from the #1 bestselling author of Rising Strong, Daring Greatly, and The Gifts of Imperfection

"True belonging doesn't require us to change who we are. It requires us to be who we are."
...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published September 12th 2017 by Random House
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 ·  48,324 ratings  ·  4,565 reviews


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Mehrsa
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
She phoned this one in. There's good stuff in here because she's awesome, but there's not enough to warrant a new book. I do wish she would try again to think through tribe and inclusion. Her insights are good and useful, but there is no coherent theory or story here.
Olga Tomchin
Huge disappointment. My partner who read the book with me pointed out that Brown mentions that she has a problem with not giving uninformed opinions on political topics but then she goes and does exactly that with much of this book. This is white liberal centrist lady kumbaya bullshit. She doesn't seem to understand how systemic violence works or oppression. There's an extreme amount of false equivalency in the book. Calling trump a pig is not at all similar to him dehumanizing women. ...more
Lucille Zimmerman
I gave this book five stars because as usual Brown has done her research, and she is a masterful storyteller. These are the two passions of my life: research and storytelling.

I'm a Licensed Professional Counselor and an author, so I devour Brown's books. My favorite is The Power of Vulnerability. I have watched her TED talks probably a hundred times. I tell every one of my clients to read her books and watch her videos. I'm a huge fan.

However, this book wasn't fun or pleasurable the way her
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Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters
Library overdrive Audiobook.... read by Breen Brown
Note: I enjoyed this so much that I’m considering buying the Audiobook.
There may be thousands of people around the world who are huge fans .....
and even though I had read one of her books ( wasn’t all that impressed), and later listened to one of her Audiobook’s ( I was much more impressed), I still didn’t consider myself a fan of her work - and quite frankly I really didn’t really ‘get’ what her deal was in the world. In fact - I didn’t even
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Emma
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sorry Brene Brown, you lost me on this one. I love you but all I could think throughout this was "easy for you to say, white middle class Christian lady."
ttg
Nov 07, 2017 rated it liked it
I'm a fan of Brown's work (and TED talk), but this was just okay. I don't think she had enough pulled together/thought through for a full release, so it feels not as complete. As if rushed for a deadline.

I like the ideas of being brave with one's conviction, and willing to put yourself out there, even if you're alone to stand up for what you believe, but this still felt very *white* and from a protected, "majority" space.

Two pieces that frustrated me.

A) At one point, Brown tells the story of a
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Carol (Bookaria)
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2018
I picked up this book because it was listed asa must-read book by someone I respect and whose tastes are similar to mine. I went to it completely blind and when the author mentioned Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling in the opening chapter I knew I was going to like it.

“The mark of a wild heart is living out the paradox of love in our lives. It’s the ability to be tough and tender, excited and scared, brave and afraid—all in the same moment. It’s showing up in our vulnerability and our courage,
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Diane
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book came to me at just the right time. I found it meaningful, heartfelt, and the themes of belonging and being brave really resonated with me.

I know Brené Brown has quite the cult following, but this was the first book of hers I have seriously read. A few years ago I had The Gifts of Imperfection foisted on me at work, and I was underwhelmed by the book and ended up hate-skimming it. A few friends had loved Daring Greatly, and now that I have read and appreciated Braving the Wilderness,
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Tucker
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Brene Brown’s new book “Braving The Wilderness” is her most vital and necessary book yet. The book’s subject is how to build and maintain connections and a sense of belonging while also staying true to ourselves and our beliefs. Through her research studies, personal experiences, and case studies combined with her remarkable perceptiveness and wisdom she provides essential directions through the wilderness of loneliness and disconnection. In today’s climate of divisiveness and separation, this ...more
Bharath
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
While I have read blogs and passages of Brene Brown before, this is the first of her books that I have read. I did know what to expect as a result of my following her work so far, and this book lives up very well to the expectations I had.

A large part of self-help literature plays on fear – talking about the need for transforming ourselves with a great sense of urgency, else we are doomed to failure in a world which is changing at a rapid pace. Over the past few years, Mindfulness literature and
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Joy Matteson
It ended TOO SOON. *cries silently*
Brown's words are life-affirming, challenging. Her books tend to re-verberate in my soul, in my mind--so I'm actively savoring them as I go about my day.

I belong to myself--and I belong to no one. Speak truth to bullshit. Be civil.

Pithy, perhaps--cliched, maybe. But there's simplicity in the brevity here, as one knows Brown has done an avalanche worth of data analysis to back up her simplified phrases.
Renee
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Although I like Brene Brown, I have to admit that this book was quite a bit of a letdown for me. I was looking for so much more. I don't feel that there was enough "new" information to warrant a new book, let alone a 163 page book that has a $28 price tag attached to it. In the end, Brene published a book on the backs of the numerous people that she quotes throughout the short book. I'm not impressed.
Emily Troutman
I usually love Brene's books, but this one just didn't seem to move me like the others have. I don't fully understand why she felt the need to make it so political. The same points could have been made, in my opinion, without them.
Stephanie
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best description I have for Brene' Browns' books is she is constantly dropping truth bombs on my head and Braving the Wilderness is no exception. Navigating issues like shame, the persisting feeling of loneliness that people feel in a world that is more connected than ever, and how to humanize people who believe differently than ourselves, are not easy issues to tackle. Brown does so with research backed data and stories from her own life with ease.

"But the more we're willing to to seek out
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Amanda
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don’t belong. You will always find it because you’ve made that your mission. Stop scouring people’s faces for evidence that you’re not enough. You will always find it because you’ve made that your goal. True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we don’t negotiate their value with the world. The truth about who we are lives in our hearts. Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluations, especially ...more
Whitney
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Overall: “Strong back, soft front, wild heart.” This book is absolutely amazing and should be required reading for life for everyone 10/10

Summary: This book is an exploration with meticulously done research and insight on the growing divide between people, loneliness, an analysis of what “belonging” truly means. Amazing insight and perspective. This book should be required reading for everyone and will leave you a better person.
“You are only free when you realize you belong no place—you belong
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Liza Fireman
I will never get tired from listening to Brene Brown. She is so awesome, so authentic, so vulnerable. And on audio, she is even better. She is funny, witty and amazing.

In this book, Brene is talking much more about belonging, or the feeling of not belonging. A tough feeling. And the small tiny incidents are the ones that create sometimes the largest scars of are souls. Here is one such example, soul crusher one.
The list was in numeric order. If your number was there, you’d made the team. If
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Northpapers
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
I live and work in a beautiful but troubled neighborhood. In a given week, I work to build community under the shadow of racism, deportations, child abuse, poverty, and violence.

Each Monday, on my day off from work, I choose one short book that I hope will be restorative or nourishing in some way, and I read it from cover to cover. I call this my "Sabbath book." I've spent a few wonderful Mondays in the company of books like Jesus and Nonviolence by Walter Wink, Strength to Love by Dr. Martin
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My_Strange_Reading
#mystrangereading Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown (4.5 stars) I only knocked it down .5 a star because I feel like you need to read her other books and studies before you can really understand and appreciate this particular read. It's such an important conversation, how do we belong to ourselves? How we do we handle conflict and not allow ourselves to be drawn into the us vs. them dichotomy that our current cultural and political climate lends us to do?

So incredible, and such a strong
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Taryn Pierson
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-release, audio
I have been aware of Brené Brown’s work for a while now but had put off reading her because sometimes self-help seems a little too...something for me. I’m very committed to the idea that I am perfect in every way and therefore need no help of any kind. I’m also cynical and get squicky when venturing too far into feelings territory. Of course, since Brown has made a career of studying vulnerability and shame, reading her book challenged me a lot and made me consider some uncomfortable ideas. The ...more
Elise Cripe
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
quick and easy read that gave me some solid things to work on and think about. perfect book for me right now.
Monica Kim: Reader in Emerald City
True belonging requires us to believe in and belong to ourselves so fully that we can find sacredness both in being a part of something and in standing alone when necessary. But in a culture that's rife with perfectionism and pleasing, and with the erosion of civility, it's easy to stay quiet, hide in our ideological bunkers, or fit in rather than show up as our true selves and brave the wilderness of uncertainty and criticism. But true belonging is not something we negotiate or accomplish with ...more
Laurie Anderson
Three stars instead of four because the book is very short; it felt like she was just starting to get into the good stuff when it ended, much to my disappointment.
Laura Noggle
“Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don’t belong. You will always find it because you’ve made that your mission. Stop scouring people’s faces for evidence that you’re not enough. You will always find it because you’ve made that your goal. True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we don’t negotiate their value with the world. The truth about who we are lives in our hearts. Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation, especially ...more
Reem A
I kinda hated it. I don’t understand why she chose to talk about American politics for half the book. I’m not American, and as much as am aware of what’s happening on that side of the world, I have no interest in reading about it. I felt like it was shoved down my throat.

It started out really well. But I didn’t really learn anything new. Also, I think I might’ve confused this book for something else. I thought she was working on a book called wholehearted living. I have no idea why I thought
...more
Jen
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I won't go into too much detail as to why I liked the book. The book is short and to the point. Many, many sections stood out to me. I will highlight some of my favorites.

"Today we are edging closer and closer to a world where political and ideological discourse has become an exercise in dehumanization. And social media are the primary platforms for our dehumanizing behavior. On Twitter and Facebook we can rapidly push the people with whom we disagree into the dangerous territory of moral
...more
Dawna
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
I thought I liked Brené Brown. I like her in quotes—small, thoughtful snippets made into pretty memes—but I found this book insufferable.

The bulk of the first (long) chapter is all about how Brené never fit in. Grab a tissue, you might need it: She never got invited to the white kids’ birthday parties because she had a black sounding name on the class list, for a short time she was the non-Catholic kid in a Catholic school, students register for her courses on race relations and then feel
...more
Kelly
I read some of the reviews that fall perfectly into what it is Brown points out in the book: you either decide "for" or "against," without letting yourself wade in the uncomfortable middle. Perhaps someone calls bullshit on that but, as much as I wish this book had been longer, it really hit hard on some stuff I've been thinking about relating to connection, to discourse, and to how divided we have become as a people (I already see people reading this review and stopping here because they're ...more
Patience K Phillips
There's SO many points to touch on. Impossible to. Instead, I'll list a few favorite parts. Knowing this is different for everyone who reads.

When Brene' storytells the moment she recognized not 'belonging' to her family. Tears well up. Turned off the audio book. Visited her Instagram page sifting for comfort where others would vibe similar. Left a message for her and the page. Feeling less alone. Start listing to the book again

Wrapping myself around self incrimination and wanting to feel
...more
Leanne
Aug 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Not my favorite of Brown's work, but there are some good points throughout and much to debate and discuss. A bit too political for my taste, I mean can we have a break please?
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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 two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy and is the author of five #1 New York Times bestsellers: The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, Braving the
...more
“Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don’t belong. You will always find it because you’ve made that your mission. Stop scouring people’s faces for evidence that you’re not enough. You will always find it because you’ve made that your goal. True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we don’t negotiate their value with the world. The truth about who we are lives in our hearts. Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation, especially our own. No one belongs here more than you.” 164 likes
“Here’s what I believe: 1. If you are offended or hurt when you hear Hillary Clinton or Maxine Waters called bitch, whore, or the c-word, you should be equally offended and hurt when you hear those same words used to describe Ivanka Trump, Kellyanne Conway, or Theresa May. 2. If you felt belittled when Hillary Clinton called Trump supporters “a basket of deplorables” then you should have felt equally concerned when Eric Trump said “Democrats aren’t even human.” 3. When the president of the United States calls women dogs or talks about grabbing pussy, we should get chills down our spine and resistance flowing through our veins. When people call the president of the United States a pig, we should reject that language regardless of our politics and demand discourse that doesn’t make people subhuman. 4. When we hear people referred to as animals or aliens, we should immediately wonder, “Is this an attempt to reduce someone’s humanity so we can get away with hurting them or denying them basic human rights?” 5. If you’re offended by a meme of Trump Photoshopped to look like Hitler, then you shouldn’t have Obama Photoshopped to look like the Joker on your Facebook feed. There is a line. It’s etched from dignity. And raging, fearful people from the right and left are crossing it at unprecedented rates every single day. We must never tolerate dehumanization—the primary instrument of violence that has been used in every genocide recorded throughout history.” 126 likes
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