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Showing 1-10 of 2,512 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 2,769 reviews
on June 25, 2013
Last week I was sitting outside a coffee shop reading a book on my kindle when a youngish guy walked by carrying a coffee and a computer, looking for a place to sit.

Since all of the tables were occupied and he was looking a bit displaced, I offered him a seat at my table. Relieved, he sat down and expressed his gratitude. I promptly went back to my reading but I could feel his eyes boring into me as I anticipated the dreaded question.

"What are you reading?" he finally blurted.

Now I know this is neither a profound nor earth-shattering inquiry but there were two problems at hand here.

One, I'm terrible at summarizing books. Just awful. (Which you're about to discover.) There's just something about the vast amount of information that I'm pressured to wrap into one or two sentences that completely overwhelms and paralyzes me.

And two, I was reading a book about shame and vulnerability. Which ironically, I was ashamed to admit for fear of being vulnerable. Clearly, I had just started reading the book.

Part of me was tempted to lie to youngish guy by replying, "oh, it's just some silly novel."

But then it occurred to me how shameful it would be to lie about reading a book about shame and vulnerability instead of just being vulnerable. Besides, as I'm sure it's obvious--I could use the practice.

"I'm reading Daring Greatly by Brené Brown. It's about shame and vulnerability and how shame can truly only dissipate by allowing yourself to be vulnerable", I quickly blurted.

Allowing myself to be vulnerable led Patrick and I into a conversation for the next hour. Patrick, if you're reading this, c'était une joie pour vous rencontrer. (If this is wrong I blame Google translate.)

This moment of unabashed vulnerability with Patrick was the beginning of a major shift in my life. And I have Daring Greatly to thank for that.*

I've always been one to be honest and open but Brene Brown's writing in Daring Greatly takes openness to another level.

She reinforces what I've known all along but been afraid of admitting--that vulnerability leads to happiness. Or as Brown calls it, "wholeheartedness".

And I, and maybe you too, could damn well use some wholeheartedness in my life.

We're living in a culture of `never enough'. I'm certainly feeling it. Are you? I never work hard enough, I don't help others enough, I'm not successful enough, I don't eat healthy enough... and on and on.

These thoughts of `never enough' turn into feelings of shame and fear. How do we combat shame and fear? By being vulnerable and expressing gratitude, according to Brené Brown. And now, according to me.

Following Brene's advice and expertise garnered through her research and life stories, truly does work.

It was the reading of Daring Greatly that prompted me to finally divulge my long kept secret of my history with an eating disorder; which wound up being my highest trafficked blog post of all time. As Brown explains, we're drawn to other's vulnerability but repelled by our own.

Are you living with shame? Do you always feel an underlying itch of `never enough'? Do you find yourself disconnecting from people you love? If any of these questions ring true then I hope you'll read this book for yourself. Even if they don't ring true, read this book. It truly is a game changer.

Buy It Right. This. Minute. Sit your butt down for an hour, and start reading. I promise you won't want to stop. I promise.Then come back to me and practice your newfound vulnerability. I'll appreciate and love every drop of the real you. And eventually, you will too. That's the truth.

*If you'll note the vulnerability here in that I'm attempting to review a book, despite my fear of reviewing books.
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on May 23, 2017
This book was life changing for me. I'd already read Gifts of Imperfection, and have been struggling with having healthy boundaries with a psychologically unhealthy parent.

This book did an amazing job of helping me understand the difference between sharing vulnerability in ways that lead to connection and over-sharing in ways intended to manipulate an audience - and why that oversharing has always led to disconnection.

For the men out there - I'd recommend starting with this book (rather than gifts of imperfection) as Brown broadens her research to include men here. And I really liked the way this book works through so many interesting topics and challenging scenarios.

One of my favorite parts is on professing love vs practicing love (below). It made me appreciate that when someone tells me they love me, then treats me badly, that it isn't really love at all.

<i>During a recent radio interview about my research, the hosts (my friends Ian and Margery) asked me, “Can you love someone and cheat on them or treat them poorly?”

I didn’t have much time, so I gave the best answer I could based on my work: “I don’t know if you can love someone and betray them or be cruel to them, but I do know that when you betray someone or behave in an unkind way toward them, you are not practicing love. And, for me, I don’t just want someone who says they love me, I want someone who practices that love for me every day.”</i>
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on September 6, 2016
This is one of those books that seems ubiquitous. Everywhere I turned I saw Brene Brown’s book with the solid gray background and colorful letters spelling out Daring Greatly across the cover. Even more omnipresent are the book’s praises. There is an endless line of praises from acclaimed icons. Which is why I am shocked by my response: I found the book sort of boring.

The crux of the book is simple: shame, it is powerful and universal. We all have experienced shame. Most of us continue to carry the burden of shame and even throw it on to others. I can easily connect to the idea of shame. Every day is a fight beyond shame.

Pulling from the amazing words of President Theodore Roosevelt, to dare greatly is try something big; to live with courage. Taking the safe road while criticizing others is the easy road (and it is the road we see on social media all the time), but living a life of greatness does require some failures. We cannot be scared of failures. This is a concept we all need to grab hold of.

I only marked two pages in the book the intrigued me.

“Vulnerability isn’t good or bad…Vulnerability is the core of all emotions. To feel is to be vulnerable.”

“Hope is a function of struggle. If we want our children to develop high levels of hopefulness, we have to let them struggle.”

Perhaps I am a little late to the party and that is why I did not connect with the book like others. Perhaps not hearing her TED talk is fatal flaw on my end (she refers to her talk multiple times in her book). The information is good and grounded, but in the end the book felt long and arduous.

Sometimes I think an author and reader just cannot connect, it does not make the book bad or the reader poor. It is just an unknowable difference.
If you think I’m defending a book that I didn’t like, you are correct.
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on May 17, 2017
Thank you for Daring Greatly and writing this book. WOW is all I can say. The last chapter on parenting is a MUST read for any parents, new to the game or those who are looking for ways to reinvigorate their relationship with their children. I am not perfect, however I'm sure that I come across this way to numerous people. I realized that I really am a product of pleasing, performing, and perfecting! LMFAO.... This book has humbled me and I am sure that I will need to re-read it a second time. Though reading this book and doing more assessment of my life, I realized that my values have changed quite a bit. I value Diversity, Courage, Vitality, Compassion and Community. Best two take aways, are the feedback checklist and the Parenting Manifesto. Even if you get nothing else out of this book (which would be shocking) these are two pieces that you can sink your teeth into and guess what - I think that they are on her website too.
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on January 8, 2016
More than half the book consists of chapters on relationships, marriage, having children, etc. Seems to be written for people who have families.

There is also a lot of shallow motivational stuff, the kind that doesn't help a person with real problems.
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on February 13, 2016
I admit I had never heard of Dr. Brene Brown until I saw her on the Oprah Winfrey Network about a month ago. I was so intrigued by her that I decided to buy "Daring Greatly," and I'm so thankful I did. I've struggled so much with the issues that she discusses here, but I was never able to understand and verbalize the root causes until I read this book. My quality of life has changed dramatically in a short period of time, so much so that I'm now reading "Rising Strong," and I'll soon start "The Gift of Imperfection." No doubt about it: I will be a lifelong fan and eternally grateful.
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on April 6, 2015
I love Brene Brown. But I got bored about halfway through this book. It sounds like her other books; just with different labels placed on our "issues". Then it was like she ran out of things to say and tried to stretch the page quota out for her publisher. She launched into something about supporting our troops and it felt like she was grasping for evidence to support her "new" way of looking at vulnerability.
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on October 22, 2015
Yes, I gave this 5 stars and yes, I said it's not perfect. In terms of readability, I felt that certain chapters flew by while I had to somewhat slog to get through others. So why the 5 stars?

The sections that were good were REALLY. GOOD. The ideas presented are the type that make you reassess your interactions on a daily basis. It makes you self-reflect. It makes you see things in a light you've never considered. It makes you really think.

The sections that spoke to me really hit me in a way that no other book of this type has. I feel like I could reread this and take something else away from it that I didn't the first time.

Do I think everyone will feel this way after reading it? Frankly, no. But that's part of the beauty of this book is that you get out of it what you put in terms of your experiences and emotions. Read with an open mind and even if you don't love it, it'll at least make you think.
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on February 24, 2014
This book helped to change my life. Basically the book says people can only accomplish great things (to lead people, to do what they love, to be with people they love, etc.) from a place of authenticity. And to be in a place of authenticity you will have to be vulnerable. For example, if you want to create something new, there will always be the person or group trying to tell you can't do it. To be authentic means that every once in awhile, you will be your genuine self and someone is going to laugh at you/ reject you/criticize you. And instead of closing yourself off and saying, "Well I won't be doing that again" you just have to dust yourself off and say "Well that hurt but I'll live and I will still stay true to myself." Staying in authenticity is a bit of a practice really.
So how did it change me? Well up until middle school (yea we're going waaaay back here), I had always been my true self. And had a healthy enough confidence level to weather any personal, albeit minor, storms in elementary school. But when I went from an all-girl school where I knew everyone and everyone knew me to a new elitist co-ed school where I knew no one (oh boy along with hormones and a whole new "species" of beings to interact with!), well let's just say I had a very hard time navigating those waters. And if it wasn't for a couple of really good friends early on I probably would morphed into the a most awkward and closed off person. But that did mean I had already put up some walls. I had a hard time being me with new people and I had a hard time taking risks and trying new things (but that's also an inborn tendency, see side story below). But of course, with experience comes the social skills to navigate any sort of circumstances and you are forced to try new things. Oh, and alcohol does wonders to put some cracks in those walls as well (yay for lower inhibitions!). And I've been going on my merry yet guarded ways ever since (though the trials and tribulations of dating had definitely built up the wall).

Enter this book about a year ago and I have been trying to consciously and soberly (but not always) break down these walls ever since. So I am a natural introvert, socially awkward, cynical, with a tendency to just rattle on (oh plus many more other faults). But so what? That's me and really that's not too bad (of course that doesn't mean I'm complacent in my faults. I believe in always trying to better oneself hence my partialness for personal development aka self-help books). In terms of meeting new people, this has helped me immensely. I no longer dread new social interactions. In fact I sometimes look forward to them to try out my new authentic self on people who don't know anything about me. But really that's the least of it. Being authentic has led me to be braver. Basically it's the mentality of "I am who I am and I will do what I want to do and if I fail horribly and look like a fool, I know I will still be alright." I am less afraid of failure (though like I said, this whole mind set is a practice). I'm a natural-born wuss (side story: one of my mom's favorite stories about my childhood was that when I was a a small child learning how to climb the jungle gym, I would just go one step up and then one step down. Repeatedly, until I felt comfortable enough to try to go up 2 steps. Rinse, Repeat. I wonder now how long it took me to get to the top. Weeks? Months?). But this book has literally gotten me to dare greatly: I've met a bunch of new people, tried out new volunteer opportunities, learned how to ride a bike (at 30!), and quit my job (!!!). So many new vulnerable experiences, not least of which is writing this semi-confessional tmi review (sorry like I said, a tendency to rattle on).
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on November 4, 2015
I think this book is for some people. I bought a few of her books. And I gotta tell you, they all are basically exactly the same. Using the same experiences and the same stories but in different orders, she rehashes everything before. It'd be different if it were all meteoric. But everything is a bit mundane. I can read the same phenomenal book over and over again. And maybe a different book filled with the same stuff if it were, again, phenomenal, but this isn't so I quickly got tired of it. If you've read any other of her books, it's not worth it to get this one.
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