September 2018 Book Review: Daring Greatly


Sep 1, 2018 • 

Engage with the world from a place of worthiness and live wholeheartedly. Daring Greatly is a book about having the courage to be vulnerable in a world where everyone wants to appear strong, confident and in control.


Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead.
Brené Brown. September 11, 2012

Why read this book

  • If you want to have a deeper connection with people you care about
  • If you want the tools to “Mind the Gap” between the person you want to be and where you are now.
  • If your desire to know yourself better and get free from the lies you have believed about yourself and the limits you’ve placed on yourself and your abilities.

Who is Brené Brown

Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work and the best-selling author. Her 2010 TEDXHouston Talk is one of the most-watched TED talks.

She has spent the past decade studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. Brené is a nationally renowned speaker and has won numerous teaching awards, including the College’s Outstanding Faculty Award. Her groundbreaking work has been featured on PBS, NPR, CNN, The Katie Show, and Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul Sunday.

Brené is also the founder and Chief Learning and Research Officer of The Daring Way – a training and certification program for helping professionals who want to facilitate her work on vulnerability, courage, shame, and worthiness.

Visit her website at:

My favorite Quote from the Book

“Connection…is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and without it there is suffering.”


The phrase Daring Greatly is from Theodore Roosevelt’s speech “Citizenship in a Republic.” The speech, sometimes referred to as “The Man in the Arena,” was delivered at the Sorbonne in Paris, France, on April 23, 1910. This is the passage that made the speech famous:

“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, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly…”

This book is grounded in 12 years of valid, strong, well-developed research and explains the concept of vulnerability, and how to embrace it for wholehearted living and fulfilling connections. Brown describes her research findings in a very readable and accessible way.

“Vulnerability is not weakness,” writes Dr Brown. In fact, “Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center of meaningful human experiences.” Without vulnerability, there can be no love, there can be no achievement, there can be no greatness. Unfortunately, instead of developing skills of vulnerability, we too frequently develop armoring techniques. We spend all our energy avoiding getting hurt, avoiding shame. But there’s no surer way to not feel loved, not feel connected, not be fulfilled, than to practice the avoidance of vulnerability.

She does an exemplary job of explaining and illustrating the value of putting in the effort to do what is necessary to live a wholehearted life.

Are you willing to be open and let this book into your life? I hope you are, because Brené’s ideas are very powerful.

A few questions you may want to answer after reading Daring Greatly

• How do you live wholeheartedly?
• How do you use vulnerability -courage – to build trusting and meaningful relationships?
• How do nurture worthiness in yourself and others?

My personal take-aways

Daring Greatly was an insightful, inspiring and transforming read.  Brene encouraged me to cultivate a strong belief in living wholeheartedly. She provided me with helpful tools to identify vulnerability as the catalyst for courage, compassion, and connection., and engage daily in my live from a place of worthiness.

Other books by Brene Brown




Looking to add to your reading list?