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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

"Daring Greatly" - How Important Vulnerability Is

If you've read my blog at all or have browsed through my Goodreads profile, you may have picked up on the types of books I like to read: fiction, mystery, suspense, fantasy, young adult, etc. Notice that nowhere have I mentioned non-fiction. I'll be honest - it can be difficult for me to get into non-fiction works. So reading Daring Greatly by Brené Brown was completely outside of my comfort zone of reading (you could say that it fits in with the theme of the book).

Daring Greatly focuses on what vulnerability is, how to be vulnerable and the importance of it. Brown defines vulnerability as "uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure". Check out this quote from the book summary:
Brown, Brené, 2012.

But Brené Brown explains that when we shut ourselves off from vulnerability, we distance ourselves from the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives, and that nothing is as dangerous, uncomfortable, or hurtful as standing on the outside looking in and wondering what it would be like if we had the courage to step into the arena.
This book really opened my eyes to the importance of vulnerability and what we, as human beings, do to protect ourselves from it. If there's anything I've learned from Daring Greatly it's that putting yourself in a vulnerable position is a good thing - when done appropriately. Brown shares that "vulnerability is based on mutuality and requires boundaries and trust". Basically, vulnerability is not oversharing and purging information to anyone who will listen. It is sharing feelings and experiences with people who have earned the right to hear them (aka you trust them).

When I heard of this book my first thought was "who is Brené Brown" - I wanted to be sure that I was reading a book by someone who is well-respected in the field. Brown is definitely that! She is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. Her research over the past 13 years includes the studying of vulnerability, courage, shame and worthiness. She's given multiple TED talks - the vulnerability video below is one of the top 5 most viewed TED talks. Check it out - it's definitely a great view and a segue way into Daring Greatly.

Being vulnerable opens the door to transform the ways in which we live our lives and interact with others. If you're looking for a book that will help you grow in both your personal and professional lives, this is the one to read.
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