Today I wanted to share my experience with the book, “Daring Greatly” by Brene´ Brown, Ph.D. Dr. Brown suggests that when we embrace what makes us vulnerable, we are able to become our best selves and that shame, comparison, and disengagement ultimately make it impossible to achieve what we set out to do. This is because we never embrace a talent or skill because we are afraid of what people think, we compare ourselves too frequently to others which holds us back from expressing ourselves, or we allow ourselves to disengage from what we love because of what we fear.
One of my favorite moments in the book is when Dr. Brown learned about joy and light from the people who have spent time in “sorrow and darkness”. She suggests:
1. “That joy comes to us in moments-ordinary moments. We risk missing out on joy when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary.”
2. “Be grateful for what you have.”
3. “Don’t squander joy”. She states, “But every time we allow ourselves to lean into joy and give into those moments, we build resilience and we cultivate hope”.
It is in our vulnerabilities, strengths, weaknesses, wounds, and experiences that allow us to either feel the shame of our scars, or embrace what they have taught us and allow us to move forward. In a comparison to the book, “The Velveteen Rabbit”, Dr. Brown suggests that those of us who acknowledge that the difficult moments, those that make us struggle, or cry, or feel, those moments, when embraced, allow us to experience joy wholeheartedly.
Throughout the book, Dr. Brown gives us examples and strategies in order to embrace these moments and to live life fully. We are to give in to feelings, but not to the point that it becomes counterproductive or halts our growth. In the final chapters, Dr. Brown goes on to suggest that if we are to become wholehearted, then we need to instill these practices in ourselves and in our children. She writes,
1. Engage with the world from a place of worthiness.
2. Embrace vulnerabilities and imperfections.
3. Feel a deep sense of love and compassion for self and others.
4. Value hard work, perseverance, and respect.
5. Carry a sense of authenticity and belonging with you, rather than searching for it in external places.
6. Have the courage to be imperfect, vulnerable, and creative.
7. Don’t fear feeling ashamed or unlovable if you are different or struggling.
8. Move through our rapidly changing world with courage and a resilient spirit.
I highly recommend this book, as it has sparked the beginning of my own self acceptance, to be less afraid when I want to accomplish something out of my comfort zone, and to go beyond what I believe I am able to accomplish.
To hear more from Brene´ Brown, watch her Houston TedX talk below:
Just remember, above all else…a little lighthearted humor: