You know those trust exercises, where you fall backwards and you have to completely trust that the other person in the exercise will definitely catch you? They make me sick. No matter who is on the receiving end of my fall, I hate the feeling of having to be the one to let go first. I imagine it’s the same sick feeling you get when you first have to step off a plane while skydiving or off the edge of a bungee jump. I also find it when I’m rocking on a chair and I push a little too hard and, as I fall backwards, my whole life flashes before my eyes. I think you get the picture.
It’s called vulnerability. I have always known vulnerability as important, but it makes me feel ill. I feel like, in life, we experience it a lot, even if we don’t give it that official term. We choose to fully trust and love other human beings, employ adults to entrust our businesses to, bear children who are defenseless on their own as they learn their ways, stand on stages and social media platforms and work our jobs. All of it is in the hope, but never certainty, that people will love us in our best and our worst. Ugh. It even takes my breath away to think about it.
… so welcome back to the Her Happy & Honest Heart Book Club! I’ve learnt a bit this month and it has been testing. This is an amazing book.
MARCH 2017 BOOK REVIEW
Title: Daring Greatly – How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way we Live, Love, Parent and Lead. Or, just Daring Greatly.
Author: Brené Brown
Genre: Personal Development, Parenting, Business; Non-fiction.
How did I hear about the book? I was introduced to a short animated clip of Brené Brown speaking about shame, at our family camp, shared in a talk by David Tensen. I enjoyed the way she spoke, so I just looked through her books to see what I might take a liking to.
If you want to read this book, you have to like self-reflection, the fact that she might say something that hits home and you have to take a long hard look at your life, and extended book titles.
Did I finish the book within the month? Yes! Hooray!
How many pages did I actually read? All 262 of 262 pages. Phew.
Did you enjoy it? Thoroughly. Even though she has done a lot of research and is very smart (and sometimes, when I’m tired, I don’t keep up with smart very well), it was easy to follow; she is very grounded and human in the way she writes and shares her knowledge.
Is it easy to put down and pick up frequently without losing track of the idea? I found it easier to read that way. Because there is a lot of self-reflection, I don’t like to plow through these books and going through a section at a time made it less full on to process.
Plot explained well Being vulnerable, open and honest with your life can and should be a normal part of life; this book challenges the way the world tells us to live and relate to one another. It drives home that while it can be embarrassing to experience shame, we also have the power to change our thoughts, overcome shame and continue to live vulnerably – as we allow ourselves to be shaped by truth and how we choose to live, not by our bad experiences.
Plot explained badly Self-help book written by famous TEDtalk speaker about why everyone experiences shame, and should be vulnerable because vulnerability feels gross but is great.
Plot as written on the back of the book
Reminded me of Glennon Doyle Melton, another author that speaks like she talks, and is happy to be open about her life and her thoughts. I don’t particularly love Melton’s style of writing as much as Brown’s, but it is that same unashamed, unapologetic writing that I like to get my teeth into.
Favourite section The parts where she writes about parenting. The book is diverse, as vulnerability can be applied to every area of your life, regardless of gender, history, family, job, etc. In writing this book, she applies this concept to any area of leadership. This can be leadership in business, in your church, in parenting, in marriage… the list is enormous, because vulnerability is a part of everything we do. The parenting part stuck out to me because since giving birth to my son, there is a vulnerability I have never experienced before and it’s nice to read the openness of someone who exposes it, says it’s okay and relates to it.
What I loved about the book Her normal nature. It’s nice when people write on big topics but make you feel normal while you’re reading it.
Most memorable quote Nothing has transformed my life more than realising that it’s a waste of time to evaluate my worthiness by weighing the reaction of the people in the stands.
Also notable quote Then, seconds before I was introduced, I thought about a paperweight on my desk that reads, “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” I pushed that question out of my head to make room for a new question. As I walked up to the stage, I literally whispered, “What’s worth doing even if I fail?”
Would you recommend it/10? YES. Don’t read it all at once – it was nice to read in bits over a coffee every day or so, to truly process the book.
If you don’t believe me…
_ The book is a New York Times Number One Bestseller
_ It is one of three New York Times Number One Bestsellers that she has written
_ Brown has graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work, a Master of Social Work and a PhD from the Graduate College of Social Work
_She’s a “researcher and thought leader”?! How do I get to be one of those!?
_ Her 2010 TED Talk is one of the most watched talks on the TED website
_ Her book has a gold foil on its title lettering and it’s very pretty to look at
Wanna buy it?
In real life actual paper form: Book Depository
(low price; free shipping; buy in your pyjamas but wait 1-2 weeks for delivery to your door)
In equally real life electronic weightless form: Amazon
(disappointingly same price but not tangible; but buy in your pyjamas and immediate delivery)
See you next month!
Feel free to comment with your own review below! Did you love it? Hate it? Haven’t read it? Do you like the gold foil lettering as much as I do? We wanna know!
(oh, and in case you missed it, here’s last month’s review of All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. So good!)