I finished Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly today and it was really great. I’m not sure I need to give too much of an intro due to her enormous popularity through her TED talks and involvement in the Global Leadership Summit a few times in recent years. So I’ve seen her content and enjoyed it, but I hadn’t read one of her books and been able to be exposed to some of her research in more depth.
Brown is a shame researcher among other things and this book is really unpacking what dynamics are at work within us to either catalyze boldness and greatness in life or hinder and limit us. The key as she communicates it is the idea of shame resilience – the ability to live vulnerability and bounce back with risk and courage in a world that often seeks to limit and judge. So vulnerability and shame are at the core of this book as well as some of her other works as well.
From a theory standpoint, it fascinates me how the research reinforces what I believe the Bible teaches about identity, the fall, and redemption. She unpacks the crippling and paralyzing darkness of how shame works in peoples lives and communities. But she also illustrates how a person’s sense of what she calls “worthiness” or wholeheartedness is what makes the difference in people’s lives. That sense of worthiness that comes through love, grace, and emotional connection is what provides the security and grounding to risk and live with courage amidst vulnerability in this threatening world. The research confirms clearly the Biblical narrative and its theology of identity.
Practically – there is excellent content that includes great content for parenting and for leadership. As parents in the heart of parenting young kids, it’s super helpful reinforcement of what will help shape wholehearted kids and how to negotiate vulnerability as a family. The same with leadership, but the content and application to family and parenting felt most valuable to me right now.
This is a significant book and the general arena is pretty key today. People do not understand the power of shame in these ways – in the west or east. In Asia, these are huge themes and topics that need addressing and leadership in the family and the church among other places. But it’s the same in the west.
This is a great read for parents, leaders, spouses, and friends. It takes us to the heart of what’s going on in the deepest parts of us in our daily struggles and gives hope for a path forward if we feel stuck. So I highly recommend the book or any of the talks you can find on youtube or the TED website. It’s worth it!