Teddy Roosevelt sums up this book nicely:
“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 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 and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
Brené Brown must have thought this was a good summary of her book, because this is the quote she used in the epilogue. It’s also the title of the book, DARING GREATLY. And as the quote alludes to, it is about the paradox of being seen as great and heroic through vulnerability and effort.
The buzzword lexicons for this book include: shame, scarcity, and vulnerability. Brown claims to have done a high amount of research (I have no doubt that she did) to deduct her findings, but a lot of this seems lumped together in her catchphrase buckets. But does it work? Sure.
Overall, I like the premise of this book: to know there is plenty to enjoy and do now, to live and connect with people, to be who we are, to engage, and so forth. A lot of this is not new, but may be gaining momentum from her TEDx Houston talk. Her section on parenting reminds me of recent books like HANDS FREE MAMA and IF I HAVE TO TELL YOU ONE MORE TIME. The bottom line is: we all want to feel connected to one another and sometimes we have to be vulnerable enough to take risks to gain that connectivity.
Is this book worth reading? Yes, I believe so. Brown does a great job of defining the walls we put up (or, Shields, as she calls them) and how we can get back to what drives us the most.