Daring Greatly by Brené Brown – Book Review (being vulnerable)

Book: Daring Greatly; How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent and lead

By: Brené Brown

Published: 2013

Audiobook & Paperback


Brené Brown is an American researcher and has spent many years researching vulnerability. She has one of the most viewed TED talks on vulnerability where Brené led by example and was vulnerable with not just Houston, but millions around the world. A mum and wife, Brené understand the challenges parents go through and has used her research to, show us as parents, how we can be vulnerable and show up for our children in a different way. No more feeling like we are “not ______ enough”, but learning to be a wholehearted individual.

woman holding the book daring greatly (be vulnerable) by Brené  Brown in front of some cushions
book: Daring Greatly (being vulnerable) by Brene Brown

Inside the book – more about being vulnerable

Brené starts with part of a speech by Theodore Roosevelt and uses it and her vast research to share the power of vulnerability. Brené has a way of helping you to see what your thoughts are on vulnerability and busting the myths that come along with it. Brené exposes the culture we live in, fearing we are not enough and worrying about the negative consequences of being vulnerable in a world where vulnerability is perceived as weakness. It is not just having a negative impact on us personally, but also on our children. Shaming has become a way of discipline, dare I say motivation… or lack of and making ourselves feel better about ourselves. The beauty is once you have been made aware of this, you can start to do things differently. Think differently and act differently. Brené explains how this change of thought allows us to be more courageous, vulnerable and transform the way we live, love, parent and lead.

My thoughts – of the book and being vulnerable

With all the mums I have coached, spoken to, worked with and befriended, comparison and feeling like you are ‘not enough’ causes the most havoc on our mental health.

“I not smart enough to homeschool”

“I am not pretty enough”

“I am not thin enough”

“I am not cool enough”

“I am not organised enough”

The list can go on. This ‘not enough culture stops us from being unapologetically us, constantly worrying about what others might say or think if we try something new or step out of our comfort zone. As a result we ‘armour up’ as Brené calls it in her book, to protect ourselves from the shame and vulnerability we might feel.

We want to be the perfect parent, look for every book to make us that perfect parent, better than everyone else, raising perfect children. But there is no such thing as a perfect parent. Instead, be vulnerable and be willing to try, get back up and say sorry to our children when we shout out of frustration, let them know you are scared of failing this exam…. this is where the child meets parent and your child learns the necessary skills to survive, grow and enjoy life.

This book teaches you how to recognise, acknowledge your feeling, without beating yourself up, putting yourself down or comparing yourself to others. Instead, it encourages you to dare greatly. Not to show up as the best parent or person, but be willing to give it your best shot. This is all every parent needs to do. Do your best, and try again when we get it wrong. It’s not what others say that is important, the important thing is you showing up. So dare greatly Mama!

Who is this book for?

I don’t just recommend this book for parents, I recommend it for anyone who wants to dare greatly and doesn’t want to be bound by the ‘not enough’ culture, telling us we are not worthy. If you want to be able to show courage, live the life you were designed to live, and step out in fear… this book is for you. For any parent who is tired of trying to live up to the parenting standards set by society, and fed up with being the ‘best’ parents, whilst feeling like they are failing miserably inside…. this book will show you another way.

You can get a copy of Brené’s book here.

Have you heard of any of Brené’s work? Let me know what you think below.


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