My beloved pastor, J, had recommended Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly as a book worth reading. She mentioned that vulnerability, confidence, and wholeheartedness were all things to strive for and Brown covers them all. I was interested—and more than one person recommended Daring Greatly to me, which is enough to put it on the reading list. Plus, in my teaching philosophy last year, I talked about professional vulnerability and thought that an expert’s words might help me articulate my thoughts better.
Brown focuses on what makes us vulnerable, myths about being vulnerable, and how to become Wholehearted out of our anxieties and sense of shame. Her chapter on shame is incredibly powerful, as it exposes the reasons why we feel it instead of guilt. She also goes over techniques to become Wholehearted and break dysfunctional cycles of loving and living. Her talk on vulnerability is honest and raw, cutting through the sorts of cheerful and empty platitudes that often make up self-help texts.
It’s hard to analyze a self-help text, but I’ll try my best. I thought that Daring Greatly was insightful and informative. I have thought about a few things that I would like to try in my teaching. Though Brown does not focus specifically on teaching, her tips on work and parenting seem applicable enough that they might be practical. I am grateful for the reading experience, and I definitely feel like the philosophies outlined are attainable, practical, and necessary for living a better life. While the idea of Wholeheartedness seemed hokey at first, Brown centered her text with meaty research and examples to show how this idea plays out in our lives. I recommend the book, and I’m definitely going to read her other works.