favorite passages from daring greatly [brené brown].

last month i finished reading daring greatly, brené brown’s fabulous book about how allowing ourselves to be vulnerable can lead to us living better lives. i am slowly working on allowing myself to be a little more vulnerable in my day-to-day interactions and hope that can lead to some good changes in 2019.

i underlined lots of passages throughout the book, and they are all below if you would like to see what stood out to me the most.

vulnerability is not weakness, and the uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure we face every day are not optional. our only choice is a question of engagement [2]

when we spend our lives waiting until we’re perfect or bulletproof before we walk into the arena, we ultimately sacrifice relationships and opportunities that may not be recoverable, we squander our precious time, and we turn our backs on our gifts, those unique contributions that only we make [2]

what we know matters, but who we are matters more [16]

vulnerability isn’t good or bad: it’s not what we call a dark emotion, nor is it always a light, positive experience. vulnerability is the core of all emotions and feelings. to feel is to be vulnerable. to believe vulnerability is weakness is to believe that feeling is weakness. to foreclose on our emotional life out of a fear that the costs will be too high is to walk away from the very thing that gives purpose and meaning to living [33]

trust is built one marble at a time [49]

‘only when we’re brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light’ [60]

we’re hard on each other because we’re using each other as a launching pad out of our own perceived shaming deficiency [99]

to love ourselves and support each other in the process of becoming real is perhaps the greatest single act of daring greatly [110]

joy comes to us in moments — ordinary moments. we risk missing out on joy when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary [125]

don’t apologize for what you have. be grateful for it and share your gratitude with others [125]

but every time we allow ourselves to lean into joy and give in to those moments, we build resilience and we cultivate hope [126]

where we struggle with perfectionism, we struggle with shame [130]

we are a culture of people who’ve bought into the idea that if we stay busy enough, the truth of our lives won’t catch up with us [137]

much of the beauty of light owes its existence to the dark. the most powerful moments of our lives happen when we string together the small flickers of light created by courage, compassion, and connection and see them shine in the darkness of our struggles. that darkness is lost when we use vulnerability to floodlight our listener, and the response is disconnection. we then use this disconnection as verification that we’ll never find comfort, that we’re not worth, that the relationship is no good, or, in the case of oversharing to hotwire a connection, that we’ll never have the intimacy that we crave [160-1]

self-compassion is critical [161]

sharing yourself to teach or move a process forward can be healthy and effective [162]

we also disengage when we fee like the people who are leading us aren’t living up to their end of the social contract [176]

but when our practiced values are routinely in conflict with the expectations we set in our culture, disengagement is inevitable [180]

like shit, shame rolls downhill [190]

who we are and how we engage with the world are much stronger predictors of how our children will do than what we know about parenting. in terms of teaching our children to dare greatly in the ‘never enough’ culture, the question isn’t so much ‘are you parenting the right way?’ as it is: ‘are you the adult that you want your child to grow up to be?’ [214]

the power of owning our stories, even the difficult ones, is that we get to write the ending [228]

you can’t claim to care about the welfare of children if you’re shaming other parents for the choices they’re making [229-30]

‘compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity’ [234]

‘sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up’ [243]

daring greatly is not about winning or losing. it’s about courage. in a world where scarcity and shame dominate and feeling afraid has become second nature, vulnerability is subversive. uncomfortable. it’s even a little dangerous at times. and, without question, putting ourselves out there means there’s a far greater risk of feeling hurt. but as i look back on my own life and what Daring Greatly has meant to me, i can honestly say that nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous, and hurtful as believing that i’m standing on the outside of my life looking in and wondering what it would be like if i had the courage to show up and let myself be seen [248-9]

as you can see, there was a lot in this book that struck a chord with me. i hope i can remember these things for a long time to come.


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