I recently finished listening to Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly, and as my favorite public speaker, her book did not disappoint. In fact, I very much believe this book should be required reading in middle school.
The title and main theme of her book comes from this quote by Theodore Roosevelt, “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 them 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, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in 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 fails while daring greatly…”
I know it’s a mouthful, but Roosevelt’s words hold truths of great significance.
I’d like to share some personal insights I’ve gained from Brown’s book.
- The facade of perfection found on social media is dangerous and can lead to shame. It is necessary to be vulnerable and transparent in order to build connection rather than shame (comparison is the thief of joy). I have always tried to avoid the appearance of perfection on social media. I don’t use filters, I don’t tidy up just the one spot in the room captured in a photo (it’s either all tidy or not tidy at all). BUT I need to do a lot better at remembering the vast majority of images I see on social media aren’t depictions of reality, and to not compare my worst candid moments with their best.
- Sometimes whole hearted living is painful and uncomfortable. And that’s ok. Feeling “good” and comfortable doesn’t always indicate the right thing. Sometimes the right thing makes us feel excruciatingly raw, and can be very painful.
- Success can simply mean showing up.
- Women and men feel shame differently (due to differing expectations from society), but they both feel it. I need to be more aware of how I respond to my husband’s and my children’s vulnerability so as to not shame them.
- Daring greatly can be lonely. The critic on the sidelines is hard to ignore. But when we ignore the critic, and instead look to those who are in the arena with us, we can feel a little less lonely.
Those are just a few things that struck me. But really, I highly recommend everyone read this book themselves. I am not exaggerating when I say, it can be life changing.