Thursday, September 20, 2012

Daring Greatly

I had a chance to read Brene Brown's book, Daring Greatly, as a part of BlogHer's Book Club. I've never truly had a book come along at a more perfect time in my life than this book.

The title Daring Greatly comes from a phenomenal Theodore Roosevelt quote, often referred to as "The Man in the Arena".  It says, "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..."

It's a powerful quote and that's only on page one of this book. I'm not even sure I would call this a book, but more of a call to action. One of the biggest challenges we face in our day-to-day lives is the fear of the unknown, of being vulnerable. I know that I hate putting myself in a situation where all of my walls are down and I have no idea what is going to happen. Daring Greatly teaches you to embrace vulnerability and to stop thinking of it as a weakness, but rather as a way to succeed and take risks. It forces you to step into the arena.

The section that stood out the most to me was called "Wholehearted Parenting".  Everything about being a parent is uncertain and opens you up to being vulnerable...all the time. The best take away from that section is that if we want our children to grow up and love and accept who they are, we need to first accept and love who we are. We need to stop comparing ourselves to other parents. We need to not  freak out that our child had cinnamon bread for dinner (that may or may not be personal experience) and worry more about raising our children to live and love with their whole hearts.

The book is a great tool for helping you push forward from all of the uncertainty around you and to embrace your vulnerability.

Be sure to check out the discussion forums on BlogHer for the next four weeks as we discuss the different aspects of the book.

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

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