Daring Greatly: How The Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love Parent, and Lead
By Brené Brown
Instead of written annotations, I have a note on my phone filled with takeaways I typed while listening to Daring Greatly. Over the past few years I've watched her TED talk (below), Netflix special, and other conversations and presentations, so the themes are familiar but they feel more poignant as I get older. Her conclusions on vulnerability, shame, perfectionism, joy, connection and belonging are life-altering. I carry her lessons with me and try to remember to refer to them as often as possible while I move and heal through life.
Here's her take on wholehearted living. I'm halfway there.
"Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It's going to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn't change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging. This definition is based on these fundamental ideals:
1. Love and belonging are irreducible needs of all men, women, and children. We're hardwired for connection—it's what gives purpose and meaning to our lives. The absence of love, belonging, and connection always leads to suffering.
2. If you roughly divide the men and women I've interviewed into two groups—those who feel a deep sense of love and belonging, and those who struggle for it—there's only one variable that separates the groups: Those who feel lovable, who love, and who experience belonging simply believe they are worthy of love and belonging. They don't have better or easier lives, they don't have fewer struggles with addiction or depression, and they haven't survived fewer traumas or bankruptcies or divorces, but in the midst of all of these struggles, they have developed practices that enable them to hold on to the belief that they are worthy of love, belonging, and even joy.
3. A strong belief in our worthiness doesn't just happen—it's cultivated when we understand the guideposts as choices and daily practices.
4. The main concern of Wholehearted men and women is living a life defined by courage, compassion, and conviction.
5. The Wholehearted identify vulnerability as the catalyst for courage, compassion, and connection. In fact, the willingness to be vulnerable emerged as the single clearest value shared by all of the women and men whom I would describe as Wholehearted. They attribute everything—from their professional success to their marriages to their proudest parenting moments—to their ability to be vulnerable."