Daring Greatly (2012)

Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly is filled with life-changing ideas. She begins with an excerpt from a speech 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…

What does it look like to go into the arena? For Brown, it means being vulnerable. Life in the arena is life lived vulnerably. And that requires lots of work on the part of the person in the arena: seeing oneself as “enough,” combating shame, removing armor. The book ends with a great chapter on parenting.

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