This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Daring Greatly" by Brené Brown. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.
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What are the most noteworthy Daring Greatly quotes by Brene Brown? What do they say about wholeheartedness and vulnerability?
In Daring Greatly, Brene Brown shows the reader how to live a wholehearted life and become a better leader, parent, and spouse in the process. The following Daring Greatly quotes discuss some of the author’s key ideas about what it means to live life wholeheartedly.
Keep reading for Daring Greatly quotes by Brene Brown.
Daring Greatly Quotes by Brene Brown
“There are many tenets of Wholeheartedness, but at its very core is vulnerability and worthiness; facing uncertainty, exposure, and emotional risks, and knowing that I am enough.”
The idea of wholeheartedness is central to Brene’s teachings in Daring Greatly. She characterizes wholeheartedness by behavior and beliefs that facilitate meaningful engagement and growth: openness, a sense of self-worthiness, and courage to be vulnerable with others.
“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. Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and the clarity of our purpose; the level to which we protect ourselves from being vulnerable is a measure of our fear and disconnection.”
According to Brene, one of the reasons we fear vulnerability, fear to show our true self to the world, is because we have internalized the belief that vulnerability is a weakness. But the truth is: vulnerability is not an option. You are vulnerable just by being alive. You could spend your whole life trying to avoid vulnerability, and you still wouldn’t escape it, because life is fragile by nature. You can’t control whether or not you experience vulnerability, but you can control how you engage with it: whether you camouflage it or embrace it with an open heart.
“When I look at narcissism through the vulnerability lens, I see the shame-based fear of being ordinary. I see the fear of never feeling extraordinary enough to be noticed, to be lovable, to belong, or to cultivate a sense of purpose.”
People camouflage their shame differently. In some people, it manifests as narcissism. Narcissists behave the way they do (e.g. prioritizing their own needs, putting others down to make themselves feel more important) because deep down they feel inadequate. But they want to be seen as extraordinary because they believe that is what they need to be to belong.
“Shame derives its power from being unspeakable.”
According to Brene, part of the reason shame is so pervasive is because we don’t talk about it. This is what is so insidious about shame: it wants you to stay silent and feel alone. The very experience of shame causes you to question your worthiness for being seen. When you speak about shame, you are communicating to yourself and others: “I am worthy of love, connection, and belonging.”
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Here's what you'll find in our full Daring Greatly summary :
- What it means to live Wholeheartedly
- The 3 things you need to feel happy and healthy
- How scarcity and shame prevent you from achieving a Wholehearted life