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Book Review: Daring Greatly

I just finished reading Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly. If you aren’t familiar, Brené gave one of the most popular TED talks regarding the Power of Vulnerability.  
https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B007P7HRS4
This book was recommended by a friend who has known a bit of my roller coaster through entrepreneurship over the years and my ability to go into a “hole” and not ask for help. I’ve learned over the years through my stubbornness how not asking for help, and indeed being vulnerable, tends to put myself on a secluded island. 

My take-aways:
  • Shame vs. guilt… completely different. Guilt is a feeling of having done something wrong, whereas shame is a feeling of BEING wrong. There’s a difference there, and though subtle, is powerful in understanding that people are not wrong, but our actions can be flawed. It’s important to address actions, not the people behind them.
  • Vulnerability is powered by confidence. It’s the ability to be “good enough” at the moment. It’s about knowing not everyone is going to be there, but the right people will be. It’s about being grounded in your vision and values.
  • Aiming for perfect is great, but by its very definition means there is no better. Too often, people aim for perfection before stepping into “the arena”. All that time striving for perfection avoids the opportunities of new relationships, new learnings, and more which could be fostered by being vulnerable and accepting the potential to fail but going into a new venture with courage.
  • Daring greatly is accepting the possibility of failing, but enables us to aspire for greater. It’s not about failure, of course, but moving past failure having learned what we needed to learn. Then, it’s being vulnerable to try again.
I often hear about how the best leaders are those who are also capable of being vulnerable. However, I’m still figuring this one out in how to be vulnerable — how to involve others and ask for support, and taking on risks that are highly out of my control. 

Anyways, as an entrepreneur and a leader, it’s important to do some soul-searching and have self-awareness before leading others. In this way, Brené shares how vulnerability can help… err, dare greatly. 

Going to end with an excerpt from Teddy Roosevelt’s “Citizenship In A Republic” speech that Brené shares:
"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, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." - Teddy Roosevelt, April 23, 1910


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