Daring Greatly Book Review

There is none other like Brene Brown and if you’re not familiar with her or her work, you should be. She holds a Ph.D. in social work and is currently a research professor at the University of Houston. Three of her books are #1 New York Times bestsellers and one of her TED talks, featured above, is the fourth most viewed TED talk in the world (over 30 million views). Her specialty? Sixteen years of shame, vulnerability, courage and empathy research.


“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”


Brene’s TED talk, The Power of Vulnerability, is the sister discussion to her book, Daring Greatly. As expected, this book is incredible and will change the way you view vulnerability and how you value its necessity in all aspects of life: self, relationship, parenting, work, leading and even artistic expression. The title, Daring Greatly, comes from Brene’s admiration for Theodore Roosevelt’s famous speech “The Man in the Arena”, delivered at the Sorbonne in Paris, France, on April 23, 1910:

To dare greatly is to be vulnerable despite the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness, it is pure bravery. It is to be courageous enough to step into the arena and put yourself all out there, even though you might fail. And it is only in this arena where the possibility of magic happens, where we dare to love, dare to innovate, and dare to be triumphant.

 “Ordinarily, when we reach out and share ourselves – our fears, hopes, struggles, and joy- we create small sparks of connection. Our shared vulnerability creates light in normally dark places. My metaphor for this is twinkle lights. There’s something magical about the idea of twinkle lights shining in dark and difficult places. The lights are small, and a single light is not very special, but an entire strand of sparkling lights is sheer beauty.”


In reading her book, my favorite trait of Brene Brown is that she is real and relatable. At no point is she just butterflies and rainbows, with hopes that we all sit in a circle and sing kumbaya to fix our problems. She is a scientist and a researcher, who has come to these conclusions based off real data, despite her own natural instinct to run for the hills with the very mention of vulnerability. She not only turns this data into understandable terms for the individual, but also into actionable strategies for leaders in government, business and the arts. No matter your story, gender, relationship status, or occupation, this book is for you.

So do you want to stand safely on the sidelines unheard and unseen, or do you want to be vulnerable and courageous and know you dared greatly?





This version of the book can be found here. Want more Brene Brown? I’ve also featured her Wholehearted Parenting and Daring Greatly Leadership Manifestos below, downloaded from

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  • Reply Katelin

    I love your book review for Daring Greatly Steph! I enjoy the fact that her books are essentially self help yet told in story form. I have read plenty of self help books and by the middle of the book I usually get bored and the material starts to feel redundant. I have only read one of her books “The Gifts of Imperfection” but every principle she is trying to teach she relates to a story. A very easy read and maybe that’s why she is called a “storyteller.” ❤️

    May 18, 2017 at 12:01 pm
    • Reply Stephanie

      yes! so true. I love how she says “maybe stories are just data with a soul”. Excited to read gifts of imperfection too 🙂

      May 18, 2017 at 3:06 pm
  • Reply Amanda | My Own Unexpected Journey

    Well now I have to read this book. I’ve never heard of this author before, but the words of hers that you have shared here really resonate with me. Thank you for this wonderful review.

    May 19, 2017 at 2:19 pm
    • Reply Stephanie

      You will love Brene Brown! All of her work is great and definitely life changing. Hope you find it useful!

      May 25, 2017 at 2:42 pm
  • Reply Chelsea

    I love that I found a review on this! I’m just finishing another one of her books and this one is next on the list!

    May 20, 2017 at 12:00 am
    • Reply Stephanie

      You won’t be disappointed! I think I’m going to try Rising Strong next 🙂

      May 25, 2017 at 2:42 pm
  • Reply Kendel

    This book sounds amazing! I’ve heard of so many books have been condescending and just ‘out of touch’ with people and their emotions. I think I might have to see if the library has this book!

    May 22, 2017 at 12:51 am
    • Reply Stephanie

      Ya, this one definitely isn’t like that. She gives advice as a friend would, who’s struggled with similar things. Very relate-able.

      May 25, 2017 at 2:44 pm

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