Daring Greatly: Summary Review & Takeaways

This is a summary review of Daring Greatly containing key details about the book.

What is Daring Greatly About?

Daring Greatly dispels the cultural myth that vulnerability is weakness and argues that it is our most accurate measure of courage. Being able to push on new things head-on takes a lot of courage that gives a powerful new vision for letting ourselves be seen. Being vulnerable comes with difficult emotions like fear, grief, and disappointment but at the same time gives birth to love, belonging, joy, empathy, innovation, and creativity.

Free Resource: A step-by-step blueprint to realize your dreams

Who is the Author of Daring Greatly?

Dr. Brené Brown is an author and research professor at the University of Houston, where she holds the Huffington Foundation Endowed Chair at the Graduate College of Social Work. She also holds the position of visiting professor in management at the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business.

What are key takeaways from Daring Greatly?

Takeaway #1 Understanding Why We Feel Shame

Shame is triggered by our perception of what other people think of us, we're social beings and need love, connection, and a sense of belonging to function well, indeed going back into our history it was the only way for us (humans) to survive. So when we're scolded, criticized, or rejected in some way, whether at home, school, or work, we feel that we're not worthy of the love, connection, and belonging that we seek, and we feel shame.

Takeaway #2 How Feeling Shame Can Harm Us

The more often a person is made to feel shameful, the more they will stop trying, disconnecting from others so as to avoid the negative feeling until eventually, they feel entirely worthless. It's a big problem in society today due to social media and the pressures of 'keeping up with the Jones', but we also judge ourselves too harshly. We think that being more and having more will fix the feelings but they just send us into a spiral, never fixing the root of the problem. Social media isn't the only thing to blame either as schools and offices breed shame. Think back to a time when you were ridiculed for something you did or said. Now think about your home life, were you as a child given all the encouragement you needed, did you know that you were loved unconditionally? Do your own kids know it, are they raised in a healthy household where they can truly be themselves and never made to feel small or put down for their thoughts, feelings or ideas?

Takeaway #3 Overcoming Shame by Becoming Vulnerable

Most people think that being vulnerable is a weakness rather than a positive, they associate it with being a failure, a disappointment, of being used by others and that success and strength are more desirable traits. But step away from that misconceived notion and turn it around realizing that vulnerability is about having the capacity to experience emotions both good and bad and that it takes strength to be vulnerable. By being vulnerability you can allow yourself to feel uncertain, will expose yourself emotionally, risk rejection, and become courageous and strong! So, you need to embrace your vulnerability not hide from it or ignore it. It will allow you to be more open with others, connecting on a deeper level. It will allow you to improve yourself both on a personal level and professionally. How can you become more vulnerable? Rid yourself of shame.

Takeaway #4 Shouting Shame From The Rooftops

Shame is usually a feeling we keep hidden, we feel it deeply but we don't want others to know we feel it and we certainly don't want them to witness our shame. It doesn't help when we replay every shameful experience in our memory, making ourselves feel even worst. But stop and think, most often the feeling of shame itself is far more emotionally fraught than the thing that happened that we feel shame about and we only feel shame in the first place because we fear peoples opinion of us has diminished. Therefore, if we could talk about feeling shameful, the powerful emotion that shame holds over us would diminish. To overcome feelings of shame more self-compassion must also be harnessed, don't beat yourself up about it – The world has not ended, get over it, speak about it, laugh about it, forgive yourself and you'll come out of the shame tunnel feeling courageous as well as engaged with others around you.

Takeaway #5 Empowering Others To Feel Vulnerable

It's up to teachers, parents, employers, and other leaders, people with influence, to encourage people to experience vulnerability rather than shame. Never make someone feel stupid for an idea they had, instead congratulate them for being brave enough to say it out loud. Don't laugh when they've tried something and failed at it, congratulate them for being vulnerable enough to try in the first place. By doing this you make people feel worthy which leads to them feeling connected and loved with a sense of belonging.

Book details

  • Print length: 287 Pages
  • Audiobook: 6 hrs and 30 mins
  • Genre: Nonfiction, Self Help, Psychology, Personal Development, Audiobook

What are the chapters in Daring Greatly?

Chapter One - Scarcity: Looking Inside Our Culture of "Never Enough"
Chapter Two - Debunking the Vulnerability Myths
Chapter Three - Understanding and Combating Shame

What are some of the main summary points from the book?

Here are some key summary points from the book:

  • Vulnerability is not a weakness: Brown challenges the notion that vulnerability is a sign of weakness. Instead, she argues that vulnerability is the birthplace of courage, innovation, and creativity. It is about embracing uncertainty and taking risks, allowing us to experience deep connections and authenticity.
  • Shame and vulnerability: Brown discusses the role of shame in our lives and how it can hinder vulnerability. She highlights the importance of recognizing shame and developing resilience to overcome it. By acknowledging and sharing our vulnerabilities, we can break free from the grip of shame and foster healthier relationships.
  • Wholehearted living: The author introduces the concept of wholehearted living, which involves embracing vulnerability, cultivating gratitude and joy, and letting go of perfectionism and the fear of being judged. Wholehearted individuals are willing to engage with life fully and authentically, allowing themselves to be seen as they truly are.
  • The power of empathy: Brown emphasizes the importance of empathy in creating meaningful connections. By practicing empathy, we can truly understand and connect with others, validating their experiences and emotions. Empathy helps build trust, fosters deeper relationships, and promotes a sense of belonging.
  • Cultivating resilience: The book explores the role of vulnerability in building resilience. By embracing vulnerability, we become more resilient and better equipped to navigate life's challenges. Vulnerability allows us to confront our fears, learn from failure, and bounce back stronger.
  • The armor we wear: Brown examines the armor we use to protect ourselves from vulnerability, such as perfectionism, numbing, and excessive busyness. She encourages readers to recognize their armor and shed it to embrace a more authentic and fulfilling life.
  • Daring greatly: The title of the book is derived from Theodore Roosevelt's quote about the "Man in the Arena," emphasizing the importance of showing up and taking risks, even if we might face criticism or failure. Daring greatly means embracing vulnerability and pursuing our dreams wholeheartedly.

What are good quotes from Daring Greatly?

[Favorite Quote]: “Numb the dark and you numb the light.” (Meaning)

Free Resource: Over 1000 smart goal ideas to inspire your life

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”

― Brené Brown - Daring Greatly Quotes

What do critics say?

Here's what one of the prominent reviewers had to say about the book: "Daring Greatly is an important book — a timely warning about the danger of pursuing certainty and control above all. Brené Brown offers all of us a valuable guide to the real reward of vulnerability: Greater courage." — Daniel Pink

* The summary points above have been concluded from the book and other public sources. The editor of this summary review made every effort to maintain information accuracy, including any published quotes, chapters, or takeaways

Reading is Smart. Applying is Smarter:  Apply

Chief Editor

Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.

Actualize Your Potential
Get my simplified process for realizing dreams (The exact process that enabled me to achieve 100 life goals in 10 years)
Access my Start With WHY workbook for free, designed to guide you toward your purpose and the person you are meant to become
Align With Your Why
Elevate In Your Inbox
Get actionable insights, best practices, and wisdom you can apply — No hype, No fluff. Just practical ideas that might change your life.

Read The Art of Fully Living

There's no going back-once you embark on the journey you're meant to live, it's impossible to settle for anything less than your dreams.

Click here to learn more

Set Better Goals

Learn a better and smarter approach to setting and achieving goals. It's not just about what you want to achieve, but who you must become in the process.

Click here to learn more
Take The Free Test
Discover your areas for growth in just 5 minutes. Take the FREE self-evaluation test and pinpoint where to focus your efforts

Uplevel Your Game

Explore The Roadmaps

Access a self-paced online roadmap that turns big goals into realities, complete with daily study guides, actionable steps, and proven practices from the world's best minds
Reclaim your freedom, escape 9-5, and live the life you were meant to live — A self-paced roadmap with daily study guides, actionable steps, and proven practices
Join The Accelerator
Join a 10-week, personalized immersion that will accelerate your goal-attainment, elevate you to your next level, and turn your big dreams into reality.
Learn More
Thanks for reading. It makes a difference. A portion of all proceeds from our endeavors supports entrepreneurs in the developing world. View Impact...