Thursday, July 2, 2015

daring greatly book study 1 of 5

Hi there! Welcome back to the BigTime Blogging Challenge! For details of the challenge, check this link, and so we are onward with today's post: Book Study!

Today we being our talks of Daring Greatly by Brené Brown. (If you want to blog about another book, feel free, or blog about whatever you want! The challenge is just about writing every day!) We're booktalking the Introduction, Chapter 1: Scarcity: Looking Inside our Culture of "Never Enough," and Chapter 2: Debunking the Vulnerability Myths. First, let's start with the quote that is at the heart of the book:

This is the second time through for me on this book, and I'm so happy to be revisiting it! Brené Brown is convinced we live in a culture of scarcity:

  • Never good enough
  • Never perfect enough
  • Never thin enough
  • Never powerful enough
  • Never successful enough
  • Never smart enough
  • Never certain enough
  • Never safe enough
  • Never extraordinary enough
She says this is because it's a tough world to live in - there's been so many tragedies: 9/11, multiple wars, recession, increase in random violence and school shootings (p.27). She says all of this stuff makes us angry and scared, and rather than coming together to heal (which takes vulnerability) we are instead at each other's throats.

She lists three components of scarcity and some questions to consider for each:
  1. Shame: Is self-worth tied to achievement, productivity, or compliance? What about favoritism? Is perfectionism and issue?
  2. Comparison: Healthy competition can be beneficial, but is there constant overt or covert comparing and ranking?
  3. Disengagement: Are people afraid to take risks or try new things?
The anecdote to all this is what she defines as wholeheartedness. She says at it's core, wholeheartedness is vulnerability and worthiness: facing uncertainty, exposure, and emotional risks and knowing I am enough.

Some quotes that I just loved from Chapter 2:
Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity (p. 34)
To put our art, our writing, our photography, our ideas out into the world with no assurance of acceptance or appreciation, that's also vulnerability (p. 34).
After being on this blogging journey, I couldn't agree more. It totally takes vulnerability to write on a blog and share it widely! Your fears are that what you have to say might not matter, might not be good enough, or there might not be anyone who cares.
Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage (p.37). 
Yep, totally feels like courage. It takes courage to put your ideas and thoughts out there, unsolicited! It takes courage to love unconditionally. It takes courage to tell your colleagues, "I don't know the answer..."
The willingness to show up changes us (p. 42).
I've been changed. Blogging changed me - for the better. I don't fear judgement anymore, but will take constructive criticism appreciatively, from those who are putting themselves out there with me. Blogging has also made much such a more informed writing teacher. I understand what it is to live the "writerly life" - a life I want my students to lead.
Nothing has transformed my life more than realizing that is's a waste of time to evaluate my worthiness by weighing the reaction of the people in the stands (p. 54).
This book has made me feel okay to tell myself, "I am enough. I am smart / kind / compassionate / thin / happy enough." I no longer care about the opinions of others - opinions of the people who are not in the arena with me. People who don't walk in my shoes, they get no air time in my thoughts. And when those thoughts do come, this book has helped me be able to let them go so much easier!

So those are just some of my thoughts from the beginnings of the book. Next week on Thursday, we will be back to discuss Chapter 3: Understanding and Combating Shame.

What are your initial responses to the text? Be sure to leave your post here!


  1. This book sounds amazing. I can't wait to get it and read it!

  2. WOW, those are powerful words about "never" and the comparisons. Glad to be hanging with you again this July!!

  3. This sounds like a great book. I have a friend who got a tattoo of the word "Enough" to remind herself that she is. I think we can all use that reminder from time to time!


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