Are You Daring Greatly?


Early into the OWN Network’s Super Soul Sunday yesterday, Brené Brown mentioned her detractors and how it hurt to read bad reviews.

I thought, “Are you kidding me??”  How is it possible that Brené Brown, who not only knows her stuff (she is a research professor and has a PhD in social work, for goodness sake), but is so authentic, how is it possible that she has detractors?

Brené and Oprah were discussing Daring Greatly, Brené’s new book about taking risks and leaning into the power of vulnerability.

I was mesmerized by this woman who so thoroughly walks her talk.  While Brené is quick to point out her imperfection when it comes to the practice of vulnerability (She talks openly about allowing her therapist and her husband to right-size her.), she has a down-to-earth ability to look you in the eye and call a spade a spade.

Would you like a similar approach to life?

You can have one!  According to Brené, it’s called wholehearted living, a means of meeting the world around us with grace and self-worth.  She created 10 “guideposts” that direct us along the path to wholehearted living.  They are:

  1. 1.  Cultivating authenticity:  letting go of what people think
  2. 2.  Cultivating self-compassion:  letting go of perfectionism
  3. 3.  Cultivating a resilient spirit:  letting go of numbing and powerlessness
  4. 4.  Cultivating gratitude and joy:  letting go of scarcity and fear of the dark
  5. 5.  Cultivating intuition and trusting faith:  letting go of the need for certainty
  6. 6.  Cultivating creativity:  letting go of comparison
  7. 7.  Cultivating play and rest:  letting go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth
  8. 8.  Cultivating calm and stillness:  letting go of anxiety as a lifestyle
  9. 9.  Cultivating meaningful work:  letting go of self-doubt and “supposed to”
  10. 10.  Cultivating laughter, song and dance:  Letting go of being cool and “always in control.”
  11. * All 10 are described in-depth in Brené’s book, The Gifts of Imperfection.

Take the wholehearted living test

This isn’t a graded test, nor is it a pass-fail exam.  Think of it as a personal assessment of how wholehearted your life is right now.  Remember:  there are no right or wrong answers and possessing three or eight of the guideposts makes you no better nor worse than the rest of us.

As you contemplate the 10 guideposts, you’ll probably feel a gradient.  Maybe there is one or two you’re certain you’ve cultivated well; but with others, maybe you can claim 25% or 50%.  Remember there are no rules, merely awareness!

Even Brené confesses that when she first started working with her theory of wholehearted living–that it is the opposite of people who live in deep shame–only two of the 10 guideposts registered with her.  You’ll be in good company if your self-assessment is lower than you’d like at first!

Your mission–should you choose to accept it!–is to learn a bit about yourself and to determine whether you wish to go deeper into wholehearted living.

Being called to wholehearted living requires many things, perhaps none more meaningful than courage and vulnerability.  Daring Greatly, this book that compiles insights through research and life revelation, provides a bright light for the journey.

Please read it, share your thoughts, and above all, dare greatly.

Photo courtesy of franthony

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  1. Galen Pearl says:

    I love Brene Brown, and like you, I was so surprised that people could be snarky to such a lovingly vulnerable person. Thanks for the overview of her new book and the invitation to dare greatly. Nice photo, too!

  2. Beth says:

    I will meet Brene one day (she’s only a three hour drive from me) just as I will meet you one day. We are all too cool not to meet! In the meantime, let’s just all keep daring greatly!

    Hugs to you!

  3. Hey Beth,

    I love Brene Brown too! I keep hearing about her talk and I missed it, but will see if I can find it online. Sounds like it was awesome. She has an amazing message, and I agree how could she have detractors?

    • Beth says:

      Hey Cathy!

      I think the thing I appreciate most about Brené is her empathetic, yet no-nonsense style of getting to the heart of the matter. I want to be like her when I grow up! Hope all is well in your CA world!

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