6 Brené Brown Books To Turn To When You Need Guidance
You can always rely on Brené!
Brené Brown's Books
If you weren't familiar with Brené Brown and her work before, there's a good chance you are now that she has a Netflix special out, The Call to Courage. However, she's most known for her incredible self-help books.
Brené Brown's books have helped thousands of people through her lessons on learning to accept vulnerability, giving up on perfection, becoming a better leader, and so much more. If you ever feel as if something in your life is off, I recommend reading any of Brené Brown's books, which are all a real learning experience. The accessibility of her lessons make them perfect for everyone no matter where they're at in their personal growth.
1. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
In Brené Brown's Daring Greatly, she digs into the widespread myth that showing any sort of vulnerability is a weakness. Rather, she posits that the ability to express vulnerability is a strength, a show of courage. "When we shut ourselves off from vulnerability, we distance ourselves from the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives." Why is this? Because vulnerability is the very core of our emotions: grief, fear, love, empathy, joy, creativity, and more.
Brown admits how uncomfortable it can feel to express vulnerability because it opens ourselves up to criticism and getting hurt. However, according to Brown, this is nowhere as painful as looking back and realizing that, if we'd just embraced vulnerability, we could have gained so much more.
2. Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.
In Dare to Lead, Brown digs into what real leadership is. It isn't about the power you have, your status or title. Rather, true leadership is about discovering the potential in people and ideas, and helping develop "that potential." Leaders know they will never have all the answers and don't pretend otherwise. Instead, they ask question and share power and responsibility, embracing difficulty and vulnerability to accomplish what's important.
When we live in a society that prioritizes leaders who lead through "scarcity, fear, and uncertainty" rather than the empathy, honesty, and courage required of good leaders. In Brown's book, she discusses how to be a better leader, braver and more daring.
3. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
Too often, we tell ourselves we aren't worthy. We listen to our fears and anxieties and, eventually, we believe them. But that just isn't true, and Brené Brown's The Gifts of Imperfection will help guide us back to our self worth.
The Gifts of Imperfection isn't your "average self-help book,* and through inspiring and motivational means, helps you earn back your self-esteem and guide you through the personal development process. Her research dives into the psychology of freeing ourselves of our notions of imperfection to live a more authentic life that will help cultivate self-worth, self-love, and courage.
4. Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone
We all sometimes feel like we don't belong. Whether it's at work or even within our own families, feelings of not belonging can be hard to deal with. But, according to Brené Brown in her book, Braving the Wilderness, "True belonging doesn't require us to change who we are. It requires us to be who we are." By redefining what belonging truly means, introduces four different ways that challenge our understanding of belonging.
She says our culture is one that values perfectionism and people pleasing, making it easier to hide our true selves rather than show up to brave "uncertainty and criticism." It is something we must commit to each day to live our most authentic lives.
5. Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
After studying a variety of people who "shared their stories of being brave, falling, and getting back up" - including artists, Fortune 500 companies, teachers, parents, and more - Brené Brown wondered what all these people had in common. It turns out, each of these people "recognize the power of emotion and they're not afraid to lean in to discomfort," which is exactly Rising Strong is about.
We all go through periods of hardship that feel impossible to find our way of at the time. However, Brown says that "the process of regaining our footing in the midst of struggle is where our courage is tested and our values are forged." The size of the struggle isn't what matters; it's coming out the other side of it stronger than before and recognizing it is a process that requires us to lean into our emotions to do so.
6. I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn't): Making the Journey from "What Will People Think?" to "I Am Enough"
It is a exhausting to live in a society that demands perfection, telling us who to be, telling us how to be. Failing to meet that perfection, which is impossible, "is synonymous with being inadequate" and leads to hiding who we are to protect ourselves from judgement.
Through her book, I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn't), Brown is a much-needed voice, informing us we're allowed to be imperfect. Being vulnerable doesn't make us weak. She says, "We need our lives back. It's time to reclaim the gifts of imperfection—the courage to be real, the compassion we need to love ourselves and others, and the connection that gives true purpose and meaning to life. These are the gifts that bring love, laughter, gratitude, empathy and joy into our lives."
I couldn't have said it better myself.
Let's Keep the Conversation Going...
Do you have a favorite book by Brené Brown?