Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True 2021 online Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone online

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True 2021 online Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone online

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True 2021 online Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone online
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A timely and important book that challenges everything we think we know about cultivating true belonging in our communities, organizations, and culture, from the #1 bestselling author of Rising Strong, Daring Greatly, and The Gifts of Imperfection

Look for Brené Brown’s new podcast, Dare to Lead, as well as her ongoing podcast Unlocking Us!

REESE’S BOOK CLUB PICK

“True belonging doesn’t require us to change who we are. It requires us to be who we are.” Social scientist Brené Brown, PhD, MSW, has sparked a global conversation about the experiences that bring meaning to our lives—experiences of courage, vulnerability, love, belonging, shame, and empathy. In Braving the Wilderness, Brown redefines what it means to truly belong in an age of increased polarization. With her trademark mix of research, storytelling, and honesty, Brown will again change the cultural conversation while mapping a clear path to true belonging.

Brown argues that we’re experiencing a spiritual crisis of disconnection, and introduces four practices of true belonging that challenge everything we believe about ourselves and each other. She writes, “True belonging requires us to believe in and belong to ourselves so fully that we can find sacredness both in being a part of something and in standing alone when necessary. But in a culture that’s rife with perfectionism and pleasing, and with the erosion of civility, it’s easy to stay quiet, hide in our ideological bunkers, or fit in rather than show up as our true selves and brave the wilderness of uncertainty and criticism. But true belonging is not something we negotiate or accomplish with others; it’s a daily practice that demands integrity and authenticity. It’s a personal commitment that we carry in our hearts.” Brown offers us the clarity and courage we need to find our way back to ourselves and to each other. And that path cuts right through the wilderness. Brown writes, “The wilderness is an untamed, unpredictable place of solitude and searching. It is a place as dangerous as it is breathtaking, a place as sought after as it is feared. But it turns out to be the place of true belonging, and it’s the bravest and most sacred place you will ever stand.”

Review

Praise for Brené Brown’s Rising Strong

“[Brown’s] research and work have given us a new vocabulary, a way to talk with each other about the ideas and feelings and fears we’ve all had but haven’t quite known how to articulate. . . . [She] empowers us each to be a little more courageous.” —The Huffington Post

“It is inevitable—we will fall. We will fail. We will not know how to react or what to do. No matter how or when it happens, we will all have a choice—do we get up or not? Thankfully, Brené Brown is there with an outstretched arm to help us up.” —Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why and Leaders Eat Last

“With a fresh perspective that marries research and humor, Brown offers compassion while delivering thought-provoking ideas about relationships—with others and with oneself.” Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston, where she holds the Huffington Foundation–Brené Brown Endowed Chair at the Graduate College of Social Work. She is also a visiting professor in management at the University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business. Brown has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy and is the author of five #1  New York Times bestsellers:  The Gifts of ImperfectionDaring GreatlyRising StrongBraving the Wilderness, and  Dare to Lead, which is the culmination of a seven-year study on courage and leadership. With Tarana Burke, she co-edited the bestselling anthology  You Are Your Best Thing: Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience. She hosts the  Unlocking Us and  Dare to Lead podcasts, and her TEDx talk, “The Power of Vulnerability,” is one of the top five most-viewed TED talks in the world with more than 50 million views. Her Netflix special,  The Call to Courage, is the first filmed lecture by a researcher on the streaming service. Brené Brown lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband, Steve. They have two children, Ellen and Charlie.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

ONE

Everywhere and Nowhere

When I start writing, I inevitably feel myself swallowed by fear. And it’s especially true when I notice that findings from my research are going to challenge long-­held beliefs or ideas. When this happens, it doesn’t take long before I start thinking, Who am I to say this? Or, I’m really going to piss people off if I call their ideas into question.

In these uncertain and risky moments of vulnerability, I search for inspiration from the brave innovators and disrupters whose courage feels contagious. I read and watch everything by them or about them that I can get my hands on—­every interview, every essay, every lecture, every book. I do this so that when I need them, when I’m living in my fear, they come to sit with me and cheer me on. Most important, while watching over my shoulder, they put up with very little of my bullshit.

Developing this process took time. In my earlier years, I tried the opposite approach—­filling my mind with critics and naysayers. I would sit at my desk and picture the faces of my least favorite professors, my harshest and most cynical colleagues, and my most unforgiving online critics. If I can keep them happy, I thought, or at the very least quiet, I’ll be good to go. The outcome was the worst-­case scenario for a researcher or a social scientist: findings that were gently folded into a preexisting way of seeing the world; findings that carefully nudged existing ideas but did so without upsetting anyone; findings that were safe, filtered, and comfortable. But none of that was authentic. It was a tribute.

So I decided that I had to fire those naysayers and fearmongers. In their places, I began to summon up men and women who have shaped the world with their courage and creativity. And who have, at least on occasion, pissed people off. They are a varied bunch. J. K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books I love so much, is my go-­to person when I’m struggling with how to introduce a new and strange world of ideas that has only just emerged from my research. I imagine her telling me: New worlds are important, but you can’t just describe them. Give us the stories that make up that universe. No matter how wild and weird the new world might be, we’ll see ourselves in the stories.

The author and activist bell hooks comes to the fore when there’s a painful conversation happening around race, gender, or class. She’s taught me about teaching as a sacred act and the importance of discomfort in learning. And Ed Catmull, Shonda Rhimes, and Ken Burns stand behind me, whispering in my ear, while I’m telling a story. They nudge me when I become impatient and start skipping the details and dialogue that bring meaning to storytelling. “Take us with you into that story,” they insist. Countless musicians and artists also show up, as does Oprah. Her advice is tacked to the wall in my study: “Do not think you can be brave with your life and your work and never disappoint anyone. It doesn’t work that way.”

But my oldest and most steadfast counselor is Maya Angelou. I was introduced to her work thirty-­two years ago when I was studying poetry in college. I read her poem “Still I Rise” and everything shifted for me. It contained such power and beauty. I collected every Angelou book, poem, and interview I could find, and her words taught me, pushed me, and healed me. She managed to be both full of joy and unsparing.

But there was one quote from Maya Angelou that I deeply disagreed with. It was a quote on belonging, which I came across when I was teaching a course on race and class at the University of Houston. In an interview with Bill Moyers that aired on public television in 1973, Dr. Angelou said:

You are only free when you realize you belong no place—­you belong every place—­no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great.

I can remember exactly what I thought when I read that quote. That’s just wrong. What kind of world would it be if we belonged nowhere? Just a bunch of lonely people coexisting. I don’t think she understands the power of belonging.

For over twenty years, whenever that quote popped up in my life, I felt a rush of anger. Why would she say that? That’s not true. Belonging is essential. We must belong to something, to someone, to somewhere. I soon realized that the anger came from two places. First, Dr. Angelou had come to mean so much to me that I just couldn’t stand the thought that we disagreed on something so fundamental. Second, the need to fit in and the ache of not belonging was one of the most painful threads in my own life. I couldn’t accept the idea of “belonging nowhere” as freedom. Feeling like I never truly belonged anywhere was my greatest pain, a personal suffering that threaded through most of my pre-­adult life.

It was in no way my liberation.

Experiences of not belonging are the time markers of my life, and they started early. I attended pre-­K and kindergarten at Paul Habans Elementary on the west bank of New Orleans. It was 1969, and as wonderful as the city was and still is, it was a place suffocated by racism. Schools had only become officially desegregated the year I started. I didn’t know or understand much about what was happening, I was too young; but I knew that my mom was outspoken and tenacious. She spoke up a lot and even wrote a letter to the Times-­Picayune challenging the legality of what today we’d call racial profiling. I could sense that energy around her, but to me, she was still just a volunteer in my homeroom and the person who made me, herself, and my Barbie matching yellow plaid shift dresses.

We had moved there from Texas, and that had been hard for me. I desperately missed my grandmother, but I was eager to make new friends at school and around our apartment complex. It quickly got complicated, though. Homeroom lists were used to determine everything—­from attendance records to birthday party invitations. One day my mom’s room-­mother partner waved the list in front of my mom’s face and said, “Look at all of the black kids on here! Look at these names! They’re all named Casandra!”

Huh, my mom thought. Maybe this explained why I was being left out of so many of my white friends’ parties. My mom goes by her middle name, but her first name is Casandra. My full name on that homeroom list? Casandra Brené Brown. If you’re African American and reading this, you know exactly why white families weren’t inviting me over. It’s the same reason a group of African American graduate students gave me a card at the end of the semester that said, “OK. You really are Brené Brown.” They had signed up for my course on women’s issues and almost fell out of their chairs when I walked to my desk at the front of the classroom on the first day of class. One student said, “You are not Casandra Brené Brown?” Yes, ma’am. It’s also why, when I walked into a job interview for a part-­time receptionist at a doctor’s office in San Antonio, the woman said, “You’re Brené Brown! Well, what a pleasant surprise!” And yes, I walked out of the interview before we sat down.

The black families were welcoming to me—­but their shock was noticeable when I walked through the door. One of my friends told me I was the first white person who had ever been inside their house. That’s hard to wrap your head around when you’re four years old and you’re really there for pin-­the-­tail-­on-­the-­donkey and to eat cake with your friends. As simple as belonging should be in kindergarten, I was already struggling to understand why I felt on the outside of every group.

The next year we moved to the Garden District so my dad could be closer to Loyola, and I transferred into Holy Name of Jesus. I was an Episcopalian, which made me one of the only non-­Catholic students in my school. Turned out I was the wrong religion, yet another wedge between me and belonging. After a year or two of sitting out, being called out, and sometimes being left out, I was sent to the office, and arrived to find God waiting for me. At least that’s who I thought it was. It turned out to be a bishop. He handed me a mimeographed copy of the Nicene Creed and we went through it, line by line. When we were done, he handed me a note to take home to my parents. The note read, “Brené is Catholic now.”

Still, things were relatively good for the next couple of years as I started to get into the groove of my new life in New Orleans, mostly because I had the best BFF in the world—­Eleanor. But then came a bunch of big moves. We left New Orleans for Houston when I was in fourth grade. Then we left Houston for Washington, D.C., when I was in sixth grade. Then we left Washington when I was in eighth grade and moved back to Houston. The normal turbulence and awkwardness of middle school was magnified by perpetual “new-­girl-­ness.” My only saving grace was that during all of these transitions, my parents were in a good place and getting along. This meant that despite the turbulence around me with ever-­changing schools, friends, and adults, home was safe. It even felt like a refuge from the pain of not belonging. When all else failed, I belonged at home, with my family.

But things started to break. That last move back to Houston was the beginning of the long, miserable end to my parents’ marriage. And right on top of that chaos, there were the Bearkadettes.

When we moved back to Houston at the very end of eighth grade there was, thankfully, just enough time to try out for the high school drill team, called the Bearkadettes. This was to be my everything. In a house that was increasingly filled with the muffled sounds of my parents arguing, heard through the walls of my bedroom, that drill team was salvation. Just picture it: lines of girls in white-­fringed blue satin vests and short skirts, all of them wearing uniform wigs, white cowboy boots, small white cowboy hats, and bright red lipstick, strutting into high school football stadiums filled with crowds afraid to leave their seats during halftime lest they miss the high kicks and perfectly choreographed routines. This was my way out, my new, pretty, impeccably ordered refuge.

Eight years of ballet was plenty to get me through the task of learning the routine, and a two-­week liquid diet got me through the brutal weigh-­in. All of the girls swore by the cabbage soup and water diet. It’s hard to think of letting a twelve-­year-­old go on a liquid diet, but for some reason it seemed normal.

To this day, I’m not sure I’ve ever wanted anything in my life more than I wanted a place on this drill team. The perfection, precision, and beauty of it would not only offset the growing turmoil at home, but also deliver the holy grail of belonging. I would have a “big sis” and she would decorate my locker. We’d have sleepovers and date football players. For a kid who had seen Grease forty-­five times, I knew this was the beginning of a high school experience that included sudden, spontaneous sing-­alongs and the 1980s version of sock hops.

And most of all, I would be a part of something that literally did everything together in lockstep. A Bearkadette was belonging personified.

I didn’t really have any friends yet, so I was on my own for tryouts. The routine was easy to learn—­a jazzy number performed to a big band version of “Swanee” (you know, the “how I love ya, how I love ya” one). There was a lot of sliding with jazz hands and an entire section of high kicks. I could kick higher than all of the girls except one dancer named LeeAnne. I practiced so much that I could do that routine in my sleep. I still remember parts of it today.

Tryout day was terrifying, and I’m not sure if it was my nerves or the starvation diet, but I was lightheaded when I woke up, and I stayed that way after my mom dropped me off at the school. Now, as the mother of a teen and a tween, it’s a little hard to think of how I had to walk in by myself, surrounded by groups of girls who were piling out of cars and running in together, holding hands. But I soon realized I had a bigger problem than walking in alone.

All of the girls—­and I mean all of the girls—­were made up from head to toe. Some were wearing blue satin shorts and gold shirts, and others had blue and gold tank tops with little white skirts. There was every iteration of blue and gold bows that you could imagine. And they were all in full makeup. I had on no makeup, and I was wearing gray cotton shorts over a black leotard. No one had told me that you were supposed to get decked out in school colors. Everyone looked so bright and shiny. I looked like the sad girl whose parents fight a lot.

I made the weigh-­in with six pounds to spare. Even so, the sight of girls stepping off the scale and running into the locker room weeping traumatized me.

We wore numbers safety-­pinned to our shirts and danced in groups of five or six. Lightheaded or not, I nailed the routine. I felt pretty confident when my mom picked me up and I went home to wait it out. They would post the numbers later that evening. Those hours in between moved in slow motion.

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4.7 out of 54.7 out of 5
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Top reviews from the United States

Gingerbread
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A clumsy review, from someone who didn''t expect this book to matter....
Reviewed in the United States on September 12, 2017
I''ve been staring at the computer screen for about 10 minutes now, trying to start this review, and having no idea how to do so. I just can''t make the words come out, and writing the review terrifies me, and makes me feel a little ill. You see, I didn''t buy, or read this... See more
I''ve been staring at the computer screen for about 10 minutes now, trying to start this review, and having no idea how to do so. I just can''t make the words come out, and writing the review terrifies me, and makes me feel a little ill. You see, I didn''t buy, or read this book because I know the author or her work. I did both because the content sounded interesting, and because I needed my next big review. Yes, I read this book so I could review it, which is where the ill part enters. I started working toward being an Amazon Top 1000 reviewer about a year ago. Not because I really cared about the rank...it was just a goal. Something intangible I could work toward. And I chose it, because sad though it is, my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads are the last place in this entire world where I am willing to communicate, in any capacity, with other human beings. They''re all I have left.

I live a sad life. I have no friends and I''m lonely... So lonely that as I type this I feel like crying, even though I accepted this as my reality a long time ago. I cancelled facebook two years ago. I lost my last real friend three years ago. I struggle to call and make appointments because it requires talking to strangers, and for this reason I also can''t go to the grocery store, or the gas station, or any other list of a hundred places that normal people go to have normal lives.

You see, I decided five years ago that I was done with fitting in, and that I''d rather be lonely and alone, than to continue immersing myself in a world I found caustic.

Everywhere I looked people seemed to be shouting, trying to make their voices heard. The most recent clever story on facebook. The most wittily stated opinion. I didn''t see kindness, I saw intolerance and rudeness. I saw people ripping each other down through the medium of social media because they didn''t have to look that person in the face, and see how their comments hurt them. Then I watched as that attitude seemed to make people less tolerant in the real world as well. I wanted no part of it anymore. From that point on I was standing alone, and that was that. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but as the years have passed, I''ve cut myself so far off from humanity that it feels like I''m the only person left in my world. It hurts, SO much, but I don''t know how to undo it. I don''t know how to go back.

At least...I didn''t. I know this review is already too long, and all I''ve done is clumsily muddle my way through it—attempting to express something I don''t even know if others will understand. This is frustrating for me, because I don''t want to talk about myself, and doing so is terrifying, particularly after so many years of silence. But I didn''t know how else to express the impact this book had on me, without first talking about how much pain I''ve been in, and how nefarious my reasons for reading it in the first place. I got the "standing alone" part down pat. I did that years ago. The part I couldn''t find, that maybe I''d never have found on my own, is the part where I know how to belong to something again. Join the world. Feel a connection to life and humanity.

I cried just about the entire duration of this book. I got it because it sounded "interesting", but I feel like it opened up a hole in the side of my sad little world. I didn''t think it would apply to me, but it''s changed my life. I expected to write an honest, clinical review discussing its contents from a dispassionate point of view. But instead, here I am, still clumsily attempting to convey my feelings in the hopes that some part of this review might encourage even one other person to read this book.

Everyone should read this book. Everyone who wants to stand alone, but still belong. Everyone who already is alone, and wants to be a part of something again. Everyone who is tired of a humanity that is separated. Give it a shot. If nothing else, get the sample chapters, and see if there''s something in it that might speak to you.

And if my review is clumsy, I sincerely apologize. Please don''t let that turn you off from the book. It changed my life, and I think it can do as much for many.

EDIT: It''s been 6 months since I wrote this review, and when I said this book changed my life, it did. Oh, how it did! I got into therapy. I''ve made some friends who share my interests, and even many of my anxieties. I no longer feel lonely or threatened. If anyone out there struggles as I did, please know that help is available, and change is possible. All it takes is one moment that changes all other moments. For me, that was this book! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for all of you who have supported me, and supported each other. Humanity is far more wonderful than I once believed!!!
9,495 people found this helpful
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CJ
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I read it in a day and was underwhelmed.
Reviewed in the United States on November 28, 2018
Probably like many of you, I became acquainted with Ms. Brown through a Ted Talk. It wasn''t long after when her name started popping up in some online forums I visit. The consensus was that her work on shame and vulnerability was validating and empowering. Currently... See more
Probably like many of you, I became acquainted with Ms. Brown through a Ted Talk. It wasn''t long after when her name started popping up in some online forums I visit. The consensus was that her work on shame and vulnerability was validating and empowering. Currently struggling in my own wilderness, the reviews of this and other works of hers led me to believe I was in for something possibly life-changing, maybe just validating, but absolutely worth the read.

I understand we all process pain and trauma differently, and that her experiences have been no less excruciating than my own due to the odd and flexible concept of relativity... but! it''s just very hard to relate to someone who name drops Maya Angelou.

Much of her book relates back to her career, support system, faith, and how it all synergistically worked out when she decided to stand up to life.

Though off to a bit of a rocky start, she made it through higher education into a career. She relies on (and has in abundance) faith and a strong support network to keep her going. Her version of alone looks nothing like mine, whereas I find myself completely isolated in my old hometown, no relevant work history in a rural community devoid of opportunities, childless, faithless, without friends or family.

The struggles are different, but the pain is the same. Maybe? I can''t help but think if we were both out hiking in the wilderness and each fell into a ravine, she''d get rescued while I''d slowly die of sepsis after being punctured by a large, pointy, fallen branch. Cats, as it were, don''t dial 911. Standing apart and being alone are two very different things.

I hear what she''s saying, I really do. That we have to be brave, that we cannot rely on others to provide belief in us when we do not have such confidence in ourselves. But the way she presents this is more of, "How to capitalize on past success and current fame," rather than, "How to reach out to those struggling, lost in the wilderness, and help them see their way safely through the dangerous terrain without being eaten by a bear (or the expectations of society.)"

There were touching passages, but she lost me after she listed all the businesses she runs and owns and how haaaaard it all is.

Yes, Ms. Brown, it''s hard. It''s all so very hard.
336 people found this helpful
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O. Merce Brown
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Brene Brown''s Best Book So Far--For Every Reader
Reviewed in the United States on September 13, 2017
***** Like all of Brene Brown''s books, this one is life-transforming. I would recommend that everyone--everyone--read each book of hers, in order, and this one last, as it is the culmination of all of the other books. But even better, buy this book, read it, go back... See more
*****
Like all of Brene Brown''s books, this one is life-transforming. I would recommend that everyone--everyone--read each book of hers, in order, and this one last, as it is the culmination of all of the other books. But even better, buy this book, read it, go back and read the others and then read this again! This is the best of all of her books, as well as a prescription for being alive now, of being a citizen, a human being, a kind and caring and loving person--now--at this time in history. It is about how to be brave, kind, and good--no matter what your faith or lack of faith--and of dealing with the fractionalization of our country and of moving towards a re-humanizing (as opposed to dehumanizing) of our communities and families and other relationships, of transforming conflict in brave and true ways.

The book''s theme is "true belonging", which the author defines as: "...the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn''t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are." This might sound a bit unusual, but the book unfolds this idea in beautiful ways that truly will appeal to every reader--no matter what your ideology (including religious and political), no matter what your race, gender, or background.

Read this book; I cannot convey in a review how much it has the potential to change your life for the better. I read it yesterday and today in two sittings and am going back again and again to the writing, the ideas, and the inspiration to me to life more authentically and to be able to connect with others in deeper and braver ways.

Highly recommended.
*****
743 people found this helpful
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Sabina
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Read it only if you are human! (not for perfect, know-it-all people)
Reviewed in the United States on October 23, 2017
Being a fan of Brene Brown’s previous books, I expected this one to be good. I definitely did not expect it to hit home so hard. Multiple times when reading this book I had to put it down, close my eyes and reflect. Although written in an easy to read... See more
Being a fan of Brene Brown’s previous books, I expected this one to be good. I definitely did not expect it to hit home so hard.

Multiple times when reading this book I had to put it down, close my eyes and reflect.

Although written in an easy to read way, this was not an easy read. It was not easy because with everything that is happening in the US and worldwide, with the mess on both national and international political scene, the hate people give to one another, I also got pulled into taking sides. It is so easy to disagree with anyone whose opinion differs from our own. It is so easy to become obsessed with the political drama and point fingers at the ‘bad guys’. This book changed me.

"The goal is to get to the place where we can think, I am aware of what’s happening, the part I play, and how I can make it better, and that doesn''t mean I have to deny the joy in my life."

Braving the Wilderness is an eye opener.

"Today we are edging closer and closer to a world where political and ideological discourse has become an exercise in dehumanization. And social media are the primary platforms for our dehumanizing behavior. On Twitter and Facebook we can rapidly push the people with whom we disagree into the dangerous territory of moral exclusion, with little to no accountability, and often in complete anonymity."

Brene touches upon all the topics that divide our society, if not the world: 2016 US election, the disrespect between Republicans and Democrats, all possible aspects of racism, gun laws, the way social media and anonymity makes it easy to express hateful opinions. But this is not a book about Democrats, Republicans, Whites or Blacks. This is a book about people – human beings coming together, coexist peacefully and get along.
It challenges everything we think we know about belonging, not only on the personal level, but also much broader spectrum – the country, our communities, and our cultures.

Brene focuses on basic rules, which may not speak to you when you look at them briefly, but make so much sense when you open your mind and think about them deeply.

"People are hard to hate close up. Move in."

"Speak truth to BS. Be Civil."

"Hold hands. With strangers."

"Strong back. Soft front. Wild heart."

Recommended read for everyone!
90 people found this helpful
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Brittney Jarrett
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Literally could not force myself through this book
Reviewed in the United States on August 2, 2019
Basic, everyday information. Nothing groundbreaking and I found the description to be completely misleading. It says that it’s about finding true belonging but then talks about why we dislike people with different political views. As with most books in the genre, it’s... See more
Basic, everyday information. Nothing groundbreaking and I found the description to be completely misleading. It says that it’s about finding true belonging but then talks about why we dislike people with different political views. As with most books in the genre, it’s saying the same thing over and over in different ways. Don’t waste your money. I cannot fathom why anyone would give this book a positive review.
42 people found this helpful
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Emotionally Naked
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Emotionally naked is often how I have felt
Reviewed in the United States on September 5, 2018
For any of you out there doing something bold where there is little precedent, this is a must read because the self doubt, the discomfort and the isolation can sometimes be overwhelming. When I lost my son to suicide three years ago, no one talked about him or to... See more
For any of you out there doing something bold where there is little precedent, this is a must read because the self doubt, the discomfort and the isolation can sometimes be overwhelming.

When I lost my son to suicide three years ago, no one talked about him or to me at first. I decided I was going to never be silent on the subject of suicide ever again and I started a blog called Emotionally Naked. But the fear of walking out on that tight rope was petrifying and satisfying at the same time. I was basically publishing my diary of the grief following the worst tragedy of my life. Who would want to read that? It turns out, hundreds of thousands. I write articles to rank on google with titles to attract those looking for ways to die only to encourage them with hope and not directions on ending it all. Sharing those titles is uncomfortable.

Giving public speaking presentations on suicide and telling my story is uncomfortable. I had to get comfortable being uncomfortable and this book helped me validate my purpose. Before reading this, I honestly felt alone and naked at times.
49 people found this helpful
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RonnieTexas
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I''ve only listened to the first chapter of the book ...
Reviewed in the United States on September 12, 2017
I''ve only listened to the first chapter of the book so far and I''ve been in tears three times. This book has already opened my heart and squeezed it hard. I can''t wait to listen to the rest - my dog is going to be getting some long walks.
423 people found this helpful
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C. Burton
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
This helps me feel that I can do this.
Reviewed in the United States on September 21, 2017
This is a powerful book. I can''t begin to approach the words of a particular reviewer who really gets to the heart of the book but I can say I have been searching for information like this most of my life. On numerous occasions, in youth, young adulthood, and on, I have... See more
This is a powerful book. I can''t begin to approach the words of a particular reviewer who really gets to the heart of the book but I can say I have been searching for information like this most of my life. On numerous occasions, in youth, young adulthood, and on, I have found myself in the wilderness and turned to unhealthy solaces. As with physical pain, the best way to heal from emotional pain is to move through it. Therapy can help point out the problems but this book actually talks about the challenging but effective ways to handle them. She''s said this over and over again: It isn''t easy but it''s so worthwhile.
To the reviewers who feel she''s repeating herself, I say that like any good teacher, she''s going into greater depth. This is Authenticity 405 instead of 101. Her political comments aren''t aimed at any one party but at the position of "US versus THEM". I know some people who would refer to this information as pious or psychobabble or any number of dismissing adjectives but people love this because it''s profound and people hate it because it''s hard. I think I can do this. Thank you, Brene Brown.
73 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

Dani Saveker
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Must read book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 15, 2017
Simple and essential book in a era of struggle and lost connectivity
42 people found this helpful
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Victoria Yates
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Where to start…a book the world desperately needs right now
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 13, 2017
Where to start…I feel like, no I KNOW, this book was written for me. Published only yesterday I have just finished reading it and wow, it is so powerful and so tender. I am completely grateful for all of Professor Brene Brown’s words, they have guided me towards the...See more
Where to start…I feel like, no I KNOW, this book was written for me. Published only yesterday I have just finished reading it and wow, it is so powerful and so tender. I am completely grateful for all of Professor Brene Brown’s words, they have guided me towards the beautiful life I have now which both excites and terrifies me, but this particular book spoke to my heart and so now I need to start reading it again to remove and treasure all the many gems of wisdom concealed within its pages. But what is it about? It’s about ‘true belonging’ and how to navigate through this messy, messy, divided world of sides and enemies and terrorism and hate by remaining passionately true to yourself and your beliefs and holding on to love and compassion and empathy; living a life that is true, brave, courageous and most importantly, yours. This is Brown’s definition of belonging, it is perfection: ''True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.''
120 people found this helpful
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christopher wilden
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Average book.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 13, 2019
so the book isnt bad but isnt great either. she goes on to talk about how being alone is ok in society, and how were always apart off something regardless off what you believe, feel,love,like, activities. abit long winded in some places but to be honest, with society going...See more
so the book isnt bad but isnt great either. she goes on to talk about how being alone is ok in society, and how were always apart off something regardless off what you believe, feel,love,like, activities. abit long winded in some places but to be honest, with society going the way its going, we are alone, nobody talks to neighbours, you dont see kids playing in the streets anymore, everyone is in there own bubble and out for them selves. the book goes on about mainly american based story''s on her life experiences, name dropping celebs isnt the greatest way to go about trying to sell your book. her bubble dosent quiet fit in to society at a different level except her own middle to upperclass people. another wannabe person to kick and snigger at lesser people than herself in my opinion. quoting other peoples work is half the book..why? where is your own quotes and life philosophy? its mainly her point off view or someone elses, kind off waste off time but hey it paid the bills right?
12 people found this helpful
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PZ
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Absolutely utterly inspiring -- especially for misfits
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 18, 2018
Absolutely utterly inspiring -- especially for me at this time when I feel that I do not belong on the project where I work yet I choose to stay and make the best of it. I think it''s must-read for anyone who feels like a misfit. And you should read Brown''s previous books to...See more
Absolutely utterly inspiring -- especially for me at this time when I feel that I do not belong on the project where I work yet I choose to stay and make the best of it. I think it''s must-read for anyone who feels like a misfit. And you should read Brown''s previous books to understand more about shame and how it can contribute to that feeling that, because the way I am, I am not worthy of belonging. Helped me so much! Thanks Brene Brown!
20 people found this helpful
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book fan
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Perfect Timing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 31, 2018
This book has come at a time I needed to read it. Excellent, challenging, truthful. And now I will put some of it into practice by asking,, #Amazon, Goodreads, why must I add five more words when I am happy with my succinct review? Tell me more about why this is important...See more
This book has come at a time I needed to read it. Excellent, challenging, truthful. And now I will put some of it into practice by asking,, #Amazon, Goodreads, why must I add five more words when I am happy with my succinct review? Tell me more about why this is important to you. X
12 people found this helpful
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Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone




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Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True 2021 online Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone online

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True 2021 online Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone online

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Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True 2021 online Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone online

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True 2021 online Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone online

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True 2021 online Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone online

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True 2021 online Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone online

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True 2021 online Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone online

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True 2021 online Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone online

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True 2021 online Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone online

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True 2021 online Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone online

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True 2021 online Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone online

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True 2021 online Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone online

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True 2021 online Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone online

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True 2021 online Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone online

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True 2021 online Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone online

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True 2021 online Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone online

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True 2021 online Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone online

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True 2021 online Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone online

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True 2021 online Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone online

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True 2021 online Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone online

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True 2021 online Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone online

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True 2021 online Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone online

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True 2021 online Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone online

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True 2021 online Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone online

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True 2021 online Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone online

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True 2021 online Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone online

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True 2021 online Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone online

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True 2021 online Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone online

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True 2021 online Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone online