Braving the Wilderness Book Summary By Brené Brown

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Brené Brown's 2017 groundbreaking book, "Braving The Wilderness", teaches us about the significance of belonging and how it can bring us closer to others, as well as to ourselves.

Through thoughtful research and inspiring stories of pain and suffering, this book explores the deep relationship between feelings of unbelonging and anger that exist all around us.

In "Braving The Wilderness" you will find an enlightening synthesis of thought-provoking scientific research and touching personal stories.

Readers are sure to uncover a sense of connectedness within themselves, their environment and with each other after reading this powerful book.

Braving the Wilderness

Book Name: Braving the Wilderness (The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone)

Author(s): Brené Brown

Rating: 4.3/5

Reading Time: 16 Minutes

Categories: Motivation & Inspiration

Author Bio

Brené Brown is a renowned researcher, professor, and author.

She has been researching topics like vulnerability, courage, empathy, and shame for over 15 years at the University of Houston.

Through her research and insights into these topics she wrote four best-selling books – two of which were Rising Strong and Daring Greatly.

Her influence in this area also extended to her TED talk "The Power of Vulnerability" which has been viewed by millions around the world, further proof that Brené’s insight into these very themes speaks volumes to her audience.

Find The Peace That Comes With Belonging: Discover How To Look Within For True Connection

True Connection

Brené Brown’s Braving the Wilderness shows us that to feel less isolated or alone, we must look inside ourselves.

Our modern technology was supposed to bring us closer together, form a global community, but it only led to further division.

We tend to join groups and surround ourselves with like-minded people in an effort to reduce feeling of loneliness, when in fact, this can actually result in greater isolation.

Braving the Wilderness provides tips and insights on how to better understand ourselves as individuals and make our own place in the world.

We are encouraged to ask difficult questions of ourselves so that we can gain true inner peace and a sense of belonging.

By following these steps and utilizing things such as: list-making tools, tragedies turned into triumphs; empathy over pity; and securing your vision while allowing yourself some wriggle room – all help us find our place organic ally within this world.

The Pain Of Not Belonging: Why We Seek Connection And How Rejection Can Follow Us For A Lifetime

We spend our entire lives searching for the feeling of true belonging.

We all want to be accepted and feel like we are a part of something larger than ourselves.

But, when we don’t experience this, it can be heartbreaking.

Brené Brown can attest to this – she found herself unwelcome in both black and white circles as a child, when she moved to New Orleans.

Her middle name was considered African-American by her white classmates, and although some of her African-American friends would invite her over, their parents were often shocked at the sight of a white girl.

So the young Brené felt rejected even before reaching school age.

The teenage version of Brené desperately wanted to be part of the Bearkadettes, the school’s cheerleading team.

Despite rigorously practicing her routine nonstop and nailing it at the tryouts, she was told that just wasn’t ‘Bearkadette material.’ This rejection factored into being unable to find acceptance within her own family; not surprising given that mom had been a Bearkadette and dad had starred on the football team prior!

Finding True Belonging Through Self-Acceptance And Determination

The key to true belonging is not searching for acceptance from others, but instead belonging to oneself.

Brené Brown found this through her life-changing experiences and ultimately comprehended this notion when she met one of her idols, Maya Angelou.

After being invited to an event requiring “business attire”, Brené at first went along with it and dressed up; however, she felt completely phony in the fancy outfit and quickly changed into her normal jeans and shirt.

At the end of the event, she had achieved the highest rating from all other speakers in attendance because by being herself and not changing for another person’s opinion, she was able to truly belong.

Through building a relationship with Steve over thirty year ago as well as talking openly on Oprah’s show about her self-belonging strategy of writing permission slips to allow herself “to be goofy,” connection happened naturally without a need for approval or rejection from others – thus showing us that true belonging means belonging only to ourselves.

We All Must Venture Into The Wild To Achieve Personal Growth And Develop Braving Skills

Personal Growth

It takes courage and trust to find your way through the metaphorical wilderness, where you must confront your uncertainties and vulnerabilities in order to achieve personal growth.

Joseph Campbell said “your path is created with every step you take”; travelling alone will provide you with the sense of belonging you seek.

Braving the Wilderness by author Brené Brown discusses not just facing these daunting unknowns but learning how to do it—what she calls “braving skills.” These include being able to listen without judgment, trusting yourself to go on, practicing trust in others, respecting boundaries and making decisions with integrity.

In order to truly belong, the author emphasizes that one must be open and vulnerable—things that take bravery and a lot of trust.

The wilderness provides us with new perspectives, so while the journey is hard, it’s ultimately an exciting one.

By viewing it as an opportunity for self-discovery and personal development instead of a challenge to face down fearfully, we can embrace its vastness as a chance to learn about ourselves more deeply.

The more trust you have in yourself and whatever lies in store for you, the more likely others are going to be inspired to join you on this rewarding journey.

Instead Of Holding On To Factions, We Should Seek Places And Experiences That Unify Us

It’s no secret that people these days are more divided than ever.

With so many ideologies, political beliefs, and religious views in play, we’ve become entrenched in our own “bubbles.” By surrounding ourselves with ideas that reinforce our own opinions and beliefs, we rarely step out of those bubbles or challenge what we think to be true.

This tight circle can leave us feeling even lonelier than ever before since meaningful connections become impossible with unchallenging opinions.

Unfortunately, this loneliness epidemic is affecting more and more Americans.

According to Julianne Holt Lunstad, a professor at Brigham Young University, the number of people describing themselves as lonely has doubled since the 1980s—with loneliness being a greater health hazard than obesity, pollution or excessive drinking!

Her research revealed that it increases the likelihood of premature death by 45 percent!

The author of “Braving the Wilderness,” Brene Brown hit on this topic when her children told her certain restaurants and their friends’ houses left them feeling lonely; hence meaningful connections never happened in those places.

However there are other spaces where interactions can create meaningful connections–such as places centered around art and music–which has evidence-backed potential in unifying individuals for a better sense of hope.

Through Compassion And Civility We Can Find Belonging And Unite Despite Our Differences

Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown serves as an inspirational guide to reduce loneliness by focusing on firsthand experiences, rather than giving in to anger.

Her advice is that it’s ok to disagree with others, but it’s best not to go overboard and start assuming all Democrats or all Republicans are bad just because of what you hear on the news.

Real life is far more complex than political rhetoric – often times you’ll find yourself relying on a coworker or neighbor who votes differently in times of familial emergency.

It is essential, therefore, that we remain civil when trying to correct someone else’s views.

Brown advices maintaining an attitude of understanding and goodwill, even if you feel like yelling at first instinct.

In addition, showing kindness through simple gestures such as holding hands during memorials or cheering along your neighbor’s favourite sports team can build bridges between people and help build trust within communities.

Furthermore, being vulnerable doesn’t have to mean lack of courage – Jen Hatmaker is a great example in this regard: despite receiving harsh criticism for supporting the civil rights of the LGBTQ community she remained open-hearted and compassionate towards her detractors.

Therefore, if we reject divisional rhetoric and ground ourselves in genuine experiences, we may be able to tackle feelings of loneliness through understanding one another better.

Holding On To Anger Is Toxic – Learn How To Express It In Positive, Meaningful Ways

Anger Is Toxic

When it comes to dealing with anger, we tend to want to keep it bottled up because we’re conditioned into believing that expressing it is wrong.

But what many people forget is that our anger can actually be a source of great strength if used correctly.

We don’t need to let it turn into bitterness or persecution if we use it as an opportunity for self-reflection and understanding.

This concept was highlighted by noble Peace Prize winner Kailush Satyarthi, who spoke about the dangers of repressed anger and its capacity for violence at the 2015 TED Talk.

He noted that in times of conflict, when emotions can run high, it’s vital to create an environment where meaningful conversations about religion, race and identity can actually take place.

Without doing this, all that happens is an increase in hatred and division within society.

As inspirational example of how powerful emotions like anger can be used in a positive way came from Antoine Leiris during the 2015 Paris terror attacks.

After losing his wife in the attack, he wrote a letter entitled “You Will Not Have My Hate” which proceeded against the terrorists by going on living without fear or hate and challenging their misguided beliefs through love and understanding instead.

Wrap Up

Braving the Wilderness highlights many key messages and offers practical advice to those trying to find a sense of belonging in this chaotic world.

At the core of everything, it emphasizes that every human being has an inherent need to belong and it is often a life-long journey of discovering who we truly are.

The book also suggests that debate should not lead people to dehumanize each other– disagree if you must, but do so without insulting others.

All in all, Braving the Wilderness is about accepting yourself for who you are and finding your place in this world without hurting others.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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