Braving the Wilderness

Braving the Wilderness

The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone

Book - 2017
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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

Don't miss the hourlong Netflix special Brené Brown: The Call to Courage !


"True belonging doesn't require us to change who we are. It requires us to be who we are." Social scientist Brené Brown, PhD, LMSW, 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."
Publisher: New York : Random House, [2017]
ISBN: 9780812995848
Branch Call Number: 158.2 BRO 2017
Characteristics: 194 pages


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Jun 09, 2019

Brilliant. So informative, so well written and well told.

DanielVaniel May 14, 2019

She does a beautiful job of bringing to light in clear & compassionate terms the struggle to remain both authentic & empathetic in a diverse & at-times divisive world of opinions & broken journeys. The section about dehumanization is nothing less than stunning & useful to all extremes (This week alone I've overheard more than 1 threat of violence directed toward the opposite political "wings").

This book is a cornerstone, & I believe an imperative in social & academic circles going forward.

CarleeMcDot Feb 22, 2019

I have read another one of Brené's books, so when I saw this one become available at the library I decided it was time to give it a read. The book is a couple years old already, but it is just as relevant for today's political climate as it was then. Her research delves into how we can find true belonging and have the courage to stand alone (even when it's tough and vulnerable, because it is necessary and worth it!). This is not a book grandstanding and telling us that everyone should hold hands and sing kumbaya, but it is saying that when we do show up and stand up for our beliefs, we need to be civil and respectful. In the divisive climate we find ourselves in, the four pillars she mentions in her book - "People are hard to hate close up. Move in.", "Speak truth to bullshit. Be civil.", "Hold hands. With strangers.", and "Strong back. Soft front. Wild heart." are all topics we could be a little more versed in. Although I sort of wish I walked away with more 'how to' steps, it did raise quite a few great points - points I hope to simmer on and hopefully adjust my behavior accordingly. I would give it an 8 out of 10.

Feb 07, 2019

Brown's book took me several days to read as I had to read a concept, ponder it, and then let it rest a bit in my mind. Too often we are now in the inflame, blame, and defame mode rather than observing, engaging and understanding. We are on "send" not "receive". Maybe it is good to sometimes get a topic that is festering out in the open so that we can address it rather than letting it grow untouched under the surface.

Nov 01, 2018

A quick and easy read, Brown nevertheless nails a very important truth: our culture of separation, our "us against them" mentality, and our emphasis on the individual versus the collective good, in essence, our refusal to recognize how completely connected we all are, is destroying us.

Oct 02, 2018

While reading this book there were a few passages I enjoyed and that I thought would stick with me, but by the next chapter I couldn't remember what they were and overall this book was pretty unremarkable.

Cynthia_N May 11, 2018

This was an interesting book but I just didn't connect with it.

Jules101 May 11, 2018

I was drawn to the book by the title and initially surprised that is wasn’t about the wilderness as I had imagined. An open take on connection, belonging and living true to your heart in the reality of today’s world. I highly recommend this book!

Jan 25, 2018

So much truth in Ms Brown’s message.
Reese Witherspoon’s January 2018 book club pick.

Jan 16, 2018

Brene won my love with Daring Greatly yet this book fell short. She tried to talk about the difficulties of belonging to a group while staying true to yourself, but it was a muddled mess. The vignettes from her personal life were enthralling, though.

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Nov 29, 2017

Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don't belong. You will always find it because you've made that your mission. Stop scouring people's faces for evidence that you're not enough. You will always find it because you've made that your goal. True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we don't negotiate their value with the world. The truth about who we are lives in our hearts. Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation, especially our own. No one belongs here more than you.

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