Braving the Wilderness ~ Brene Brown

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

This was not my first Brene Brown book, so I knew what I was getting myself into. For those of you that haven’t read a book of hers, expect brutal honesty about her own life and perspective that includes faith, social justice, and a dash of cussing. Okay, maybe more than a dash.

Braving the Wilderness is Brene Brown’s latest social theory research, and in this go around, Brown found that people are feeling less connected to one another, and that’s because we’re avoiding taking a stand and discussing things with one another. Instead of discussion, we shut things down or avoid talking altogether because we believe we’d be unable to relate to one another. In this age of us vs. them, Brown found that we’ve reached a whole new level of division, one that many people are not willing to cross. So Brown wrote a formula for “True Belonging,” one that requires us to step outside our comfort zones and seek to make connections with people.

This book is short. I’m glad it’s short, as she kept each anecdote relevant to the message she was trying to convey without crossing over into the B.S. zone. I absolutely loved this book, and can see myself referencing it in my life for years to come. While I was reading it, I found that there’s nothing new here, it’s all common sense, but the way she presented it reminded me that finding connection with others is something that has felt more difficult to do as we progress farther and farther into binary territory.

The first book of Brown’s I read was Daring Greatly, vulnerability research which stood out to me immensely, and I found myself thinking that this new book takes that research one step further. I loved that she reminded readers to focus not only on others, but also on ourselves. In order to form connections with others, we have to be vulnerable. In order to stay true to others, we must first stay true to ourselves. That takes courage. I was so excited the whole time I was reading this book, as Brown just fills me with excitement over the possibilities. For the times when I am feeling like there is nothing I could possibly do to help the world socially, Brene Brown’s work reminds me that I can start with me, and meet everyone else where they’re at without sacrificing what I believe in.


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