Length: 208 pages
Audiobook Length: 4 hours and 12 minutes
First Published: 2017
Shame researcher Brene Brown (author of The Gifts of Imperfection and Daring Greatly) turns her focus to what it means to feel like you belong. Unlike fitting in, true belonging comes when we feel like we are fully embraced for who we are. In a world of disconnection, Brown uses anecdotes and research to teach how to embrace ourselves and learn to see past differences to find connection and belonging.
I don’t know what it is about Brené Brown, but I struggle with all of her books. Oddly, I think her content is super important and has great insights into the human condition. Which always makes me like something is wrong with me when I don’t love her books. Or even like them. I’m not sure if it’s me or her writing or just that I don’t really like philosophy, but I think I’m finally throwing in the towel and admitting I am never going to be a Brené Brown fan.
“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.”
Quotes from Braving the Wilderness
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.
True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.
But what we know now is that when we deny our emotion, it owns us. When we own our emotion, we can rebuild and find our way through the pain.
Never underestimate the power of being seen.
About Brené Brown
Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston. Known for speaking on vulnerability and shame, Brown is a bestselling author whose works include The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Braving the Wilderness, and Atlas of the Heart. She also hosts the podcasts Unlocking Us and Dare to Lead. Brown currently lives in Houston, Texas. Visit the author’s website →