BOOK REVIEW: Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

Brene Brown - Braving the Wilderness

Nowadays you can learn just about anything online, whether it's all true or not! A while back I decided it was time to build up my resource library with actual books. I have an e-library as well, but there isn't anything like holding paper in your hands and turning pages. 

Anyways, I thought I would share, over time, the books that have helped me in my business in hopes that you find something that benefits yours as well! For this first one, it touches on a deep part of my business. Do you fear rejection or failure in your business? Do you wonder what people will think or how they will handle what you have to offer? This book is definitely something you should purchase or borrow from the library. 

Brene Brown - Braving the Wilderness

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone, by Brene Brown, really helped me to break free from fears I had about business and the relationship I have with my clients. Brene is a research professor at the University of Houston who has spent the past sixteen years studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. Because of her straightforward thinking and easy to read writing it really helped me to connect with her research findings.

So what does this book have to do with our businesses? Well, let me share a little bit about my experience. 

I struggled with confidence in my work for a long time. I would claim that my work wasn't enough. My ability wasn't enough. My tacked with speaking with clients wasn't enough. I was just scared to death! I wanted more from my work but wasn't sure what was wrong. 

After reading this book (as well as making a few other changes in my life), I felt more inspired to reach out, take risks, and stand strong in my creativity. Here is an excerpt that summarizes the book well:

As a clearer picture of true belonging emerged from the data, and I realized why we must sometimes stand alone in our decisions and beliefs despite our fear of criticism and rejection, the first image that came to me was the wilderness....

Belonging so fully to yourself that you're willing to stand alone is a wilderness - 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. The wilderness can often feel unholy because we can't control it, or what people think about our choice of whether to venture into that vastness or not. But it turns out to be the place of true belonging and it's the bravest and most sacred place you will ever stand. - pg. 36

She goes through 4 different practices of true belonging, while providing research along the way. By the time I was well through the book, I had a better handle on what was actually causing my fear and what I could do to bring creativity back into my life. Once the creativity flows, there is no holding it back!

My main take away from this book would be that standing alone in the "wilderness" is not about bracing oneself with a shield in a field full of critics. It is about standing alone in what you are passionate about and doing it with vulnerability. It allows you to be true to yourself which is so freeing! In the end the critics will still fire their arrows, but you will find yourself amongst others who are wanting to connect and share in that vulnerability right along side you.

I hope that this book is as inspiring to you, as it was for me. If you are still unsure about making time to read it, you can also check out Brene's TedTalks here and here.