Book Review By Mental Health Warrior
Not very often do you read ‘self-help’ books and come across a fluid structure instead of jotted bullets of why we should be a certain way, put ourselves in boxes. A book that I keep close, keep turning pages of, jot down points from and revisit every now and then.
Daring Greatly is about having faith in ourselves and looking at the world with a lens of compassion, connection, and finally showing up with accountability for ourselves and others. Denying vulnerability is like denying feelings in a world where we are making AI emotionally intelligent. Being vulnerable is knowing that uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure are a part of life. Vulnerability can be n number of things; what is it for you?
“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren't always comfortable, but they're never weaknesses.” - Brene Brown
Brown eloquently weaves the reader a narrative of self-empowerment and self-exploration. What will I, a student, do reading a book on parenting and leading? It turns out Brown turns our everyday understanding of shame and self-loathing, hiding behind the shadows onto its head.
We live in a societal discourse were to be enough we perform constantly. We start believing if we do ‘well’, the positive reinforcements will kick in. We become so intertwined in what we are supposed to do, suppressing our authentic selves, even shutting them down. Wholehearted people experience and embrace vulnerability.
In essence, we are enough. Period. No conditions.
Scarcity makes us believe the worst outcome. When that little window of doubt opens, our brain automatically runs to the worst-case scenario because we are so scared of the bad. The thought of bad takes away the present joy. She defines this as a scarcity problem- never good enough, never thin enough, never smart enough... What is your never? What story does your mind trick you into? She suggests being grateful is a way out of this dark hole. And, it works! Each time my mind says I will screw up my job, I say I am thankful for the work I have done, and slowly, the gremlins fade away.
If we wish to live, love, parent, and lead, vulnerability is at its core. We need to be on the same side of the table, rather than opposing and belittling. We need to make our offices shame-proof- we must make all humans believe and believe ourselves that we might do a bad thing, but we are not bad people. When shame is met with empathy and vulnerability, it loses its ground. It cannot survive. When we live up to our actions and words, our children live by example, not cognitive distortions.
But, this must be done carefully, working on ourselves, choosing who deserves our vulnerability and how much. Without boundaries, vulnerability can turn into codependency.
This book does not preach but is candid with its descriptions and will urge you to reevaluate, relearn and question the stories and beliefs we have grown up with, with a hint of humour. Don’t expect a guide, but a compassionate lens towards yourself and others.
'Book Review By Mental Health Warrior' is a new series by ManoShala. Stay tuned to gain a new perspective on mental health books by the warriors.
Maheema Misra, Co-owner of BPD Humans
About Maheema, she is a 23 years old Mass Media graduate and runs a support group for people with a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder apart from working at a mental health company. She is curious, a pet owner and a food junkie. She is a HOPE to her sister and to the community.