Braving The Wilderness: The Quest For True Belonging And The Courage To Stand Alone by Brené BrownBraving The Wilderness: The Quest For True Belonging And The Courage To Stand Alone by Brené Brown

Braving The Wilderness: The Quest For True Belonging And The Courage To Stand Alone

byBrené Brown

Hardcover | September 12, 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!

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“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.”
Brené Brown, PhD, LMSW, is a research professor at the University of Houston, where she holds the Huffington Foundation–Brené Brown Endowed Chair at the Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy and is the author of four #1 New York Times bestsellers: Braving...
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Title:Braving The Wilderness: The Quest For True Belonging And The Courage To Stand AloneFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:208 pages, 8.56 × 5.77 × 0.87 inShipping dimensions:8.56 × 5.77 × 0.87 inPublished:September 12, 2017Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0812995848

ISBN - 13:9780812995848

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this one! This is my favourite book by Brene Brown, everyone needs to read this one
Date published: 2018-12-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love I love everything that Brene writes. She explains things in simple form, adding in her personality and realness to the conversation. Something we all need. A better understanding of what we search for to feel like we belong.
Date published: 2018-10-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved It Brown shares her research and experience about true belonging. Her stories and findings encourage others to be themselves rather than changing who they are to fit in. It made me question my “authentic self” and inspire me to be open and curious about discovering it.
Date published: 2018-10-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Insightful and Compelling Strong Back, Soft Heart and Wild Heart; sums up this book by Brene Brown. Her writings are such that she leads you to other writings which is what I respect about her. She shares her own discoveries and celebrates the discoveries of others. In doing so, she offers a richness and depth for those who want to venture even further. To read her, it becomes essential to take responsibility. She is a true teacher!
Date published: 2018-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wildly good! I read this with a wellness book club and we all ready liked it. Brene has a way of providing words for things you knew at some level but couldn't put into words.
Date published: 2018-07-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Braving Honest and engaging read if not a bit overpriced at the list price of $37.00CAN. Author has some great experiences to share which jive well with the book's purpose. Steadfast Conservatives may disagree with a few of her ideals. Good read backed by author's self conducted research.
Date published: 2018-07-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Honest and compelling "You are only free when you realize you belong no place-you belong everyplace-no place at all" Could not put this book down. An easy and quick read that challenged my thinking and set me free.
Date published: 2018-07-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Strong Back, Soft Front, Wild Heart I have just recently finished listening to the unabridged audiobook read by the author. Not only is Brene full of grit and reality... her research is true and honest. I have learned so much throughout this journey of reading through her books (in chronological order of date published) and she continually builds upon the previous research and findings. I am excited to buy the book so that I can go back and highlight and mark up all the lessons that I learned while listening!
Date published: 2018-06-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Helped me so much I'm usually a fairly slow reader, taking 4-6 weeks to read one novel. With Braving the Wilderness, I read this book in three days! It provided some much needed insight on a few personal areas of my life. Prior to reading this book, I had this fear of following my heart as I anticipated failure. This book summoned my confidence and made me realize that it is much better to live my truth, be myself, and jump right in. For me, it dealt with the aftermath of what happens when you have failure. So in a way, it helped me to process my fears before they happened. It wouldn't be all that bad. If anything, not following my passion would be much worse. I love Brene Brown and her way of telling stories was very easy to follow. I appreciated the sporadic checklists throughout the book which will make it very easy for me to tab and reference at a later date. Lastly, this book stimulated great conversation and a few of my friends wanting to start a book club. Very excited!
Date published: 2018-05-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from We are Nature! This book reaffirmed my connection to the natural world!
Date published: 2018-04-19
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A lot of hype There aren't many books I can't muster through. This one has sat on my night table and upon repeated attempts, I just can't get into it. :( Maybe my expectations were too high due to it's celebrity following.
Date published: 2018-04-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good read Standing out alone due to your beliefs and what you stand for? Inspirational to gain strength in standing alone. I did have high expectations for this book and was slightly disappointed that it wasn't 'meatier'. Still a good read.
Date published: 2018-04-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was Okay.. I had been listening to a few of Brene's TED talks online and had heard wonderful things about her book. While I do feel this one is insightful, it's lacking in what I expected out of it. Had a hard time getting through it. #plumreview
Date published: 2018-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Insightful This book was very insightful. I liked how the author shared her own personal struggles. The book was relatable and had some good realistic advise.
Date published: 2018-04-02
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Disappointment Huge disappointment! I did not enjoy the book at all , a very dull read. Wish I could return it.
Date published: 2018-03-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from OK Read! I am huge fan of Brown but this book left me a little disappointed. I think she was rushed to finish. Lots of flaws.
Date published: 2018-02-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interacting with Grace After reading 'The Gifts of Imperfection', I was hooked on Brené's work. This book broaches uncomfortable topics, but in that discomfort, we find our humanity. My biggest takeaway was to lean in, listen more, and try to engage with grace. We're all human beings, and sometimes we need to remember that fact. #plumreview
Date published: 2018-02-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from meh... I know loads of people love it, but it wasn't for me.
Date published: 2018-01-27
Rated 2 out of 5 by from I wanted to like it Well, she tried. It’s just... it makes sense in theory and not so much in practise. She repeats the same lines A LOT. It feels like she struggled to write this and was just trying her hardest to do this thing about bridging divides because that’s the thing they talk about now. Yeah, it’s a noble thing to want to do, it’s just.. you can’t speak about privilege and then tell someone they’re being insulting when they stand up for themselves the wrong way. Also, she’s forgetting the level of stubbornness and difficulty certain people have & why expressing your opinion to them is asking to be attacked over and over. I mean, I do really like the idea, and would like to practise some aspect of it, its just she doesn’t even really go into how very well.
Date published: 2018-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read! I love Brene Brown! This is just another great read!
Date published: 2018-01-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Thought-provoking, but not the focus I expected. First things first, Brene Brown is fantastic! I love her books, her views, and her teachings. She does incredible work. However, I will say I was slightly disappointed in this book - still wonderful, and a must read, but I found it a bit less engaging in comparison to her other books. In light of the latest election, I found it focused more on political differences and how we view others, whereas I was suspecting more of a focus on finding a sense of belonging in other contexts. Still incredibly valuable material, and would still recommend, but I found it to be written more for a specific audience that lacks open-mindedness and didn't feel I gained as much from it as her other books. If you struggle with political or openness to other people or just want to become more open, I would definitely recommend it. But the long-term struggle of belonging wasn't painted in quite the light I needed - the first two chapters hit, but things shifted after that. Love Brene Brown though!
Date published: 2018-01-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from my favourite Brene Brown book so far I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed it so much i've recommended it to others. My take away from this book is that not belonging sets us up in a way to be really powerful change makers in our own worlds. Its certainly been true for me and was comforting to read that its a common theme and there is a kinship in the not belonging to the boxes in the world.
Date published: 2017-12-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Read and listen and Watch Her! Listening again for the second time. Can learn from all her books. Worth the read. Even better to read and discuss with friends.
Date published: 2017-12-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thought provoking About halfway through this book. It's challenges long-held beliefs and provides a compassionate but powerful account on steping into your own self.
Date published: 2017-11-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Timely and beautifully written I love Brené Brown, and her latest book does not disappoint. Written with compassion, poise and courage, this book will inspire you to take steps forward into uncertainty in all areas of your life. I will treasure this book forever.
Date published: 2017-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book Purchased this book a few weeks ago...couldn't put it down. Informative about community and belonging while still be true to yourself.
Date published: 2017-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Important Read This book is a powerful and important read.
Date published: 2017-11-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brene Brown does it again! Fabulous book and so important to our global issues at the moment. If you want to learn more about how to be an open-minded, approachable, and curious individual in all of life's tough situations, this is so helpful.
Date published: 2017-09-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing. Great choice for a fall reading list.
Date published: 2017-09-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Inspiring Examines human frailties and strength with raw emotion and courage.
Date published: 2017-09-17

Read from the Book

ONEEverywhere and NowhereWhen I start writing, I inevitably feel myself swallowed by fear. And it’s especially true when I notice that findings from my research are going to challenge long-­held beliefs or ideas. When this happens, it doesn’t take long before I start thinking, Who am I to say this? Or, I’m really going to piss people off if I call their ideas into question.In these uncertain and risky moments of vulnerability, I search for inspiration from the brave innovators and disrupters whose courage feels contagious. I read and watch everything by them or about them that I can get my hands on—­every interview, every essay, every lecture, every book. I do this so that when I need them, when I’m living in my fear, they come to sit with me and cheer me on. Most important, while watching over my shoulder, they put up with very little of my bullshit.Developing this process took time. In my earlier years, I tried the opposite approach—­filling my mind with critics and naysayers. I would sit at my desk and picture the faces of my least favorite professors, my harshest and most cynical colleagues, and my most unforgiving online critics. If I can keep them happy, I thought, or at the very least quiet, I’ll be good to go. The outcome was the worst-­case scenario for a researcher or a social scientist: findings that were gently folded into a preexisting way of seeing the world; findings that carefully nudged existing ideas but did so without upsetting anyone; findings that were safe, filtered, and comfortable. But none of that was authentic. It was a tribute.So I decided that I had to fire those naysayers and fearmongers. In their places, I began to summon up men and women who have shaped the world with their courage and creativity. And who have, at least on occasion, pissed people off. They are a varied bunch. J. K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books I love so much, is my go-­to person when I’m struggling with how to introduce a new and strange world of ideas that has only just emerged from my research. I imagine her telling me: New worlds are important, but you can’t just describe them. Give us the stories that make up that universe. No matter how wild and weird the new world might be, we’ll see ourselves in the stories.The author and activist bell hooks comes to the fore when there’s a painful conversation happening around race, gender, or class. She’s taught me about teaching as a sacred act and the importance of discomfort in learning. And Ed Catmull, Shonda Rhimes, and Ken Burns stand behind me, whispering in my ear, while I’m telling a story. They nudge me when I become impatient and start skipping the details and dialogue that bring meaning to storytelling. “Take us with you into that story,” they insist. Countless musicians and artists also show up, as does Oprah. Her advice is tacked to the wall in my study: “Do not think you can be brave with your life and your work and never disappoint anyone. It doesn’t work that way.”But my oldest and most steadfast counselor is Maya Angelou. I was introduced to her work thirty-­two years ago when I was studying poetry in college. I read her poem “Still I Rise” and everything shifted for me. It contained such power and beauty. I collected every Angelou book, poem, and interview I could find, and her words taught me, pushed me, and healed me. She managed to be both full of joy and unsparing.But there was one quote from Maya Angelou that I deeply disagreed with. It was a quote on belonging, which I came across when I was teaching a course on race and class at the University of Houston. In an interview with Bill Moyers that aired on public television in 1973, Dr. Angelou said:You are only free when you realize you belong no place—­you belong every place—­no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great.I can remember exactly what I thought when I read that quote. That’s just wrong. What kind of world would it be if we belonged nowhere? Just a bunch of lonely people coexisting. I don’t think she understands the power of belonging.For over twenty years, whenever that quote popped up in my life, I felt a rush of anger. Why would she say that? That’s not true. Belonging is essential. We must belong to something, to someone, to somewhere. I soon realized that the anger came from two places. First, Dr. Angelou had come to mean so much to me that I just couldn’t stand the thought that we disagreed on something so fundamental. Second, the need to fit in and the ache of not belonging was one of the most painful threads in my own life. I couldn’t accept the idea of “belonging nowhere” as freedom. Feeling like I never truly belonged anywhere was my greatest pain, a personal suffering that threaded through most of my pre-­adult life.It was in no way my liberation.Experiences of not belonging are the time markers of my life, and they started early. I attended pre-­K and kindergarten at Paul Habans Elementary on the west bank of New Orleans. It was 1969, and as wonderful as the city was and still is, it was a place suffocated by racism. Schools had only become officially desegregated the year I started. I didn’t know or understand much about what was happening, I was too young; but I knew that my mom was outspoken and tenacious. She spoke up a lot and even wrote a letter to the Times-­Picayune challenging the legality of what today we’d call racial profiling. I could sense that energy around her, but to me, she was still just a volunteer in my homeroom and the person who made me, herself, and my Barbie matching yellow plaid shift dresses.We had moved there from Texas, and that had been hard for me. I desperately missed my grandmother, but I was eager to make new friends at school and around our apartment complex. It quickly got complicated, though. Homeroom lists were used to determine everything—­from attendance records to birthday party invitations. One day my mom’s room-­mother partner waved the list in front of my mom’s face and said, “Look at all of the black kids on here! Look at these names! They’re all named Casandra!”Huh, my mom thought. Maybe this explained why I was being left out of so many of my white friends’ parties. My mom goes by her middle name, but her first name is Casandra. My full name on that homeroom list? Casandra Brené Brown. If you’re African American and reading this, you know exactly why white families weren’t inviting me over. It’s the same reason a group of African American graduate students gave me a card at the end of the semester that said, “OK. You really are Brené Brown.” They had signed up for my course on women’s issues and almost fell out of their chairs when I walked to my desk at the front of the classroom on the first day of class. One student said, “You are not Casandra Brené Brown?” Yes, ma’am. It’s also why, when I walked into a job interview for a part-­time receptionist at a doctor’s office in San Antonio, the woman said, “You’re Brené Brown! Well, what a pleasant surprise!” And yes, I walked out of the interview before we sat down.The black families were welcoming to me—­but their shock was noticeable when I walked through the door. One of my friends told me I was the first white person who had ever been inside their house. That’s hard to wrap your head around when you’re four years old and you’re really there for pin-­the-­tail-­on-­the-­donkey and to eat cake with your friends. As simple as belonging should be in kindergarten, I was already struggling to understand why I felt on the outside of every group.The next year we moved to the Garden District so my dad could be closer to Loyola, and I transferred into Holy Name of Jesus. I was an Episcopalian, which made me one of the only non-­Catholic students in my school. Turned out I was the wrong religion, yet another wedge between me and belonging. After a year or two of sitting out, being called out, and sometimes being left out, I was sent to the office, and arrived to find God waiting for me. At least that’s who I thought it was. It turned out to be a bishop. He handed me a mimeographed copy of the Nicene Creed and we went through it, line by line. When we were done, he handed me a note to take home to my parents. The note read, “Brené is Catholic now.” Still, things were relatively good for the next couple of years as I started to get into the groove of my new life in New Orleans, mostly because I had the best BFF in the world—­Eleanor. But then came a bunch of big moves. We left New Orleans for Houston when I was in fourth grade. Then we left Houston for Washington, D.C., when I was in sixth grade. Then we left Washington when I was in eighth grade and moved back to Houston. The normal turbulence and awkwardness of middle school was magnified by perpetual “new-­girl-­ness.” My only saving grace was that during all of these transitions, my parents were in a good place and getting along. This meant that despite the turbulence around me with ever-­changing schools, friends, and adults, home was safe. It even felt like a refuge from the pain of not belonging. When all else failed, I belonged at home, with my family.But things started to break. That last move back to Houston was the beginning of the long, miserable end to my parents’ marriage. And right on top of that chaos, there were the Bearkadettes.When we moved back to Houston at the very end of eighth grade there was, thankfully, just enough time to try out for the high school drill team, called the Bearkadettes. This was to be my everything. In a house that was increasingly filled with the muffled sounds of my parents arguing, heard through the walls of my bedroom, that drill team was salvation. Just picture it: lines of girls in white-­fringed blue satin vests and short skirts, all of them wearing uniform wigs, white cowboy boots, small white cowboy hats, and bright red lipstick, strutting into high school football stadiums filled with crowds afraid to leave their seats during halftime lest they miss the high kicks and perfectly choreographed routines. This was my way out, my new, pretty, impeccably ordered refuge.Eight years of ballet was plenty to get me through the task of learning the routine, and a two-­week liquid diet got me through the brutal weigh-­in. All of the girls swore by the cabbage soup and water diet. It’s hard to think of letting a twelve-­year-­old go on a liquid diet, but for some reason it seemed normal.To this day, I’m not sure I’ve ever wanted anything in my life more than I wanted a place on this drill team. The perfection, precision, and beauty of it would not only offset the growing turmoil at home, but also deliver the holy grail of belonging. I would have a “big sis” and she would decorate my locker. We’d have sleepovers and date football players. For a kid who had seen Grease forty-­five times, I knew this was the beginning of a high school experience that included sudden, spontaneous sing-­alongs and the 1980s version of sock hops.And most of all, I would be a part of something that literally did everything together in lockstep. A Bearkadette was belonging personified.I didn’t really have any friends yet, so I was on my own for tryouts. The routine was easy to learn—­a jazzy number performed to a big band version of “Swanee” (you know, the “how I love ya, how I love ya” one). There was a lot of sliding with jazz hands and an entire section of high kicks. I could kick higher than all of the girls except one dancer named LeeAnne. I practiced so much that I could do that routine in my sleep. I still remember parts of it today.Tryout day was terrifying, and I’m not sure if it was my nerves or the starvation diet, but I was lightheaded when I woke up, and I stayed that way after my mom dropped me off at the school. Now, as the mother of a teen and a tween, it’s a little hard to think of how I had to walk in by myself, surrounded by groups of girls who were piling out of cars and running in together, holding hands. But I soon realized I had a bigger problem than walking in alone.All of the girls—­and I mean all of the girls—­were made up from head to toe. Some were wearing blue satin shorts and gold shirts, and others had blue and gold tank tops with little white skirts. There was every iteration of blue and gold bows that you could imagine. And they were all in full makeup. I had on no makeup, and I was wearing gray cotton shorts over a black leotard. No one had told me that you were supposed to get decked out in school colors. Everyone looked so bright and shiny. I looked like the sad girl whose parents fight a lot.I made the weigh-­in with six pounds to spare. Even so, the sight of girls stepping off the scale and running into the locker room weeping traumatized me.We wore numbers safety-­pinned to our shirts and danced in groups of five or six. Lightheaded or not, I nailed the routine. I felt pretty confident when my mom picked me up and I went home to wait it out. They would post the numbers later that evening. Those hours in between moved in slow motion.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Brené Brown’s Rising Strong “[Brown’s] research and work have given us a new vocabulary, a way to talk with each other about the ideas and feelings and fears we’ve all had but haven’t quite known how to articulate. . . . [She] empowers us each to be a little more courageous.”—The Huffington Post “It is inevitable—we will fall. We will fail. We will not know how to react or what to do. No matter how or when it happens, we will all have a choice—do we get up or not? Thankfully, Brené Brown is there with an outstretched arm to help us up.”—Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why and Leaders Eat Last“With a fresh perspective that marries research and humor, Brown offers compassion while delivering thought-provoking ideas about relationships—with others and with oneself.”—Publishers Weekly