The Red Couch: Daring Greatly Introduction


BookClub-AprilThree years ago I filed into a ballroom at the Opryland Hotel alongside hundreds of women and a few men. We were there for Blissdom—my first ever blog conference—and while the weekend had kicked off with a cocktail party the night before, the morning keynote promised to set the tone for the next two days.

I had never heard of Brené Brown before. Her groundbreaking TEDtalk had taken place several months prior but I don’t think TEDtalks were on my radar yet. I sat at a table with new friends, unaware my life was about to change.

Brown didn’t talk long before I began brushing away tears. I wasn’t the only one. Sniffles filled the ballroom and Kleenex made the rounds. We needed to believe in our worthiness, to not let our fears drive us. We needed to learn what vulnerability truly is: courage and authenticity. And yes, we even needed to think about our “bury a body” friends.

I used some of Brown’s teaching that very weekend. What could be a better way to attend a blog conference than by facing our insecurities? What could be a better way to meet new people than by being aware of shame and vulnerability?

Flipping through my notes from that morning, I have another vantage point three years later. Brown’s teaching connects us. It lets us know we’re not alone.

There’s a reason people say Brené’s name with such fervor. Her research on shame, perfection, and vulnerability changes lives. It leads to healing and freedom. It is a gift, if we are willing to receive it.

This month we’re reading Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. Brown’s writing might not be for everyone but the concepts she writes about absolutely are.

You will recognize yourself on the pages and in the examples she shares. You’ll recognize your loved ones and even your foes. As you read, I pray you’ll be open to examining your habits, your character traits, your strengths, your weaknesses. We cannot begin to change until we look at ourselves in the mirror and face what we see.

This is not an easy process but Wholehearted Living is worth it. Let’s press in together. Let’s encourage each other to shake off the lies that bind us and our relationships.

Let’s dare greatly.

Come back Wednesday April 16 for a reflection post led by Cara Meredith, which will offer a practical or hands-on way to respond to the book’s ideas and themes. The discussion post, led by Sarah Caldwell, will be up Wednesday April 23. Join the Facebook group to share quotes and discuss the book throughout the month. On Twitter, the official Red Couch Book Club hashtag is #redcouchbc.

The Nightstand at SheLoves Magazine

*Recommended by Sarah Caldwell, Cara Meredith, Annie MacDowell


Will you be reading Daring Greatly with us?

Disclosure : Amazon Affiliate links included in this post.  If you click through to Amazon, any purchase you make supports this site.


Image credit: Ryan Hyde

Leigh Kramer
Leigh Kramer is on a quest; she’s living life on purpose. Her to-do list might look something like this: leave life in the Midwest for Nashville, Tennessee, followed by San Francisco, quit steady job as a social worker to chase her dreams of writing, suck the marrow out of life’s in-between places and revel in the now at every turn. Leigh shares this journey through words of transparency, heart, and just a dash of pluck at and on Twitter at @hopefulleigh.
Leigh Kramer

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  1. Is it bad that I haven’t even heard of the book? My goal is to join a book club this year, so just checking this one out.

  2. I am almost finished reading “Daring Greatly.” Glad she wrote it!

  3. Saskia Wishart says:

    I love Daring Greatly – I think I am going to pick it up again to join in with the discussions. I have been recommending it to everyone, whenever shame comes up in conversation. Great book for this month!

  4. mkholmberg says:

    Oh, snap. This one’s next on my list, but I have a commitment to finish the ones I’m in. Should be awesome!

  5. Mark Allman says:

    I learned listening to Brene Brown’s Ted Talks and have recommended to many people that they listen to them. They are worth listening to multiple times. I have the book but have yet to read it. I’m sure it will be great.

  6. fiona lynne says:

    Like Ginger, I’ve read this before but I think I should pull it off the shelf again – there was so much goodness there that I’m certain there’s more to absorb!

  7. Brene Brown doesn’t know it, but she’s been a huge mentor and influence in my life over the last couple of years. I’ve read Daring Greatly before, but I will absolutely be joining you! I think that it’s one of those books that will be good to revisit from time to time, kind of like a check-up/tune-up! 🙂

  8. I think it’s SOOOOO cool that you were at Blissdom and got to hear Brene! Wow. Can I just travel in your suitcase, please? You do ALL the cool things, Leigh! 🙂

    I’m excited about the discussions on this … Feels so good to do this together. I love when we spark different things off each other.

  9. Debbie Miller, LMHC & CDWF-C says:

    Thanks for doing this book group, Leigh. I’ve been certified to use The Daring Way, Brene Brown’s curriculum for helping individuals and organizations become more courageous and shame-resilient. It has revolutionized my life and my counseling practice. Whether I’m working with individuals, couples, groups, or workshop/retreat audiences, I’ve seen this material enrich and change lives. But entering the arena is always full of peril, and I’m stepping into a new level of exposure with my work, so I’ve been wanting to read Daring Greatly again. I need to be reminded that it sometimes hurts more than I think is worth it, until I remember that (like Brene) living brave and being guided by my faith are core values — so I can’t really avoid the stinking arena (drat it all)! Looking forward to journeying together through the book!

  10. Helen Gaskins Washington says:

    I love Brene Brown. I started Daring Greatly, got about halfway through and decided to backtrack and read The Gifts of Imperfection.Then I did the e-course through OWN and will be doing part 2 starting this week. So this is a perfect time to finally finish Daring Greatly and with a group. It has been nice to take a slow road through the topics of shame, vulnerability and perfection. Thanks for doing this book club!

  11. JennaDeWitt says:

    Fangirling! Her books have changed my life. Not a hyperbole. Real stuff. Love it.

  12. Amy Young says:

    I absolutely LOVE her writing and am leading the book group at Velvet Ashes (for women serving overseas) and we are doing another Brene book. Love the deep discussions it fosters 🙂

  13. Kelly Allardyce says:

    I am very excited to read and discuss this book with a group. Brene Brown is my hero! I have been following her blog for a few years and have read three of her books. I am also participating in her online art journaling course based on The Gifts of Imperfection and loving every minute of it! Yes, I am gushing. I am looking forward to this discussion.

    • I’ve heard good things about her online course. Glad you’ll be part of our discussion!

    • I’m so excited to take her next installment of ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’ course too! I’ve been a lifelong journaler as well, so I’m looking forward to her wisdom and whimsy! Excited you are going to be a part of this discussion! 🙂


  1. […] To learn more about Daring Greatly and peruse The Nightstand, read the introductory post. […]

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