#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • REESE’S BOOK CLUB PICK • 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 five-part HBO Max docuseries Brené Brown: Atlas of the Heart!
“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.”
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
TEDTalk phenom and New York Times–bestselling author Brené Brown wants you to be absolutely and unapologetically yourself. In Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone, Brown provides a blueprint for living an authentic life in these challenging times. She offers potent, witty advice on everything from maintaining civility during political disagreements to celebrating community in an increasingly disconnected world.
The beginning kept me interested then it seemed to fall off into a redundant self help book. Perhaps life experiences of people the author has not seen or interviewed and those who have walked well beyond the lives she describes may find the advice modest and pedestrian. Many autonomic functions we simply have no control over let alone the role hormones manage and control our lives.
This book has shifted the way I see “true belonging”.
Repetitive and preachy
One strange aspect of the book and, it seems, Brown’s persona, is that she keeps talking about how she’s a researcher and how her findings are all research-based, but at no point does she cite any real data. Instead, she keeps referring vaguely to the expressed views of her research subjects. No numbers, no percentages, no specific questions and answers. This leads to the strong impression that she begins with her conclusions and then seeks out opinions to support them.
Her message is ok, which is basically that we’re social animals who need a sense of belonging but we shouldn’t sacrifice our values or identity to “fit in.” But it doesn’t go much beyond that, and all her talk of rigorous research to achieve this insight seems bogus.