Trying out Brené Brown’s “Living Brave Semester”


For some time I’ve wanted to explore more deeply the work of Dr. Brené Brown, one of the most interesting thinkers and writers around today. Her work on courage, vulnerability, and bouncing back from life’s setbacks is very intriguing to me.

So I’ve signed up for her online course that starts this Monday, the “Living Brave Semester,” built around her two most recent books, Daring Greatly (2012) and Rising Strong (2015). Here’s a description from the course webpage:

The Living Brave Semester is a unique, online learning experience that provides participants with the opportunity to explore what it means to fully show up in our lives – to be brave, lean into vulnerability, and to rumble with the challenges that come with living a daring life.

I quoted a brief passage from Daring Greatly last month in a post about shame-based organizations, and I liked how Dr. Brown doesn’t pull her punches in discussing how shame can be used by management:

When we see shame being used as a management tool (again, that means bullying, criticism in front of colleagues, public reprimands, or reward systems that intentionally belittle people), we need to take direct action because it means that we’ve got an infestation on our hands. And we need to remember that this doesn’t just happen overnight. Equally important to keep in mind is that shame is like the other “sh” word. Like shit, shame rolls downhill. If employees are constantly having to navigate shame, you can bet that they’re passing it on to their customers, students, and families.

I’m looking forward to this course! It feeds the lifelong learning junkie in me, and I’m sure that I’ll gain some insights worthy of sharing with readers of this blog as well.

8 responses

  1. Love this post…I used to think it would be GREAT to write a book and title it “Dare to be Real” … it would be about a story about navigating the voyage toward becoming authentic. Being true to ourselves sounds so good but can seem almost impossible because of survival behaviors incorporated into our personalities from our childhoods, culturally and familial. I’m so glad there is a class being given to help find ways to share about this journey. I love what Joseph Campbell referred to, (my memory)…that the thread is there, waiting to be picked up again; the thread has been laid down by all the heroes that came before us. We simply need to pick up the thread and follow it to find our own way toward our authenticity. “Simple but not easy” is the best way I can describe the voyage, but another saying helped me through the most frightening aspects when facing my deepest fears: “This too shall pass”. And so it goes….

  2. Great connection; she took up the mantle from Joseph Campbell. Watch any of her YouTube speeches to get a real feel for her.

    Steven Moffic, M.D.

  3. In 1984 a therapist made the book “Shame: The Power of Caring” a requirement of my recovery with her. Since then I have read many books on shame, but that remained the best for my own understanding. Several months ago I bought Brene’ Brown’s “Rising Strong”. I believe that is the best I have seen on understanding the healing process! I belong to a group for those healing from workplace injustice. A few weeks ago I brought the book to them, and I just forwarded your post. Powerful information!

  4. I just walked out of my job because I had the last of their shaming ways. They were indeed a shame based organization. This seminar sounds intriguing, thanks for sharing David, and for founding your organization to promote dignity and nonviolence at work.

    • I admire your courage and wisdom to leave a bad work situation. I stayed too long and ignored my “gut” until I became ill at my last job out of desperation. I am also grateful for David’s work in this area. Too many good people are being beaten down, abused and harassed at their workplaces.

  5. This is great information David

    The books are great and a good fit for people who have been abused
    It is more complex than meets the eye when you have been forced out of a job or experienced loss for standing up for what is right.
    You do walk alone and the dynamics to recover are needed in more understandable concepts
    The author has pushed the boundaries back but there is more needed. For those who hurt for doing nothing wrong in the workplace .

    Thanks for sharing this information.

  6. Hey, I’ve just registered for the course as well. As I’m a “personal developmentbooks” junkie myself, I thought it would be interesting to try this online learning, see if it adds something. Also for my work as a life & business coach I love working with the thems authenticity, vulnerability and courage.

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