Braving the Wilderness

The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone

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A timely and important new book that challenges everything we think we know about cultivating true belonging in a time of unrelenting divisiveness, from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Rising Strong, Daring Greatly, and The Gifts of Imperfection

Social scientist and three-time #1 New York Times bestseller Brené Brown has sparked a global conversation about the experiences that bring meaning to our lives – experiences of courage, vulnerability, love, belonging, shame, and empathy. In her new book, BRAVING THE WILDERNESS: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone, Brown wades into our politically divisive culture and redefines our understanding of what it means to truly belong in an age of increased polarization.

Brown argues that the divisiveness that we’re experiencing today is 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 and self-worth are not goods; we don’t negotiate their value with the world.  The truth about who we are lives in our heart.  Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation – especially our own.”

With her trademark mix of research, storytelling, and honesty, Brown offers us a new lens on the contempt and anger permeating our culture and 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.

Exclusively for this book, Brown conducted new research on how our experiences of true belonging are being shaped by increasingly divisive ideological and political rhetoric and why believing in and belonging to ourselves is the only way back to each other.  Her surprising findings about the shadow side of echo chambers and ideological bunkers and the paradox of true belonging are at the heart of this book.

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 sixteen years studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy and is the author of three #1 New York Times bestsellers: The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, and Rising Strong. Her TED talk—“The Power of Vulnerability”—is one of the top five most-viewed TED talks in the world, with more than thirty million views. Brown lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband, Steve, and their children, Ellen and Charlie.

Braving the Wilderness

The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone

Buy

Braving the Wilderness

— Published by Random House —