Book: Daring Greatly

by Dan Walsh


I finished Daring Greatly last week. The book’s main thesis is that shame diminishes one’s ability to feel vulnerable, but only by allowing vulnerability is one free to dare greatly. It was an interesting dive into a subtle but pervasive topic. Daring Greatly is the second book in my quest to get more impact from every book I read, and to¬†make a habit of making new habits. As with the first book, Ikigai, I will answer the following two questions:

1. How did this book change my outlook?

2. What is the ONE behaviour change I will implement?

How Daring Greatly Change My Outlook?

It increased my awareness of shame, and the subtle ways in which shaming occurs. Something as simple as a minor language change can create shame where there would otherwise be none. Accidentally conflating a person’s identity with a negative even is a sure way to create shame. “You’re a horrible designer,” creates a lot of shame. “This design is horrible,” creates less shame because the criticism is about the design. This exact example was part of my orientation at design school, but I never really appreciated the potential impact until now.

I also realized that asking for help is something with which I struggle. Even though I’m (too) eager to help anyone when I can, it’s almost a four letter word when I ask for help. This might be driven from feelings of shame. In effect I’m admitting that I can’t handle something. Asking for help makes me feel vulnerable, and it’s probably the most common way this behaviour manifests in my life.

What ONE Behaviour Will I Change?

This week, I am going to ask each of my five team members at work for help, and I’m going to use the H-Word when I ask them. This should help me feel more comfortable with vulnerability.