Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown is a book that explores the power of independence, courage, and belonging. Brene uses the term “wilderness” as a metaphor to describe the elements we must face to find belonging: solitude, vulnerability, vast and dangerous environments, and the beauty of nature. You must find your own way through the wild, straying from the beaten path, listening to yourself. It’s about intentionally putting yourself with those who are different from you in culture, beliefs, and ideologies and learning to be with others without sacrificing who we are. Brene uses the acronym BRAVING to help assess trusting others and yourself.
Boundaries: Asking for and respecting boundaries
Reliability: understanding competencies and limitations to do as you say
Accountability: owning mistakes, apologizing, and making amends
Vault: not sharing things that are not yours to share and upholding confidences
Integrity: choosing courage over comfort and what is right versus what is easy
Nonjudgement: speaking without judging or being judged
Generosity: extending the most generous interpretations of intentions, words, and
Brene goes on to discuss topics around boundaries. She explores how to embrace our own humanity to connect with others, practicing civility, and conflict management. She explains that changing perspective and working with the mind can be more beneficial than changing physical surroundings to make someone more at ease or comfortable. Life isn’t comfortable. Brene courageously shares her own vulnerable stories of connection, fear, and longing to help show that we are not alone, but we can certainly stand alone.
How it helped us:
Braving the Wilderness has helped our Patient Educator, Kayla, in her ability to grow as a professional. “I was able to connect with others on a more personal level. I was more courageous to admit mistakes and failures. We are all human. We are not alone in our mistakes, faults, and struggles. I felt like I was able to handle tough conversations and conflicts with ease and civility.”
How it can help our patients:
Braving the Wilderness can help our patients realize that they are not alone in their chronic illness and the associated challenges. Gaining perspective on vulnerability and connection can greatly benefit patients and how they connect with their care teams and support people.
How can you practice braving the wilderness in your daily life?
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