In the midst of moving, bridesmaid-ing, traveling and quitting my job I took a little blog hiatus. While settling into my new home and self-employed life, I also decided to take a break from social media and TV (I had just finished Friday Night Lights, so clearly the timing was perfect #Texasforever).
After assembling my new desk, I spent hours sitting planning (this is revolutionary), reading and writing. The past three weeks I’ve set aside daily time to sit, reflect and pen my dreams—there’s something powerful about visualizing and writing them down. I also charged through Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly and was SO IMPACTED by it.
Until relatively recent years, vulnerability was a cringe inducing word for me. In 5th grade I moved to the States and braved public school having previously lived in three different countries in Europe with no knowledge of things like dollars, inches and the Backstreet Boys. I quickly developed a lot of fear around being different, judged and not good enough. It wasn’t until college that I really learned how to be myself and celebrate the things that make me unique. As a teenager I adapted the classic “vulnerability is weakness” mentality to self-protect, and frankly it was quite difficult to break.
I’m sure many of you have seen Brené’s TED talk on vulnerability. I’ve raved about it for years as it really catalyzed an awareness of how important it was for me to embrace and strive for healthy vulnerability in my life. Daring Greatly took it to a new level; it’s a very practical and research-based book. I wish I could copy+paste 20 quotes in this post, but here are a few of my fave points:
- “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage” (pg 37).
- Normalizing discomfort is key—that is: real learning, critical thinking and change actually require discomfort. “The big challenge for leaders is getting our heads and hearts around the fact that we need to cultivate the courage to be uncomfortable and to teach the people around us how to accept discomfort as a part of growth” (pg 199).
- By definition, entrepreneurship is vulnerable. It’s all about the ability to handle and manage uncertainty.
- “Who we are and how we engage with the world are much stronger predictors of how our children will do than what we know about parenting” (pg. 214). Full disclosure: her chapter on wholehearted parenting actually brought me to tears at points due to both heartwarming stories of parents connecting with their kids and stories of mishandled vulnerable moments.
- Shaming is never okay. “You made a bad choice” rather than “you are bad” makes all the difference. Shame can easily lead to the fear of being unlovable and create an unshakeable (potentially lifelong) doubt of worthiness of love and acceptance.
- Daring greatly is not about winning or losing. It’s about courage.
I recently saw and fell in love with this Nina Simone inspired print and had to add it to my gallery wall. My greatest goal in this season of life is to look fear in the face and courageously overcome it in an effort to (dare I say) dare greatly. 🙂
Have you read any of Brene’s other books—what did you think? Are there any other books you’d recommend? Maybe I need to find myself a book club!