In September 2012, I was introduced to the name Brené Brown.
I immediately liked her without knowing a thing about her because she has a weird, yet awesome name – I felt connected to her in a way which I rarely do with people. I bet she experiences the lingering handshake while people try to figure out what her name is almost as often as I do.
Do you have any idea how many times I have had a man pull me closer and continue to hold a handshake while I explain my name in order to get my hand back? “My name is Donloree…no, Dawn-lah-ree…one name, one GIANT name.”
I do find it odd that men can’t seem to remember to let go of the handshake when confused whereas women are able to let go and continue the “what-the-heck-is-your-name?!” conversation.
I read part of this book a few years ago, right when it came out and it was a game changer for me. Putting words to something I had struggled with and continually tripped over for most of my adult life helped me to start jumping over and letting go of shame.
2014 is a new season for me and I find myself growing and finding opportunities that trigger new depths of foreboding shame and anxiety, yet they are things I want to do with my whole heart.
For instance, I am freakishly excited to speak at a women’s breakfast at the end of the month and yet I also want to hide under my desk until the event passes.
Apparently I am anticipating the hard to avoid ‘vulnerability hangover‘ which usually accompanies these events for me.
Vulnerability hangover – You know that feeling when you wake up an everything feels fine until the memory of laying yourself open washes over you and you want to hide under the covers? What did I do? I must leave town.
Through over a decade of study, work and connection, Brené puts words to and tackles part of the human condition that trips me up – shame, disengagement, and pain.
Lately, I have been noticing a desire in myself to avoid vulnerability in my work, yet that is the very thing which creates my work, my art. An arse kicking in a new and distinct way, yet familiar way was and continues to be required.
I picked Daring Greatly off my shelf and started from the beginning.
Some gems from the book:
- Perfect and bulletproof are seductive, but the don’t exist in the human experience.
- We get scarcity because we live it…We spend inordinate amounts of time calculating how much we have, want and don’t have, and how much everyone else has, needs, and wants…Worrying about scarcity is our culture’s version of post-traumatic stress.
- To foreclose on our emotional life out of a fear that the costs will be too high is to walk away from the very thing that give purpose and meaning to living.
- When we attach judgement to receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgement to giving help.
- Vulnerability is the last thing I want you to see in me, but the first thing I look for in you.
- I only pay attention to feedback from people who are also in the arena..If you’re not helping contributing, or wrestling with your own gremlins, Im’ not at all interested in your commentary.
- When you shut down vulnerability, you shut down opportunity…There is no vision without vulnerability.
Daring greatly is not about winning or losing. It’s about courage. In a world where scarcity and shame dominate and feeling afraid has become second nature, vulnerability is subversive. Uncomfortable. It’s even a little dangerous at times….nothing is is as uncomfortable, dangerous, and hurtful as believing that I’m standing on the outside of my life looking in and wondering what it would be life if I had the courage to show up and let myself be seen.
Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage.
It is time to choose to be dangerous, choose to be vulnerable, choose show up.
Oh, it is also time to grab the uh-MAY-zing Brené‘s books, manifestos, and resources. Her work will open your eyes to what you knew was always there, but you were never sure what it was called or how to deal with it. No longer do you need to sweep shame under the rug and keep tripping over it. Heck, after working through her tools and resources, you may even get rid of the rug altogether!
Get your read on and start down the path with me towards being wholehearted. It is an amazing and brave adventure and I want you to come along.