Dare To Be Brave

Dare To Be Brave

I’m always looking for new sources of inspiration, people whose work opens up my thinking and gives me new tools for getting through life.

My latest role model is a Research Professor and Author called Brene Brown, whose TED talk on vulnerability was one of the top ten most watched, and continues to inspire millions of people.

What made her talk so powerful was that it was personal; even though she had set out in a researcher’s capacity, it led to her own journey of self-discovery. What she uncovered, through her research and her own personal experiences, is that vulnerability can be your greatest strength. It is “the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change”.

If you think about it, everything that has ever been amazing in your life has always taken some degree of courage, a leap of faith, a step out into the unknown.

And before you made that leap, you probably experienced a certain degree of discomfort. This is our vulnerability – a state of uncertainty, risk, or emotional exposure – and it often stops us from taking steps towards what will truly fulfil us in life.

Most people think of vulnerability as a weakness, but this is not the case. Being vulnerable means that you have had the courage to “put yourself out there”, you have quietened the part of your mind that is consumed with fear – fear of failure, fear of looking silly, fear of getting hurt being the main ones.

Whether it is walking into an exercise class for the first time, taking a risk on a business venture, or entering into a new relationship, the only way we ever get over this fear is to actually do it. We must overcome our need for certainty, for control over the outcome, and just do it anyway. It’s difficult, but as the saying goes, “everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear”.

If we can just silence the critics – our own inner critics, and the other critics that don’t count.

Our inner critic is that doubting part of our ego who strives for perfection, when there is no such thing. Let go, let “good enough” be enough, and get on with it, is the advice that is given.

The other ones?  I’ll let Theodore Roosevelt explain why they don’t matter.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood….daring greatly”.

As long as you’re getting yourself out there, whether you are winning or losing matters not, it’s whether you’re embracing life, being prepared to fall, is what counts. The only way to grow is to put yourself into situations that make you feel uncomfortable, and the more you do this, the more strength and courage you build to do it again.

So go ahead, have the courage to be vulnerable, step out into the arena, dare greatly. Do one thing every day that scares you, and watch how much more brave you become about everything else.

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