I decided that for 2016, I'm going to sport a rather charming existensial crisis. So I figured the start of a new year was the perfect time to let someone who has her shit together (like Ph.D. level "shit together") tell me how to get my shit together (me... with my completely-unused bachelor's degree). And also, I picked this book for our January backlist selection for my awesome and not-quite-off-the-ground BookRiotGirlGang4Lyfe Book Group.
I have no problem with expressing vulnerability in the traditional sense of the word. I empathy-cry a minimum of four times a day. At least once daily, someone sitting in traffic gets to witness me bawling while singing along to "One Last Time" from the Hamilton cast album ("the ever favorite object of my heart and the happy reward as I trust of our mutual cares, labors and dangers". ::cue Elizabeth's uncontrollable sobbing::). It's a well known fact that sad old people will turn me into a puddle of tears in three seconds flat, but HAPPY old people... the destruction takes half that time.
But I admittedly do have an issue with putting myself out there in situations where rejection could easily result. I find that I armor myself by just not taking any steps toward what I want... because I'm terrified that I'll be told that I'm not good enough for the things I want most in this life. Since previously-mentioned existential crisis has to do with following my heart when it comes to what I'd like to do for a living, this was the perfect book for me to read at this point in my life. Don't get it wrong, I'm still mortified that I have no place in the book world and that someday someone I really respect is going to tell me as much. However, as A̶b̶r̶a̶h̶a̶m̶ ̶L̶i̶n̶c̶o̶l̶n̶ ̶o̶n̶c̶e̶ ̶s̶a̶i̶d̶, the Proverb goes "nothing ventured, nothing gained". I'd rather allow myself to be vulnerable in an effort to get what my heart wants rather than armor myself against the possibility and wake up as a sad old blue-hair that eats a fish filet washed down with a cup of black Sanka (uh oh... here it comes. Look away!)
The #1 "New York Times" bestseller, now in paperback. From thought leader Dr. Brene Brown, a transformative new vision for the way we lead, love, work, parent, and educate that teaches us the power of vulnerability.
" It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds 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; who strives valiantly; . . . who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. "Theodore Roosevelt Every day we experience the uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that define what it means to be vulnerable or to dare greatly. Based on twelve years of pioneering research, Dr. Brene Brown dispels the cultural myth that vulnerability is weakness and argues that it is, in truth, our most accurate measure of courage. Brown explains how vulnerability is both the core of difficult emotions like fear, grief, and disappointment, "and" the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, empathy, innovation, and creativity. She writes: When we shut ourselves off from vulnerability, we distance ourselves from the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives.
"Daring Greatly" is not about winning or losing. It's about courage. In a world where never enough dominates and feeling afraid has become second nature, vulnerability is subversive. Uncomfortable. It's even a little dangerous at times. And, without question, putting ourselves out there means there's a far greater risk of getting criticized or feeling hurt. But when we step back and examine our lives, we will find that nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous, and hurtful as standing on the outside of our lives looking in and wondering what it would be like if we had the courage to step into the arena whether it's a new relationship, an important meeting, the creative process, or a difficult family conversation. "Daring Greatly" is a practice and a powerful new vision for letting ourselves be seen.