Friday, January 11, 2013

Readings and Greetings: Daring Greatly

"What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?"  This is the leading question that pushes researcher Dr. Brene' Brown,  to write her newest book Daring Greatly.

Isn't it interesting how we often think of ourselves as being "daring, courageous" only to realize that what we say and what we do are often opposite.  After reading this new book by Dr. Brown, I took a risk by writing an article for the newspaper on taking steps to preventing more senseless killings in our communities.  Once the words began I couldn't stop writing, once the editor read it I had much to cut, and with each cut I felt I was leaving out essential details that might help create a picture of my thoughts, or perhaps that was my ego talking.  Then I sent it to the Western Front in the Hutch News and waited.

It's one thing to write on my blog because I know my readers, and quite another to write an opinion or action statement in the newspaper where anyone could read it and react to it publicly   I felt like Emily Dickinson in her poem, "I'm nobody, who are You?"  I felt exposed and vulnerable and yet uplifted that I could make a positive action statement that people might consider acting on.

Brown writes, "I define vulnerability as uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure....To put our art, our writing, our photography, our ideas out into the world with no assurance of acceptance or appreciation--that's also vulnerability."  She goes on to list many examples that people wrote in response to "Vulnerability is ________."  Then it becomes clearer that vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage.  This is an idea that struck a cord in me as I read her book.

Half-way through the book, she tosses "perfectionism" into the mix by stating, "If we want freedom from perfectionism, we have to make the long journey from 'What will people think?' to 'I am enough.'  That journey begins with resilience, self-compassion, and owning our stories."  Since reading this part I created a new mantra for  myself,  "I am enough."  Growing up in a country club I was taught all social graces and mannerism under the neon sign,  "What will people think?"  Decades later, I am enough and I can hear my mother sighing from her heavenly home and hopefully nodding her head agreeing.

"Enough about me, now how can I inspire others," is a question Brown challenges us with.  After reading, "The two most powerful forms of connection are love and belonging--they are both irreducible needs of men, women, and children,"  I put her book down and began to write about one small step, that I believe deeply we can take to build our communities into caring, thoughtful, and safe places to live.  Now I know what Daring Greatly feels like.

To learn more about Daring Greatly read Brene Brown's book piece by piece and take the steps needed to change or make a difference.  Better yet buy it from your local independent book stores, like Bluebird Books or Watermark Books.  Get to know the owners on a personal basis, dare greatly.

To read the article I wrote for the Hutch News go to:  <>

1 comment:

  1. Hi Letty, I am inspired by your writing and sharing! It IS unnerving to share inner thoughts and passions, particularly when you have traditionally watered down deeply held beliefs in order to "fit" into a behavior mold, so many of us found ourselves doing, in order to be accepted. I am readng an inspiring book by Tama Kieves, Inspired and Unstoppable, Wildly Succeedng in your Life's Work". I was fortunate to attend her presentation and her message resonated with me. I will get a copy of "Daring Greatly". Nothing is more exhilarating than setting yourself free to truly be a life explorer, phase III. Linda Seiner