In our current society it's easy to get paralyzed and believe that that we have to be perfect, and where the idea of "never enough" dominates. Vulnerbility is seen as a weakness and "putting oursleves out there" feels like a great risk. We fear failure, criticism and that we are not enough.
In her book, Daring Greatly, Brene Brown says, "When we spend our lives waiting until we're perfect or bulletproof before we walk into the arena, we ultimately sacrifice relationships and opportunities that may not be recoverable, we squander our precious time, and we turn our backs on our gifts, those unique contributions that only we can make. Perfect and bulletproof are seductive, but they don't exist in the human experience. We must walk into the arena, whatever it may be...a new relationship, an important meeting, our creative process, or a difficult family conversation...with courage and the willingness to engage. Rather than sitting on the sidelines and hurling judgement and advice, we must dare to show up and let ourselves be seen. What we know matters, but who we are matters more. Being rather than knowing requires showing up and letting ourselves be seen. It requires us to dare greatly, to be vulnerable. Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center, of meaningful human experience."
Do you find yourself at times paralyzed by the fear of "putting yourself out there"? Do you hold back from stepping into the arena? Stepping into your greatness? Embracing and stepping into the gifts that are yours to share with the world? I know that I did. I would have been doing what I am currently doing for the past 25 years if I wasn't paralyzed by fear. If I had listened to the whisper in my heart and followed it instead of discounting it's importance, discounting that it was possible, worrying about how I would do it, what people would think, etc.
In what areas of your life is it time to step into the arena? How is your fear of being vulnerable holding you back from being all that you can be? What small steps in that direction can you take this week?
We are approaching the beginning of a new year where many of us examine our lives and establish resolutions for the new year. What resolutions can you make that will allow you to step into the arena and dare to show up and be seen? Where can you exert some courage and be brave in this new year? And remember, you are never too old and it's never too late to step into the arena.
Here is a famous passage from Theodore Roosevelt's speech, "Citizenship in a Republic", that sums up this idea of stepping into the arena.
"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 errs, who comes short again and again,
because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himslef in a worthy cause;
who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achivement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly...."
There are two additional pieces that I would love to include in this post, but they are lengthy. One is from the book, The Sacred Romance, and I've included it in a previous post on June 16, 2015 titled, Your Shimmering Self. I invite you to go to the archive and reread it if this topic interests you. It is a great one!
The second one is a post written by author Elizabeth Gilbert titled, Start Knowing. It can be found on her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/GilbertLiz/?fref=ts.
I would love to hear your feedback on this idea of stepping into the arena. Please leave me a comment or send me an email.