One of my favorite teachers and authors is Brene Brown. Brene is a researcher, professor, and author who has spent a large part of her career researching vulnerability and shame. Brene says that you can't be courageous without also being vulnerable. Vulnerability and shame often weave together to form a tapestry of smallness and regret. It takes courage and the willingness to be vulnerable to lead the life of our dreams and to face the fear of failure.
Brene states that everyday when she wakes up, before her feet hit the floor, she sets her intention by saying, "Today I'll choose courage over comfort." I've added this to my morning intention setting as well. One of the keys to courage is to recognize that vulnerability isn't a weakness, but instead the proper measure of courage. Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging and joy.
It's easy to play it safe, to operate within the comfort zone, to coast through life one day turning into the next, but is that what we're here on this earth to do? Are we supposed to "play it safe", to hide our truth, our voice, our passion? On one hand it's easier, but on the other it eats away at us when we make this choice and typically we end up with regret.
Brene states, "I think the people who wade into discomfort and vulnerability and tell the truth about their stories are the real badasses in this world. This is especially true of people who rumble with failure. These are people who choose courage over comfort, accountability over blame, and are able to embed key learnings from failures into their lives."
Brene urges people not to open their hearts to just anyone. “Don’t grab that hurtful stuff from the cheap seats and pull it close, don’t pull it anywhere near your heart. Just let it fall to the ground. You don’t have to stomp it or kick it, you’ve just got to step over it and keep going. You can’t take criticism and feedback from people who are not being brave with their lives. The deal is that you have to be very specific about people whose opinions of you matter. It’s not that you don’t give a shit what anyone thinks, just don’t give a shit about what some people think. And then really solicit feedback from the people that do give you good feedback. And you know who makes that list? I’ll tell you who should make the list: People who like you, not despite your imperfection and vulnerability, but because of your imperfection and vulnerability.”
Brene has a new offering on Netflix titled, Brene Brown the Call to Courage. Check it out for some great information, stories and a lot of laughter. As Brene says, "Failure can become our most powerful path to learning if we’re willing to choose courage over comfort."