This summer, our marketing team is reading Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly. We’re working with COURAGEworks, Brené’s online reading community, to help transform the way we lead. Throughout the summer, hear from our team members directly in this blog series on what they’ve learned and how Brené’s research relates to them.
Daring Greatly: Introduction and Chapter 1
In the introduction of Daring Greatly, Brené Brown writes:
“The surest thing I took away from my BSW, MSW, and Ph.D. in social work is this: Connection is why we’re here.”
It’s interesting how years and years of her research brings her back to a simple, fundamental truth that resonates with her intuition. Sometimes our intuition is spot on and research confirms what we already knew.
Upon completing the introduction and first chapter of the book, my intuition told me a few things: First, this book is going to make an impact on my life. Second, these positive changes will revolve around becoming comfortable with vulnerability. And finally, vulnerability isn’t a fun space to be in.
“You’ll have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable”
Last year when I started long distance running, one of my best friends told me “you’ll have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” Although it didn’t make sense immediately, I definitely understood his sentiment after completing my first half-marathon. In a similar vein, the idea of becoming comfortable being vulnerable hasn’t fully clicked with me yet. I need to experience it before I can really appreciate it. Writing this post is how I’m becoming acquainted with what vulnerability feels like.
The section in Chapter 1 titled “Scarcity: the never-enough problem” struck a chord with me. The idea that we’re never smart enough, never successful enough, never ________ (enter your own word here) enough is so pervasive in our culture. It’s also a counterproductive idea that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. By setting the bar so impossibly high, we continually set ourselves up for failure, disappointment and shame.
On my commute home, I’ve caught myself thinking “I didn’t get enough done. What a waste of day.” This negative self-talk completely undermines any progress I’ve made and makes me evaluate my day in a binary fashion. Worse yet, this train of thought robs me of my pride and sense of worth. I’ll never feel good about myself if I never allow myself a moment, or a day, of success.
Something I’m taking away from this week’s reading is knowing that I am worthy of feeling positive about myself and what I accomplish. Yes, there will be days that I don’t check every box off my to-do list. But if I take a deep breath, put things into perspective and believe I’m genuinely striving to improve, I’ll feel much better about myself.
And just maybe I’ll continue to dare greatly.