in the arena.

Photo Credit: Eugenio Tiengo
Photo Credit: Eugenio Tiengo

I recently read Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly and it’s one fantastic book. If you haven’t heard of it, or her, Brown is a shame and vulnerability researcher. We’re talking vulnerability as a positive here, as in the ability to show up and show yourself as you are, instead of hiding behind a myriad of masks like perfectionism (CHECK), people pleasing (CHECK), etc. She also talks a ton about the origins of shame and how it eats away at who we are and our potential.

Today, this has been on my mind. In my life right now I’m faced with what Brown calls a “vulnerability hangover”, aka that awful feeling you get when you feel you’ve let too much of yourself show. You’ve been emotionally naked in front of someone else and the instinct is to run and hide and pretend you didn’t mean it.

In honor of that feeling, here are some quotes that are part of today’s pep talk to myself. Maybe some of you guys need to hear these today too.

From Daring Greatly:

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 himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” – Teddy Roosevelt, 1910 (Found in the Introduction to Daring Greatly)

“My new mantra is, if you’re not in the arena getting your ass kicked on occasion, then I’m not interested in your feedback.” – Brene Brown

“Don’t try to win over the haters. You are not the jackass whisperer.” – Brene Brown

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they are never weakness.” 

You either walk inside your story and own it or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.”

And some lyrics from “Silver Lining” by Kacey Musgraves:

‘Cause if you’re ever gonna find a four leaf clover
You gotta get a little dirt on your hands
You gotta get a little dirt on your hands
And if you wanna find a head that fits your shoulder
You’re gonna have to go to the dance
You’re gonna have to go to the dance

If you wanna find the honey
You can’t be scared of the bees
And if you wanna see the forest
You’re gonna have to look past the trees


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