Gutsy Gals Dare Greatly

Sep 04, 2014

Ever since I heard Brene Brown's TedTalk in 2012 on "The Power of Vulnerability" I have been a huge fan of hers, and of the notion that it is the ability to unstrap the armor, to open our hearts and be vulnerable, that is the sign of true courage as well as a life fully lived. Recently I came across a new talk she gave to a group of creative professionals on why it is not your critics who count. In it she refers to a speech given by Theodore Roosevelt that is also a favorite of mine: 


“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, thegreat 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...."

Brown goes on to comment on this speech by saying to her audience: "It is not about winning, it is not about losing. It is about showing up and being seen. And if you are going to show up and be seen the only guarantee is that you will get your ass kicked. But if courage is a value we hold, this is a consequence." 

The only way to live to our fullest capacity is to dare greatly at doing what matters most to us, despite the fact that sometimes we will fail -- and despite the voices of our critics.

Whose opinions should we really care about? Brown says: "Here's what I came to believe: If you are not in the arena also getting your ass kicked I am not interested in your feedback. If you are in the cheap seats not putting yourself on the line and just talking about how I could do it better – I am in no way interested in your feedback".

Here's to daring greatly.

Brene Brown's 2012 TedTalk "The Power of Vulnerability"

Brene Brown's 2013 99U Talk "Why Your Critics Aren't the Ones Who Count"

-- Christina Holbrook, for Gutsy Gals


Category: Stories

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