How dare you think for yourself. How dare you be brilliant. How dare you be courageous? How dare you be vulnerable? How dare you try that career goal? How dare you?
“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 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 ….” — Theodore Roosevelt, speech delivered at the Sorbonne in Paris, France on April 23, 1910
Brene Brown says to dare greatly means: “the courage to be vulnerable. It means to show up and be seen. To ask for what you need. To talk about how you’re feeling. To have the hard conversations.” She wrote a book with the title, Daring Greatly, published in 2012. The core concepts of the book center around the thought that Teddy Roosevelt was challenging us to dare to be great by accepting that vulnerability comes along with that, yet the price for that vulnerability is indeed greatness. The daring is not intended to mean perfection. It means to go for it whether the effort is perfect or not.
“Vulnerability is not weakness, and the uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure we face every day are not optional…
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.” – Brene Brown, Daring Greatly
Oprah agrees, “vulnerability is the cornerstone of confidence. Because you have to allow yourself to take the risk to be open, to live as a wholehearted person.”
Some of us get to thinking that we may not be good enough and there are some subtle messages in society that question our capabilities, our good-enough, our capacity, our talent, our fit for whatever situation. It happens at every stage of our lives. As little children, we may be less bothered by it because we don’t know that we’re supposed to listen to it. But as we get older, we unfortunately start to let those messages sink in and they can become obstacles to us being great in what we believe our purpose is in life.
Statistics show that those societal obstacles happen often to girls during the middle school years and some never quite recover from it. They go to high school and college with slightly less confidence than guys if they’ve been crushed in middle school. Brene Brown says, “Daring greatly is not about winning or losing. It’s about courage. In a world where scarcity and shame dominate and feeling afraid has become second nature, vulnerability is subversive…but … nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous, and hurtful as believing that I’m standing on the outside of my life looking in and wondering what it would be like if I had the courage to show up and let myself be seen.”
A good message here is don’t sit on the sofa or the sidelines of your own life.
How dare you be brilliant? How dare you be intelligent? How dare you apply for that job? How dare you run for that position in your community or civic organization? How dare you run for a local or state political office? How dare you not!
I am a firm believer in giving it all you’ve got no matter what the odds look like. I remember when our kids were applying for college, their predominantly white high school’s guidance counselors actually were less than enthusiastic with some of the colleges they were planning to apply to. They suggested, oh you may not get in there so maybe you shouldn’t consider applying. For those of you who know me and my husband, you would know that we didn’t take that well. I made an appointment with the guidance counselor and made it very clear that if they had the grades and the SAT scores, then why shouldn’t they apply. How dare my daughter or son not be able to apply? And how dare the guidance counselor think they shouldn’t even try. Where they choose to go is another matter but don’t tell them where they can’t apply. One applied to Duke University and was accepted, that was the school the guidance counselor specifically said don’t apply to. The sweetness of showing the guidance counselor was wrong: priceless.
So, don’t be discouraged at all. One of my sisters often uses a phrase, “be of good courage.” Dare to be of good courage.
How dare you? Because you have a calling, so how dare you not.
“Fulfilling your purpose, with meaning, is what gives you that powerful spark of energy unique to only you. The result is an electrifying current of clarity rising from the deepest part of yourself.
Make the choice to turn up the volume to your unique calling, the glory that is your own life.” – Oprah