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Daring Greatly

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage.” - Brene Brown, Daring Greatly

In true Amanda fashion, I have procrastinated on a project that was originally due by the end of November. Life, parenting, sickness, and then the holidays all became the excuse for pushing back a personal goal I had set not only for myself but also with my Conquering Momma team. The end of January became the new deadline and I am just now getting started on this goal. I do give myself some grace though. It really was a tough couple of months. I’m finally feeling that seasonal depression starting to lift.

The goal was for each of us of read the book Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. The three of us, Charity, Lisa, and myself all love the work of Brene Brown, the shame and vulnerability expert.

I think I can confidently say we all struggled to hit this first goal. Despite the challenge, here we are! It's the last week of January, my team is ready to post our first combined blog highlighting our thoughts and inspirations from the book. And I’ve got nothing. I feel the anxiety race to me as I wonder, “what will they think of me? What on earth am I going to write about? I should just give up and tell them, I don’t have anything to contribute.” But I’ve decided not to go that route. Instead, I will jump into this vulnerability thing with two feet and admit that I’m just not finished yet. I know no one is going to truly look down on me for not reaching my own goals. But I still feel the sting of shame eat at me as I write this. I guess this is a book for me after all!

While I haven’t finished the book yet, I can tell you that it feels genuinely honest. It encourages me to think of the true essence of vulnerability. What makes me feel vulnerable and how do I handle this? And I can see who in my life I can extend more grace and support to, as they are experiencing the same struggles I am.

Lisa's Perspective

About 2 years ago I really started working on my mental health. I needed to find ways of how to cope with anger, resentment, and feelings of helplessness. Several things really helped me along the way; a therapist, self-help books, and connecting on a more meaningful level with others. Recently I read a Brene Brown book, Daring Greatly. I highly recommend reading all of her books and while this isn't a book report I will share with you what I took away from it.

First and foremost I found solace in realizing such an accomplished woman has similar challenges as me and continues to learn and grow. I connect with her on so many levels; as an overachiever, a person that still harbors views that I must always be strong and stoic, and a woman that continues to explore the "next level" of self-awareness.

If I had to choose the most important messages that spoke to me it would be:

  • Being vulnerable is NOT a is a gateway to being our real selves and becoming more compassionate as well as more emotionally available.

  • We need each other...this is not a flaw or a defect but that aspect that is completely human and in our DNA.

  • And, as it seems to be a constant positive factor in my journey is .... We were not meant to "go it alone" and it is ok to lean on people.

Charity's Perspective

Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly has opened my eyes to the power of being vulnerable and the importance of believing that I am worthy to live a wholehearted life. I am worthy of support and living a life that does not have to be perfect. To me daring greatly means that I get to live in a place where perfection is not the goal, but striving to be the best version of myself is. This means taking risks and failing, living in a state of mind that I am worthy without doing a single thing, I am enough just as I am. It means being vulnerable to the world around me and being courageous in pursuit of my dreams.

Up until a few years ago vulnerability would be the very last thing that I would practice. I guarded my thoughts and emotions like a life vest. I would bottle up everything. It was armor and it worked for a really long time. Learning to be vulnerable has taken me over a decade, and frankly I am still working on it. I grew up in a time where we didn’t share feelings and I knew that come hell or high water, my feelings were not relevant, just succeeding was. I knew that I would have to be independent to make it in life, relying on only myself. There was no safety net, no room for vulnerability. I needed to make something of myself and show no weakness, everything I did had to be perfect in order to feel valuable.

As I have moved from that girl who thought perfectionism could carry her unscathed through life to who I am now has been a daring greatly moment in itself. I dared to talk to a therapist, I got knocked down, but shook off the dust, and started dreaming again. I can’t tell you how many times I have fallen in the battle of life, but I keep getting back up daring that the next time I will be closer to the dreams I am chasing.

I have a lot of heroes when it comes to leading me down the path of living in a state of vulnerability. Obviously, Brene Brown is a badass who really allowed me to scientifically justify being vulnerable, but another woman who has steered my path to a life where I dare greatly is Glennon Doyle. She writes in the book Untamed, “There is another kind of pain that comes from not losing beautiful things, but from never even trying for them.” I never want to be the person that looks back and thinks, I wish…. If it doesn’t work out, I want to say at least I tried.

“My way of life is to dare to imagine the truest, most beautiful life, family, and world, and conjure up the courage to make real what I have imagined.”

-Glennon Doyle

May we all have the courage to dare greatly.

Conquering Mommas,

Charity, Lisa, and Amanda

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