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Updated: Aug 11, 2020

How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead.

Andrea Seydel Live Life Happy Unconventional Book Club


Do you think vulnerability is a weakness? Were you taught to not show vulnerability or weakness? Dr. Brene Brown dispels the myth that vulnerability is weakness and argues that it is an accurate measure of courage. Brown explains that vulnerability is at the core of difficult emotions like fear, grief, and disappointment. She also says that vulnerability is the birth place of love, belonging, joy, empathy and innovation.

Does feeling afraid or like you are not enough show up in your life? OR Does the idea of feeling vulnerable seems very uncomfortable to you? Does the idea of putting yourself out there terrify you because it means there is a greater risk of getting criticized or hurt?

Do you ever wonder what it would be like if you had the courage to step into the arena- whether it's a new relationship, an important meeting, the new career, the scary proposal. Daring Greatly is a practice and a powerful new vision for letting ourselves be seen!! YOU READY?

What It Means to Dare Greatly

Daring Greatly is from Theodore Roosevelts speech "The Man in the Arena". The message is about Vulnerability and how it is not knowing victory or defeat, it's about understanding the necessity of both. It's about engaging. It's about being all in.

Vulnerability is not a weakness, and the uncertatiny, risk and emotional exposure we face everyday are not optional. It is a part of life. Our only choice is a question of engagement. Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the dept of our courage and the clarity of our purpose. In other words we have to embrace and understand that we will have challenge, fear, uncomfortable situation, but it's how we engage with this discomfort that will determine how we show up. The level to which we protect ourselves from being vulnerable is a measure of our fear and disconnection from our greatness.

Daring Greatly is about NOT waiting until you are perfect or bulletproof before we walk into the arena so to speak. IF we do we sacrifice relationships, opportunities and greatness that may not be recoverable. we Squander our time, gifts and unique contributions that only we can make.


Looking at "Never Enough"

Show up and let yourself be seen. It requires us to dare greatly, to be vulnerable. We need to examine our "never enough" Culture.

We often have a shame-based fear of being ordinary. The fear of never feeling extraordinary, enough to be noticed, to be lovable, to belong. There is a never-enough problem. What scarcity are you living in? Never good enough, never perfect enough, never thin enough, never powerful enough, never successful enough, never smart enough, never certain enough, never safe enough, never extraordinary enough? What self-defeating statements are you saying? Where do you think your never enough thinking comes from? Shame (fear of ridicule), Comparison (ranking), Disengagement (don't try things).

This scarcity culture affects our willingness to own our vulnerabilities and to engage with the world. Shame sends the gremlins to fill our heads with messages of self-doubt or self-criticism. Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy. For women typical pressure to Look perfect, do perfect and anything less is shaming. For men typically the revealing of any weakness is shaming.

ACTION TIPS: Practice courage and reach out. Talk to yourself, "You're okay. You're Human- we all make mistakes." Own your story. There is gifts in imperfections.Manage perfectionism. All all parts of ourselves to be seen, not a persona. Know you are "enough" Lean into joy and embrace our experiences. Practice gratitude in ordinary moments. Appreciate the beauty of cracks. Practice mindfulness and common humanity. Let it all hang out.

Vulnerability Myths

The myth is that Vulnerability is a weakness. Brown defines vulnerability as uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. Vulnerability actually sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage are not always comfortable. For example consider these statements of vulnerability: Getting pregnant after 3 miscarriages. The first date after my divorce. Standing up for a friend when someone else is critical. Do these sound like weaknesses?

ACTION TIPS: Vulnerability Prayer: Give me the courage to show up and let myself be seen. Ask yourself: What would I attempt to do if I knew I could not fail? What is worth doing even if you fail. Value your own vulnerability! JUST AS MUCH AS YOU WOULD IN OTHERS! It's a waste of time to evaluate your worthiness by weighing the reaction of the people in the stands. The people who love you are within arms reach. Remember you are supported as you dare greatly.

Cultivate Change

Mind the Gap- is a daring strategy where you pay attention to the space between where you are actually standing and where you want to be. It requires we embrace vulnerability and cultivate shame resilience. We have to show up in uncomfortable ways. We don't need to be perfect, just engaged and committed to our values and action.

Think of strategy as a game plan or a detailed answer to a question. Ask yourself, "What do you want to achieve and how are you going to get there?" Think about the goals you want to accomplish and and the steps you need to take to be successful. What gets in the way of the way we do things: rules, values, expectations, rewards, safety, stories, past failures or mistakes, collective tolerance to discomfort. All create a gap between where we are and where we want to go. WE NEED TO PRACTICE DISRUPTIVE ENGAGEMENT! We must re-humanize and engage with vulnerability.

ACTION TIPS: Pay attention to the space between where you are and where you want to go. Remember we disengage to protect ourselves from vulnerability, shame and feeling lost. Recognize and combat shame. Focus on strengths and opportunity instead of faults and limitations. Be open to feedback. Find courage to be vulnerable, share the feeling of not knowing what you doing. Shift from controlling to engaging. ENGAGE ENGAGE ENGAGE!!


Vulnerability is not a weakness but rather a measure of courage!

Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the dept of our courage!

Daring Greatly is a practice and a powerful new vision for letting ourselves be seen!!

What stood out and resonated with me was this idea that Daring Greatly is about NOT waiting until you are perfect or bulletproof before we walk into the arena!

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Helping you LIVE LIFE HAPPY!!

HUGS Andrea

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