I scream at itsy-bitsy spiders.
And prefer room service to trying a new restaurant in a foreign city.
If my husband startles me… in our own house… when I know he’s there, I can still jump what seems like 100 feet in the air.
There are many ways that I am a big chicken. I resist change, too: I eat at the same excellent restaurant for lunch, hate to do adventures, because I prefer the “known” to the “unknown” in ways big and small. Even my television programming choice / vice of Law & Order shows the preference of closure and clarity in the “everything is good” within 50 minutes.
That might surprise those of you who read my work and essays, or know how much I can be a boot-in-the-ass kind of person for an organization to shift to where they need to go. Doing more of what we did yesterday is rarely what is needed. Especially in these turbulent times.
But to create something new is to shift from what we know already works. It requires giving up something – our comfort zone, our ingrained knowledge, our sense of expertise, perhaps even our command of the current. And I suspect that perhaps the reason I write about the topic is because it’s a daily struggle. Fearlessness does not come naturally; it is a conscious moment by moment decision.
The difference between the life fully-lived and a small live is often fear.
Embracing fearlessness inspires one to approach life with an open heart, from which we can create, grow, and collaborate. We listen differently when we are fear-filled versus fearless, seeing what is possible. We act differently when we are fearless because we see more options as available to us. Embracing fearlessness is important and not “just” because it feels more alive. That’s important, but not enough for most of us to give up the death grip on knowingness. I’ve done enough research to realize that fearless is directly correlated to better results – growth, new ideas, and creative solutions to old problems.
So, as much as I want to be a big chicken around so many things, I choose instead to show up in the arena of life. (Luckily, I have a fair set of friends who serve as the boot-in-the-ass for me to help remind me of this choice.)
My friend and a fellow author, Brene Brown, starts her new book with this quote:
“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 (w0)man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly … who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if (s)he fails, at least fails while daring greatly”
– Theodore Roosevelt.
It is not in the feeling of fear that good things start. It is in the action of courage that all greatness happens.
I had already purchased several copies of this book before Brene sent me a signed copy (Thanks, girl!) because I knew it was going to be great. Daring Greatly is a practice and a powerful framework for letting ourselves be fully alive. I will have to read it several times.
Watch her TED talk on Listening to Shame, here:
Her work is profound. And, so is YOUR work. And your fearlessness. Share a story of 1 specific way in which you Dare Greatly, here. It can be “small” or “big”. Of those that share by this Saturday, we’ll pick 2 lucky dogs (randomly) to get you a copy of the Brene’s book. You can also buy it here.