>Daring Greatly

It’s taken a loooooong time to realize that being nice won’t make everyone like me, or that giving the ‘better’ gift doesn’t make me the better friend. Though I was often praised for my perfection, I was actually trying to protect myself from… whatever.

Now, I know that I can’t protect myself from being hurt, no matter how straight my hospital corners are.

You might find this incredibly depressing, but this awareness gives me freedom to be my imperfect self, as completely as I want. Brene Brown calls this “daring greatly“. It’s the research-based idea that by embracing our imperfections, we realize that we can be both vulnerability is courageous.

Think about it – there’s something comforting about the imperfect coffee splotch on my sweater, and my sense of humor about it that tells you about how I’d feel about your imperfections; it invites you closer. And if you are a stressed-out perfectionist judging me for that same coffee splotch, that’s cool; I might use my powers for evil and tell you that you have a hair out of place to send you running for a mirror. Hey, that’s me as an imperfect person – not a therapist.

As a therapist, the most painful place I see in people is actually underneath all of the crap they have endured. It’s the deep-rooted fear that whoever you truly are is not good enough, so you must protect yourself, maybe with perfection, to the point that you don’t recognize yourself. This is where we actually believe the crappy messages we were given in our lives; at this point, no one actually needs to tell us we’re not worthy, we just assume that we aren’t. This place sucks worse than rejection for taking that risk, and ‘daring greatly’.

Here’s a 4min clip of Brene talking about “daring greatly” on the Katie Couric show (skip the first 40 seconds); if you like it you can seek out her “Ted” Conference talk on YouTube – 21min – bring popcorn.







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