I have to show up. – thoughts on Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly

I’m not exactly sure who convinced me to buy Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly. I don’t remember who sent me the link to her TED talk last year that made me fall in love with her. I do believe so much in what she stands for. I love the conversational way she writes. I love how she puts all of her ugly right out there and acknowleges how difficult that is.

I must admit that I struggled with the book in the beginning, though. It is all about being vulnerable, letting go of shame, and living the life that you profess to be leading. Please correct me if I’m wrong (and you know me well), but I think I’m pretty good at being vulnerable. Emotionally. I look at the work I did on the old blog (I’m sorry that it is gone), and I see how I really found who I am by putting myself – and everything I was going through – out there. I have an amazing family and group of friends who are interested and invested in me. I think one of my strengths is accepting myself and others right where we are. I feel like I truly pay attention to my life. I show people my scars and my struggles. I understand that I only get stronger by bringing my weakness to the attention to those that I can trust and receive feedback from.

But somewhere in the middle of the book, it hit me. I should be reading this book from a professional perspective. I should be looking at my growing coaching business through the lens of vulnerability.

And then? It got really really uncomfortable for me.

So uncomfortable, in fact, that I just wasted about 10 minutes doing various tasks before writing the rest of this post. I spent some time “serpentining” – I procrastinated being vulnerable. I sent a few texts. I checked a few safe things off my to-do list. I’m dodging. Right now. In this moment.

I’m dragging my feet. Seriously. I have my coaching website 75% done, but I’m reluctant to finish the other 25%. And the really sad thing is that I have the other 25% hand-written out, I just need to plug it in. But I’m not finishing it. Because then I’ll have nothing to prevent me from officially opening shop. I’ll have nothing to keep me from putting it out there. I’ll have nothing to put off taking the dive to see if this crazy idea will work. I’ll have nothing between myself and potential failure.

Did you see what I did there? I stayed vague. I didn’t give you a link. I’m not even being vulnerable enough to send you to the mostly-completed website. I am still reluctant (as Brene says) to “pour out art and work without the promise of acceptance or
appreciation.”

I am staying moderately engaged. That’s it. I’m protecting myself. I’m flying just under the radar. I’m afraid. I want this so bad. And I’m afraid to take the final steps that I can control because then I may watch it sink. I want so bad for this to soar (I’d be happy with a hover), but I don’t want to take that chance because I don’t want to watch it sink.

Brene talks a lot about “enough.” And that is something I have struggled with personally, and I’m seeing lots of that struggle professionally as well right now. I’m questioning everything. Do I have enough training? Do I have enough time? Do I do enough for my current clients? Do I know enough to really guide others through change?

I am enough. In this space, in this moment, I have everything I need to do everything I want to do. I have all the potential. Right now. But the only way I’ll have opportunities to fulfill this potential is to be vulnerable. I don’t know everything. I don’t have a control on everything. I will have to ask for help. And I’ll have to take it.

But no matter what does and doesn’t get done, I am enough. My work is enough. I don’t know what will become of this. It may fizzle out. It may be a hobby. It may become my career. But whatever happens? It will be enough. I will be enough.

I just have to show up.

That’s what it all boils down to. Showing up is enough. Showing up is brave and important. I can’t control what happens after I show up, but I can pull the curtain aside and walk onto that stage.

So here’s my commitment. On my birthday – my 35th birthday – I will officially open shop. I’ll start promoting myself. I’ll show up.

Novemer 3rd. Eleven days.

The countdown is on.

(after I get the nerve to push the “publish” button…)
(I have checked my email, highlighted several things in my planner, and heated up my lunch since finishing this.)
(okay. here i go. really. seriously.)

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8 Comments

  1. LOVE this….vulnerability is so hard and as I heard Rachel Held Evans say last week, the things we are most vulnerable/insecure about are the things that we hold onto the tightest and are most self-critical of and also cut the deepest when there is criticism from others.
    Just know that you have got this. And we’ve got your back.

  2. You can do it! My personal trainer has been on my case about a testimonial since June. Wants to put me on the front of his website. YIKES!!!! I keep stalling. And stalling. Self promotion (and in this case promoting him) is hard for some of us. This post makes me want to get that done.

  3. Pingback: Weekend Reads « Visible and Real

  4. Pingback: hanging out in the gap (not the store) | my radical commitment

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