How Do You Do Vulnerability?

One of my favorite authors is Brene Brown (Elizabeth Gilbert is a close second). Maybe it’s because we’re both from Texas and share a similar dust-yourself-off-and-pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps kind of thinking. Maybe it’s because she’s brought shame out of the closet, shored it up with courage, and has helped legitimize the struggle for empowerment that so many people face. Maybe, just maybe, it’s because her fight with vulnerability mirrors my own.

Over the past four years of blogging, I’ve learned a few things about myself. I’ve learned that it’s not hard to ‘go deep’ with an anonymous audience, though it’s immensely difficult to be ‘seen’. It’s not hard to authentically connect with strangers, though I’m often challenged to be ‘known’. It’s not hard to write, though impossibly painful to publish. Most surprising to myself, I’ve learned that it’s easier to be a perfectionist than to accept the vulnerability that comes with possible failure.

At the heart of empowerment is vulnerability_square with transparent overlay_(c)But what happens when we build our lives around playing it safe? What happens when we raise or lend our voice to others, yet bury our own in the process? What happens when we dare to allow ourselves to be ‘seen’ as we truly are, in an environment where pedigree, perfection and political correctness often trump the very things that make us real?

These are the questions that keep me up at night; the demons I wrestle with daily — daring, provoking and pushing me out of my fear and into the world. These are the unspoken questions in the untold stories of millions who are silenced by their fear, or the wisdom that is lost in the silence of one’s passing.

As I reflect on these truths; as opportunities and invitations to a deeper honesty leave me wrestling with my own fear, I’m curious to ask and know…

Do you ever struggle with the vulnerability of being truly ‘seen’? How do you work through the fear of being truly known? Have you ever withheld the gift of your own story? What is your own relationship with perfectionism and failure? How do you do vulnerability?

Do You Have Enough?

If character is at the heart of effective leadership, do you have enough of what it takes to lead yourself and others — with courage, discipline, commitment, fortitude, integrity, humility, accountability, insight, resiliency and faith?

Do You Have Enough?

 

Acknowledgement and Appreciation

Sharon Reed:

What is one thing you could do today to show appreciation for others in your life?

Originally posted on Sharon E. Reed:

Recently a dear friend in my life and I were talking about the difference between and the importance of both acknowledgement and appreciation in relationship with another; how the give and take of a relationship is less about measurement and perfectly balanced scales than it is about taking the time to show appreciation for acts of loving kindness through the simple act of acknowledgement.  As I mulled these thoughts around in my head, I  kept silently see-sawing between what it means to selflessly give without expectation and our very real and human need and desire to feel acknowledged and appreciated, an endeavor that in some ways I excel at, yet in other ways fall well short of the mark.

Just this week, for example, I have been struggling to tackle the mounds of personal papers in my home office, stacked up and put off to be dealt with another day.  In the purging…

View original 598 more words

Doing Less to Achieve More

Sometimes it is necessary to do less, in order to achieve more.

More focus.

More impact.

More of what matters most in this moment.

When we stretch ourselves too thin, we rob ourselves and others — of our best work, our best ideas, and our best energy.

When we try to do too much at once, we burn out instead of burning bright, achieving a mere fraction of what we might otherwise accomplish if we could direct and discipline our time and efforts to what’s truly essential — intentionally focused on those things that align with our highest purpose, immediate priorities, and core values.

I’m curious…

How are you pruning back for purpose in your own life? How has doing less enabled you to achieve more? 

Lessismore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Better Part of Valor

Croix_de_la_Valeur_Militaire_France_REVERSSometimes the better part of valor comes from saying less, not more; in letting some things rest, rather than continually unearthing and dredging up that which has already passed.

Sometimes the better part of valor comes from letting go, instead of digging in; of advancing forward, instead of allowing ourselves to remain stuck in those things we cannot change.

Sometimes the better part of valor comes from forgiveness, rather than judgment; from compassion, rather than criticism, no matter how difficult the truths revealed.

Over the course of a life time, we each will be tempered by our wounds, our losses, our heartaches; our disappointments, our grievances and our failures. In the midst of our grief, we each will be tempted, too — to say more, unearth, dredge up, dig in, remain stuck, judge and criticize.

But the sheer rawness of life and universal flaws of the human condition remind me that perhaps the better part of valor comes from remembering that mindset makes the (wo)man more than circumstances themselves, and that we each have a responsibility to pave a path forward — one filled with light, hope, love and trust; with compassion, integrity, gratitude and forgiveness; with the strength of heart and mind to overcome, courage push forward and resolve to build a better tomorrow.

I’m curious…

What does the ‘better part of valor’ mean to you?

 

 

 

 

 

Confidence

If confidence is at the heart of empowerment, how do we cultivate the confidence necessary to speak our voice and advance our dreams? How do we develop a core belief in ourselves that is not tied to expectations or outcomes, but to an inner strength, rooted in love and self-respect? How do we shift from a mindset of forever proving oneself to one of self-approval and acceptance?

We talk about ‘finding’ confidence, as if it is something elusive to be sought outside of ourselves, but perhaps confidence finds us in the daring to do and the willingness to be seen as we truly are.

I’m curious…

What does confidence mean to you? 

 

Confidence

 

Go. Do. Be.

Originally posted on Sharon E. Reed:

Pick up a pen. Write the word.  Make the call.

Engage. Create. Connect.

Participate. Advocate. Serve.

Empower yourself. Empower others.

Get up, stand up and fight for who you are.

Focus on growth instead of fear and learning instead of failure.

Live the questions with an open mind and a courageous heart.

Start small, but dream big.

Let go of the past, find joy the present, and build for the future.

Believe you matter for you do.

Believe you can make a difference and you will.

go-do-chocolate-1

(photo credit: http://www.chocablog.com)

View original