Courage, taking risks and showing up.

“Show up, be seen, answer the call to courage and come off the blocks. Cause you are worth it.” – Brene Brown

 I believe we grow by pushing ourselves to attempt the unknown, the unfamiliar and the uncomfortable.  And I am in constant search of ways to force myself to find the limits of my abilities. Recently, I was in a situation that tested that value.

            Over the last few days, I have been questioning my unfamiliar hesitation of trying my hand at a new and promising project. Then, I realised I have become too comfortable with how things are, and I was covering up with excuses of too much work and how I need to focus on my writing career.

            While thinking of how I got to this point and what to do next, I decided to rewatch Brene Brown’s Netflix special – “The Call to Courage.”

Brene’s story of her daughter’s swimming competition experience was a poignant wake-up call.

            In the story, Brene explained how her fifth-grade daughter was terrified to the point of quitting swimming the 100 metres breaststroke in a meet over one weekend. After failing to convince her parents to get her out of it, she asked if they will ground her if she scratches the heats. Her parents assured her that they would not ground her. She was free to decide what to do.

            So on race day, when the officials called out the swimmers on the heat, Brene’s daughter was nowhere. Minutes after the other swimmers were in their starting position, she popped up to take block 8. Parents cheering and screaming, whistle, starting gun – off they went. Halfway through the last lap, she looked across the pool to find no other swimmers close to her. She was ahead. Or was she? With about 25 meters to go, she realised she was dead last to the point where the swimmers for the next heat were on the blocks waiting for her to finish.

            While changing from her swimming gear and with her mum’s permission, she said – “that sucked.” Brene explained her daughter’s reaction at the end of the swim:

            She stopped for a minute, and she was looking down, and she goes, “But I was brave, and I won.

            The girl won because she found the courage to compete, despite knowing she cannot control the outcome.

Step up, show up and never give up

1.    Be willing to fail.

“If you’re not willing to fail, you can’t innovate.” – Brene Brow

2.   Practice gratitude.

When you are grateful for what you have, I understand that you understand the magnitude of what I’ve lost.” – Brene Brown

3.    Learn to feel and express joy

“Just choose joy, frivolous and fun, no ROI, no payoff, no upside, just ordinary joy.” – Brene Brown

4.   Build meaningful connections.

“In the absence of connection, love and belonging there is always suffering.” – Brene Brown

5.  Be vulnerable – face uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure.

“There is no courage without vulnerability.” – Brene Brown

Brene Brown’s closing statement of her Call to Courage talk moved me into action. It gingered me to find the courage to venture once again to dare into the unknown and try the unfamiliar. Because I believe it is only when we find the courage to step out of our comfort zone that we can achieve great things.

 “[It] is hard, and it’s scary. And it feels dangerous, but it’s not as hard, scary or dangerous as getting to the end of our lives and having to ask ourselves – what if I would have shown up? What if I would have said I love you? What if I would have come off the blocks?

“Show up, be seen, answer the call to courage and come off the blocks. Cause you are worth it.” – Brene Brown

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