Hello beautiful people. Today I’m writing about something that I am still trying to master. I am so very passionate about this topic because I truly believe it is the secret to unlocking your limitless power and potential and in increasing your ability to love and be loved by others. It’s about being vulnerable, following your dreams (cringe), and how to deal with the opinions and responses from yourself and others during or after this daunting process.
In life we are surrounded by a symphony of opinions, and I think that some people are better at sifting through these opinions to find the ones that really matter than others. Like most, I started paying way more attention to the opinions of others than I should have very early on – paired with the other fun personality trait that I’ve always had which is the absolute hatred of being a beginner. I never wanted anyone to see me struggling at something I wanted to be great at. I was so stubborn as a kid that I even quit my first day of dance class at the age of ten because they didn’t put me in the advanced classes with the kids who had been dancing for years (I was a drama queen) – I recognize that same thought pattern in myself and others now as an adult.
I wonder how much we all could achieve and master if we all allowed ourselves and others to be vulnerable beginners and to stop listening to the criticism or judgmental thoughts that we might encounter from other people and even our own brains. Perfectionism or the need to be viewed as someone who never fails blocks you from the very thing you are wanting to achieve.
The fear of being a beginner goes hand in hand with the art of not caring what others think. I am personally guilty of once or twice in my life seeing someone go out on a limb and start something that is totally unlike them or out of the box and thinking that they aren’t going to succeed – it’s sort of a subconscious response that society has instilled in us.
Most people want to cheer you on, to hear your story, or help you along your way to your goals and dreams… and if they don’t then you need to accept and realize that they are acting from a place of insecurity or frustration that they can’t leap over their own fear to follow their passion like you!!!! It usually has nothing to do with you at all and everything about their own journey of allowing themselves to be vulnerable.
One of my favorite quotes that I try to read daily and I feel addresses this topic is by Theodore Roosevelt:
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 man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
One of my favorite authors and inspirations, Brené Brown, uses this quote in her books which I can’t recommend enough. Seriously, go read Daring Greatly and Rising Strong by Brené Brown – like immediately! Here is one of my favorite excerpts from Daring Greatly:
Belonging: Belonging is the innate human desire to be part of something larger than us. Because this yearning is so primal, we often try to acquire it by fitting in and by seeking approval, which are not only hollow substitutes for belonging, but often barriers to it. Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.
Here is a another from Brené Brown referring to the Theodore Roosevelt quote about the man in the arena:
I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time. Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.
So in conclusion I hope you all have the courage to start. Be a beginner. Take that class. I hope you do your part to give the love you want to receive back to the people you encounter on your journey. Support your friends who are passionately pursuing the thing that they love, lend a loving and compassionate ear to someone who needs to tell their story.
I could write about this all day because I have to remind myself on the regular that it’s okay to be myself, to start new things, and to be vulnerable with the people around me. It’s okay if not everyone understands you or what you’re passionate about. All you can do is send them love, send yourself love, and not give a freaking frick.