Daring Greatly

“Don’t take anything personally, because by taking things personally you set yourself up to suffer for nothing.” — Don Miquel Ruiz

Recently on the Good Life Project, Jonathan Fields decided to re-air one of my favorite episodes in the GLP archives, most likely one of the most viewed.

This particular episode was with Brene Brown.

Brene is a vulnerability and shame researcher and also the author of Daring Greatly (this book I highly recommend). In the episode she sheds light into her own personal story and talks about vulnerability, courage, shame and daring greatly.

Daring greatly is coming face-to-face with your fears. You aren’t able to dare greatly unless you muster up the courage, acknowledge the fear, and become vulnerable.

To dare more greatly you must face fear head on.

Fear is this funny thing. It’s the control of our lives, for most of us. It’s the bad wolf we feed too often. Even those who do choose to dare greatly struggle with fear on a daily basis. It’s a constant existence in which we are in the trenches battling day-in and day-out.

Not speaking up in a meeting with an idea, thinking that someone, some critic will bash it; I fell victim to fear. Not sitting down to do the work that encompasses my total DNA for the thought of someone not liking it; I fell victim to fear. Not deciding to go out on the dance floor, even though I want to badly, but thinking someone will be watching and have an opinion on my lack of dancing skills; I fell victim to fear.

Fear prevents us from acting. It prevents us from living. Tweet this

Have you ever paused and thought about all the small, mundane, in-between moments in your life where you chose to let fear control your moves?

Most times in these instances we are completely unaware of even choosing not to act. We’ve accustomed ourselves to instinctively abide by what fear tells us to do.

We listen, without even knowing it. Other times we are completely aware, but the logic is that it’s safe siding with fear.

Choosing to dare greatly is a risk.

The outcome is typically black or white.

It’s either going to fuel you with confidence leaving you with an addictive experience, or it could backfire. Choosing to dare greatly and be vulnerable could completely blow up in your face and have you running for the hills.

There are a couple of things here.

One, when choosing to dare greatly doesn’t go your way, when it has you wanting to crawl in a hole for the next week, it’s typically seen through the wrong lens. The perceived risk in which the audience exposes on you is actually a hindrance within their own life, not within your decision to dare greatly.

Something I’ve come to recognize while traveling this journey is we all have our own story, and most times, we aren’t aware of those stories that are around us or of those in the audience.

It’s keeping in mind that those who point and laugh, those who are unconstructive critics have a dark side they have yet traveled to explore. It’s not you, it’s them. So don’t take it personally.

Daring greatly, being vulnerable, acting on courage; it’s not easy. It never will become easy. Easy is abiding by fear. Safe is listening to the commands of fear.

Anything that is ever good is never easy. Tweet this

Second , the actual risk is not choosing to dare greatly regardless of what the perceived risks may be of choosing to dare greatly.

We’ve grown up in a society where vulnerability is seen as weak. The truth is choosing to dare greatly and be vulnerable in that moment is the ultimate form of strength.

When you ponder on the moments where fear held you back and prevented you from acting, gather a sense of how you felt. Compare that to the moments where you chose to dare greatly, the moments where you mustered up the courage to be vulnerable.

Side-by-side, how did you feel?

The latter, choosing vulnerability and courage over fear, is where life is lived. The latter is where a fulfilled life is lived. The latter is where a life with meaning and purpose is lived.

The latter is where growth and strength occur.

Choose to dare greatly.

Confront and acknowledge your fears and seek the courage to be vulnerable. The feeling that transpires, regardless of the perceived risks (remember, it’s not you it’s them) will become addictive.

When you choose to act on this route—daring greatly, courage and vulnerability—with those close to you, your actions become contagious. You’ve, by choosing to dare greatly, opened a whole new world to those around you who have otherwise been enslaved to fear their entire lives.

I honestly think we were put on this earth for it to be this way, for it to be hard. Easy, well, would just be too easy.

Growth occurs through difficulty and within the grind.

It’s not a flip of a switch decision and it works, always. It will always be a constant battle.

The decision and work will always be a constant grind. But that’s the journey of intentional self growth. That’s the recipe to a life well lived.

Eliminate the lens in which you anticipate any perceived risks and choose to dare greatly.

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About Eric Ungs

Eric Ungs writes about a journey of intentional self growth, nudging you to let go; to give yourself permission to be vulnerable and honest with yourself so you can give your best self to others. Author of 10 Incredible Ways to Live a Fulfilling and Joyful Life ebook.