I’ve been wanting to read Daring Greatly by Brene Brown for some time now. Ever since I heard the title. Those two words together are so powerful. And no wonder, in the beginning of the book, Brown tells us the words came from Theodore Roosevelt’s speech from Paris, France in 1910 “Citizenship in a Republic”:
“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. . .”
Brown’s book is about having the courage to be vulnerable and the way vulnerability will change your life. I haven’t finished it yet, I’ve only read through the introduction, but that speech just grabbed me.
What would my life look like if I had the courage to dare greatly? If I just rolled up my sleeves and said, “You know what? I might not get this right, but I’m going to try”? I can think of a few areas in my life I might be a little happier about. I bet you can come up with a few areas of your life that could be improved, something fear of failure is holding you back from.
It doesn’t matter how well I think I could do something. What matters is that I do it. Just jump in and do it. I might fall. In fact I know I will, probably quite a bit. I’ll probably write something terrible, full of errors, or just plain bad. Maybe nobody likes what I write or the way I write. Maybe I’ll take a few pictures that just don’t work. They’re ugly and poorly lit. Or I’ll invite people over and be awkward and weird or make them feel awkward and weird.
But it’s in the trying that I’ll get better. So I’ll be the one striving valiantly, coming up short again and again, spending myself in a worthy cause. Because, in the end, if I fail, at least I’ll know that I failed while daring greatly.