Daring Greatly

"Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It's about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen."
-Brene Brown

Let me tell you about a great book. A book that is weaving its words into my heart and challenging me to live differently....with more courage....with less fear.....with more appreciation for myself and others.  

It's called "Daring Greatly" by Brene Brown. 

I plan to do a blog series on the book  - there are just way too many keen insights in its pages to summarize it all in one post.  The quote at the top of this post is about authenticity. 

Authenticity, vulnerability, shame, honesty, worthiness, acceptance. These are all themes in Brene's book. 

Authenticity is an intriguing topic. 

It's not easy, though. Maybe it should be easy. Maybe it should be natural. What's more natural than being one's self, right? So why is it so challenging to be real?  Why is it so hard to "let ourselves been seen" as the quote expresses?  

Perhaps it should be the most simple act in the world - to "be" - to just "be" as we are.

For me, though, it isn't easy. And while there are moments when authenticity comes naturally, it isn't all the time. Instead, I spend about 99.99% of my time worrying about what other people will think about me. Maybe the percentage isn't quite that high. It might be 99% instead. Or MAYBE even 98% on a really good day.

So as much as I wish I were 100% authentic, I know that's hardly possible when I am so consumed with thoughts about how other people might perceive me. 

The author of the book says that the negative voices that silently speak to us about our insecurities are like gremlins that drag us down. The gremlins constantly try to make us doubt our own value.

Here are some of my gremlins:

-"You aren't kind. You hurt people's feelings."
-"If you try to set more time boundaries, you will disappoint everyone."
-"You aren't creative"
-"You're not nice enough to your family"
-"You aren't a very good friend"
-"No one likes your sermons"

I know these things aren't true. I really know that. 

But these are still my gremlins. And we all have gremlins, right? They're ridiculous and pretend. But they're powerful and dangerous. 

I am so excited to share more of Daring Greatly with you in the future. I encourage you to pick up a copy. But be ready. If you really let yourself "go there" and dive into the book, it won't take long to realize, "WHOA! This is all so true. And I have a lot of work to do."

As far as the gremlins go, Brene suggests something called "Gremlin Ninja Warrior training" - it's fantastic. It's about becoming more resilient. There are four steps. I won't go through them all now. The end result is this...

An individual is able to shift from her first thought being, "What will people think?" to "I am enough."

It's a huge shift for me - and for many. Thankfully, even though it's a huge shift, it's also a very possible and productive shift. 

I'm ready to start this journey. How about you?

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