Don't Fall for It
September 24, 2013
Can you remember the last time you didn't let what others
thought or expected stop you from trying something new or something
you love? We're not talking about throwing all caution or reason to
the wind, no that's just reckless. What we are talking about is
silencing the negative voices, the inner critic, tradition or dogma
to get to what's really important and who you really are.
Well, researcher, thought leader and TEDx internet phenom Dr.
Brené Brown (see for yourself
here) remembers her last time. After she gave her now infamous
TED Talk, her family and friends told her not to go online and read
the comments. She read the comments. And it sent her into a
tailspin. If this is the response of a qualitative research
professor, a woman with more degrees than we have ideas and someone
with the nerve and intelligence to speak to millions of people,
what hope do the rest of us have? In an excerpt of her interview with
Oprah, Brené explains:
"People were saying things like 'Less
research, more Botox' and 'Maybe you'll be worthy in 20 pounds.'
And they all were anonymous, which is such - well, crapola! . . .
So one day I sent my husband, Steve, to work, I sent my kids to
school, and I sat on the couch in my pajamas and watched ten hours
of Downton Abbey.
I ate some peanut butter. I was like, this is not worth it, man.
I'm not doing this anymore."
And we can't say we blame her. But what's remarkable is of
course she didn't stop there. She Googled a little and came across
a quote from Theodore Roosevelt. It was a game changer for her.
"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…[And] if he fails,
at least fails while daring greatly."
This quote kind of lit a fire for us, too. We'll take any and
all reminders not to fall for the distraction of criticism.
Especially the anonymous kind. It's easy and reactive, the crutch
of the observer. We'd rather be doers, the kind of people who make
mistakes (so the Grilled Steak Onion Rings
weren't your thing, there are plenty of other flavors, my friend) only to come out
stronger and wiser.
What did Brené do with this information? Well, she didn't stay
on the couch and she didn't let 'anonymous'-or even her own voices
of doubt stop her. She wrote the book Daring Greatly . And
she did just that (thank you, Teddy and Brené).
We are going to start practicing
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