During our community time last Friday Lauren had us watch a Ted Talks (you can find it here http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html), which highlighted the theme of courage; something that I have thinking about a lot in the last few weeks. Brené Brown explains that the definition of courage when it first entered the English language was to tell the story of yourself with your whole heart. This kind of vulnerability is scary, and so instead we choose to numb, make things certain, and perfect as a way of dealing with this fear. Living a full life, however, means opening up to that experience of letting ourselves be seen.
One of the things that I am loving most about this program is how many incredible people I have had the opportunity to meet. The category of people that have excited me most recently, however, are the people who have decided to try something new that they suspected will be incredibly challenging. Whether it’s taking up an instrument (anytime after 6th grade seems too daunting to me), moving across the country, or starting a totally different career path that you’re completely passionate about, but unsure exactly how to do; I am truly amazed by people’s ability to step outside their comfort zones and be vulnerable. In hearing all of these stories, people say that they didn’t really know what they were getting themselves into, but it was a choice to stick it out. This is no small thing, and I think this ability to say “yes” to this type of challenge is something that must be practiced in order to be able to let your ego take that hit and keep going.
The struggle as I learn something new is a particularly noticeable area of vulnerability for me. But of course, with that is the growth and reward that only comes from the uncomfortable and frustrating stretch. This was very real and present during my time in Ghana, but it is easier to avoid challenge now that I'm back at home. Avoiding it isn't really what I want to be doing. While the last few months have offered some areas of challenge and growth (both planned and some unplanned) I am struck with the desire to ensure that I will always being willing to be bad at something for a while, so I can experience whatever follows.
Kudos to the courageous.