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Daring to lead…daring to live greatly

Today, I had the good fortune to attend a free webinar titled Daring to Lead with Dr. Brene Brown. Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work and a nationally renowned speaker on the topics of vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. Pretty exciting stuff! lol

Brown’s TED Talk, which has been viewed by more than 5 million people, resonated with me when I viewed it for the first time while on personal retreat in Maine this past June. (Read my blogs titled “One Brave Thing” and “My word is enough,” both inspired by Brown as I reflected on my personal transformation.)

Her latest book titled Daring Greatly comes out next month and I have pre-ordered it. In it, she urges us to realize the importance of engaging our vulnerability and embracing it. According to Brown, in doing so, we emerge as more purposeful, intentional leaders who dare to be truly and authentically seen. Certainly a goal of mine, and I am guessing of many of you reading this blog.

While I am fascinated by the topic of transformative leadership, I have connected with Brown’s work on a personal level. To me, the message translates into daring to live greatly. That is my intent. As I learn to embrace my new body and my new life with Lori squarely in the center of the equation, and inspire and lead others to transform their bodies and their lives, Brown’s work is particularly poignant.

Brown defines a leader as anyone who holds her or himself accountable for finding potential in people and prophecies. I love this definition. Brown goes on to say that demonstrating the moral courage needed to be a leader who dares greatly starts with vulnerability.

Vulnerability is a word that makes a lot of people uncomfortable. Not me. I embrace it — especially after my transformation this past year and a half. Vulnerability is about courage. The courage to admit mistakes. The courage to ask for help. The courage to press on when you are extremely afraid of something. The courage to take responsibility, set a boundary, put yourself first. These are all things I was not very good at as an obese person trying to be all things to all people and believing that I had to be perfect. Needless to say perfectionism and vulnerability don’t fit very well together!

So today as I listened to Brene Brown’s webinar and thought about the kind of person and leader I want to be, what came to mind for me was authentic, courageous and “truth telling.” When you start from the place where you believe, really believe, that you are enough just as you are, it is easier to be authentic and vulnerable. You worry less what others think of what you say and do, and you are guided by your own values, dreams and goals.

Of course, it is not possible to do so perfectly, and Brown touched on this. There is often a gap between our vision and the values we hold and strive for, and where we are in practice. But the goal is to “mind the gap” and when we get off course or make decisions that are incongruent with our vision and values, it is how we handle those that really matters. Do we admit our mistakes, learn from them and try to correct them and get back on course? Can we be vulnerable and authentic in those moments? If so, that’s what really matters. Not perfection.

And so I go into the world of paying it forward and working to inspire people to transformation authentically and courageously. My goal is to be a transformative leader in this work. To not be afraid to be vulnerable. I hope that in sharing myself and my story, I will inspire and motivate others to action so that they too can feel the amazing power of health, wellness, fitness, and happiness inside and out. It is my dream to be able to help others the way my support team and team of experts have helped me.

So today, Brene Brown inspired me yet again to be real, authentic, and vulnerable and to embrace my imperfections. And for that, I am forever grateful.

Quotes from Brene Brown that inspired me from today’s webinar:

  • Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage
  • If we don’t do Vulnerability, it does us
  • Having and setting boundaries is a pre-requisite for vulnerability.
  • Vulnerability requires relationship, it’s about trust, and intimacy, and connection
  • If we’re going to dare greatly…to start showing up in this new authentic way, we need people to support us. We need a support system that admires our courage and celebrates it
  • In our hearts and heads we know when we see authenticity
  • Trust is built in small moments that add up
  • It’s a privilege to see my vulnerability
  • The more worthy I am, the more willing I am to set boundaries

How are you showing your vulnerability? Do you consider yourself a transformative leader? How have you dared greatly in your own life? Please share.




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