Over a year ago, I had the idea to create this blog. I thought and brainstormed as to what I wanted this blog to be about and the various topics I wanted to discuss. The first thing I thought of was the title, Voice Lessons for Today. I knew I wanted this space to be about finding your true voice and the lessons we learn along the way. One of my main goals was to provide a place to continue the conversation… continue the conversation that starts between friends over dinner, the conversation that occurs within a small group, the conversation between confidants, the conversation that begins in the counseling office.
I also wanted to incorporate some fun features into the blog. I love books, as I have mentioned before, and I love recommending books that have spoken to me in hopes of passing on the lessons and insights. But why stop with recommending? Why not start a book Giveaway? So today is our first Book Giveaway!
Recently, I attended a three-day training in San Antonio with Brené Brown. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am a huge fan of her work and books. Brené Brown is a shame and vulnerability researcher, and she writes on such topics as worthiness, overcoming the feeling of not being enough, and learning to practice courage and vulnerability by living authentically and boldly. I am in the process of becoming a certified facilitator of her new workshop curriculum, The Daring Way. The Daring Way curriculum is based on material and research from all three of her books, I Thought It Was Just Me, The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. Daring Greatly is her latest book and it is a New York Times bestseller. The training was excellent! I feverishly took notes and soaked up every ounce of information. I gained a new way of looking at the age-old struggle of shame and heard powerful ideas on empathy, self-compassion, and learning to live courageously. The weekend was inspiring to say the least. Here are my Top Five Favorite Things I learned and heard over that amazing weekend:
1. Until you are comfortable with the reality of failure as always a possibility, you will never have innovation, creativity, or freedom. Practicing vulnerability means embracing risk, uncertainty, and the possibility that you may fail. Vulnerability is showing up and letting yourself be seen.
So true! Nothing paralyzes us more than the fear of failure. We can literally stop trying anything new because we are afraid of failing. What if we accepted failure is always an option? What if we grew comfortable with the possibility of failure? What if we took all the power away from this concept and viewed it as merely a possibility that we can overcome and learn from rather than a reason to not even try?
2. You can be brave or you can be comfortable, but you can’t be both.
3. Comparative suffering is one of the main ways we shame and silence ourselves.
Comparative suffering is when we tell ourselves we “shouldn’t” feel a certain way because there is someone who has it worse. Yes, there is always someone who has it worse than we do and perspective and gratitude are extremely important in building resiliency. But comparative suffering silences our sadness, which does need to be voiced because it is only by truly feeling our emotions that we can be free of them. More on this to come!
4. You cannot offer others more compassion than you are able to give to yourself. If you struggle to give yourself compassion, then you will eventually struggle to practice compassion with others because you will feel resentful when you are expected to give it to another.
So many good nuggets here, especially when you think about why you may struggle with being empathetic with certain people in your life or at certain times in your life. If you are struggling to understand and be empathetic to others, perhaps that is a sign that you are starving yourself of self-compassion. (This is particularly important for helping professionals to consider.)
5. When in doubt, be human.
Well, that about says it all.
In honor of my excitement over the training, our first book to give away is Daring Greatly! Daring Greatly discusses the ideas above, as well as learning to courageously practice vulnerability by showing up and truly being seen in your life. If we embrace risk and uncertainty, that inner critic has much less volume, and we will discover that life is much better when we step into the arena than when we are sitting in the cheap seats.
So here is how the Giveaway is going to work: if you are looking for a great read for that upcoming vacation and would love to have a copy of the book or perhaps saw Brené on Oprah or heard her TED talk and are interested in learning more about how to live courageously in the face of uncertainty, then either leave me a comment below or send me a message through the contact form. I will draw two names at the end of the week and mail the winners a copy of the book! (Be sure and leave your email address so I can contact you for your mailing address.) Happy First Book Giveaway and have a great week!
It’s 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…” Theodore Roosevelt