After hearing her really inspiring talk at the London School of Life, I’ve started reading Brené Brown’s new book “Daring Greatly, How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead”. The title was inspired by a speech given in 1910 by US President Teddy Roosevelt, in which he said:
“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, 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.”
To me this quote follows on from my last post on “There is no failure only feedback” as it emphasises how important it is to be in the arena (whatever that means to you) and not to let the fear of being criticised hold you back from connecting with and fulfilling your life’s purpose.
Constructive feedback makes us better both personally and professionally and some element of “failure” is a natural part of progress. If you’re getting feedback, at least that means you’re trying — not remaining outside the arena, looking in.
So now that you consider “failure” as feedback, here are some questions to ask yourself;
• What opportunities or relationships am I missing out on because I’m holding back?
• What would happen if I went into the arena today, tomorrow, or this week?
• Do I want to look back on my life wishing that I’d done more, or being grateful that I did the best I could?
I’ll see you in the arena.
If you haven’t heard of Brené Brown I suggest you listen to her 2 talks on www.TED.com her 2010 TEDx Houston talk on the power of vulnerability (Brene brown 2010 TedX on the power of vulnerability) is one of the most watched talks on TED.com, with over 6 million views and her 2012 talk, Listening to Shame, Brene Brown 2012 Listening to Shame is also inspiring.