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Are you ready for something special?? This month our affirmation is based off of one of my all-time, favorite quotes…
It is: “I dare greatly. I am not alone. I am enough. I fearlessly course-correct. I fail forward.”
Teddy Roosevelt famously 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… 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.”
So, what does daring greatly look like?
There are so many places I could go with this, but, today, I’ll focus on three key components: vulnerability, best efforts, and trying again.
Vulnerability is the willingness to make and correct mistakes, to learn something new, to sit with discomfort, to get messy, to not know, to let go of “all or nothing”, and to show up, even if that means showing up imperfectly, introducing risk in order to grow. Sometimes, it’s terrifying.
How about what vulnerability is not? It is not repeatedly, deliberately, putting yourself in harm’s way. It is not oversharing. It is not openly being the version of yourself you think others want to see. It is not a lack of regard for, or apathy about, yourself.
Often, it can be hard to walk this line.
How do we introduce risk, remain authentic, and not expose ourselves to a complete lack of physical and emotional safety?
It’s true, a lack of security may be involved. Plans don’t always pan out, people don’t always reward your trust, but, as simply as I can figure it – vulnerability means not shying away from uncertainty and being willing to put it all on the line anyway.
Mother Teresa wrote:
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered; Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God; It was never between you and them anyway.”
To me, that is vulnerability, because of a deep love for, and trust in, who and whose you are.
2. Best Efforts
I’ve mentioned before how overwhelming the word “best” can feel.
Yet, part of leaving it all on the line is consistent, hard. work. To be in the arena, you must be willing to fight for the world you want to see, not just talk about it.
To clarify, your consistent best will not be akin to perfection. You will have days where you “come up short again and again”. You will have seasons of survival mode, seasons of loss, where your “best” is somehow finding the courage to get out of bed.
My hope for you is that you will persevere. Because there will also be seasons of rebirth, and – dare I say – joy. So, keep going. Look for solutions. Do the inner work. Better yourself. Ask for help when you need it. Share your story. Keep finding reasons to love your kids, your marriage, your job, your path, or your lack thereof. Fight like the survivor that you are.
3. Trying Again
And, number three, when you fall flat on your face doing all of that, try again. Start fresh every time you need it, whenever you need it.
This practice has completely changed my year. I’ve had plenty of days that started with sleeping in, phone time instead of snuggle time, and cake for breakfast. But, I’ve learned that I don’t have to punish myself with the resulting feelings. That day isn’t a lost cause.
As soon as the need for a course-correction hits, I shower and get dressed for the day, even if it’s 3pm. I read with my kids. I get outside. Maybe we go for a walk, or laugh through a workout video together. By 5, I feel like I’m slaying it again.
I make moments every day to be grateful for, because it chases away shame like nothing I’ve ever experienced. So don’t let the enemy talk you into staying down.
Dare greatly, friends. Dare so greatly your heart hurts.
And, you don’t have to dare alone.
I’ve met so many of you online, and some in person. You offer words of encouragement when I need them the most. You share your struggles. You get back up. This is an entire, amazing community of people in the arena.
Even if we haven’t met yet, you are a part of that. Spread love!
❤ Jenny and Joe