When watching a show with Dr. Brené Brown, I heard a quote by Theodore Roosevelt which drives home that point (see right). In her book, "Daring Greatly", Dr. Brown gives advice on how you can be the one "in the arena".
The first step is to embrace vulnerability. Many people see vulnerability as a weakness and will spend so much energy to protect themselves against the world that they do not allow themselves to be human. They let their armor weigh them down and keep themselves from progressing forward to do great things. Dr. Brown theorizes that vulnerability is strength because it leads to courage - the courage to go into the arena.
This resonates with me because although I was initially scared of going to Ghana, I was willing to be vulnerable by trusting others and displayed courage by daring to go into the arena. If I had let fear keep me "safe" and stayed home, I would not have had that great African experience.
The next steps to get "in the arena" are critical;
1) Letting Go of What People Think
2) Letting Go of Perfectionism
When I facilitate training or meetings, I'm being vulnerable to criticism, things not going as planned, and uncertainty. Although I respect people's opinions and I do want things to go well, I also know that I can't please everyone and nothing is perfect. I learn from "failures" and take constructive criticism to improve next time.
Because I'd rather be in the arena, I am willing to fail and be vulnerable. Are you?