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Bravery at Work

Jenn Drake returns to share her perspective on bravery, and to remind us that learning to be brave is a process. -Ed

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If you’ve read my blogs before, you know that I’m a huge fan of Brené Brown – you may have seen her TED talks on shame and vulnerability.  Her latest book, Rising Strong, elevates the conversations she began in her previous book The Gifts of Imperfection in which she provides a roadmap for cultivating courage, compassion and connection to our authentic selves.  Her book Daring Greatly showed us how to take that self and show up at home, at school, and in our relationships with courage.  Rising Strong tackles the inevitable failures that occur when we dare to be who we really are and seek the belonging that we all deserve.  

As the school year starts up again, and I am faced with new challenges, I find myself failing in my acts of bravery, that is, if you can call being kind of a weeny an act of bravery.  Okay, so the truth is, I quit being brave in the face of criticism.  The minute I sense that my ideas or just my presence have upset someone, I tend to turn away!  This is what Brown calls the “middle space… when you’re ‘in the dark.’”  It’s easy to read her books and feel brave and prepare yourself for the world, fully intending to take it on with all your strengths.  And I’ve done a lot of that.  But, she explains, “Experience and success don’t give you easy passage through the middle space of struggle.”  If you’re going to stay true, you have to keep going.  So, the journey continues as I continue to show up and be what I’m about, and I can take heart in the fact that it’s all part of the process.