“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, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
This is the quote I heard on Brene Brown's - The Call to Courage on Netflix, a show about Vulnerability and Courage!!! Brene Brown is a researcher of Courage and Vulnerability, and her talk on this on Netflix or TedTalks is worth listening to, as it will help you get some perspective on what it means to be vulnerable and showing up like this every day for your self. She goes on to say, "If your in the arena join me blood sweat and pain, on the ground with all the other people who are being brave too, and that true vulnerability is not a weakness, in fact it is the most accurate way to measure courage. It is the way they measure how brave you are with how vulnerable you are willing to be. At the end of the day if your not in the arena getting your arse kicked on occasion because you are being brave, I am not interested in or open to your feedback about my work". Period!!!
Listening to these words and actually having lived it in the past, I know now, that my ability to keep getting up and trying again and again in my life, is my way of showing up to the arena. We so often than not, listen to people who have risked nothing or are not willing to risk nothing, give advice or pass judgement on us and others, because they view their lives to be perfect and accomplished. Yes, so would my life had been, if I had sacrificed my dreams, my values, my principles, for the safety of an unchallenged life, and this was just not an option for me. But the answer is not to show these people how wrong they are, or to prove your point. No, it is to ignore what they say, totally push it out and move forward with your plan to carry on being vulnerable and open to failure, because that's where courage and ultimately success lies.
Mountains weren't climbed and innovations weren't made by playing it safe and staying in the box, it was achieved by people who had the courage to tell and show the world all that believed in, despite of being ridiculed for it, and eventually achieving those goals. As Brene says, vulnerability is saying 'I love you' first without the guarantee of someone saying it back to you, trying for a baby again after a miscarriage, starting again after you have failed, and many such actions. Can you imagine life without electricity, planes, phones and other such every day things that until they were innovated, were but a dream, or a joke to others. Can you imagine how life would be, if all those who achieved these innovations had listened to those naysayers!!!
There's one thing I can tell you now, my life with me being vulnerable and showing up for myself, has been a complete roller coaster of up's and down's and all the crazy twirls in between. But the one thing I have learnt about myself is that I am courageous as hell and can truly weather any storm, and I am fearless!! I am well and truly in this arena of my life, ready to innovate all that I want. Are You ???