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.
I don’t watch much TV, in fact I hadn’t watched TV really in the past five years. However, I decided to get cable recently. I still find myself rarely watching because it’s so out of habit, and I have ADD (I like to clean my floors way too often).
Anyway, awhile back I wrote this post on the topic of wholeheartedness. I had randomly found myself listening to Brene Brown’s TED Talk, coincidentally when I popped on the TV today, which I rarely do, the Katie Couric show was featuring Brene in person.
She of course talked a lot about the topic of vulnerability and its necessity in our lives. I’ve been thinking a lot about fear lately, I’ve felt fearful as I enter into a new life and anticipate being a recent grad school graduate. So, I guess someone knew I needed to hear these important words about vulnerability once again.
You see, there is nothing more dangerous and scary than standing on the out skirt of our own life. What should matter to you is not whether you succeed or fail, but that you were brave, and the people that matter in this whole experience are those who love you not in spite of your vulnerabilities but because of them.
Brene talked a lot about a concept she refers to as foreboding joy.
Interestingly, I know this concept all too well. She explains it like this:
That moment when you enter your child’s room, while their sleeping, and you look over their precious little body and think how much you love them. Then in that moment of joy you shudder–what if they were taken from me by death?
It’s that moment when you realize I have a great job, a wonderful family–I have joy. Then always comes the shudder as you realize that joy could be marred by tragedy. Those who experience true wholeheartedness in this life take that moment and transform it. Instead of allowing the joy to be stifled by fear they allow it instead to be a moment wherein they mindfully practice gratitude. They embrace the reality of something possibly going wrong through quite simply, thankfulness. In this, their joy can always live.
What’s worth doing even if you fail?
I thought about this.
…and I realized for me it’s all the scariest things.
going to school.
being a single mom.
because those are the things that are worth every risk. they are not worth looking at from the out skirt of my life.
Today, I realized for the first time ever that it’s OK to be scared and if I fail at something then that’s OK too. What matters is that I was brave.