We live in a world, now more than ever, where we’re expected to hold down a hugely rewarding and successful job, raise a well-adjusted family, have a full and fascinating social life, an investment portfolio, go on fabulous holidays, save the world, have the health of an elite athlete and be home in time to have a nutritious meal on the table without so much as a hair out of place. We’re supposed to have it together all the time, but to be honest, we’re done with feeling like that.
We need to break free from this ‘cult of perfect’ we’ve somehow created and that’s where Dr Brené Brown comes in. Her 2010 TEDx talk called The Power of Vulnerability is one of the top 10 most viewed TED talks in the world with almost 30 million views. She’s appeared on Oprah, is a number one New York Times bestselling author and we were fortunate to have her grace the Business Chicks stage back in 2013. One of Brené’s key messages is to embrace the imperfect, and occasionally we forget to tap into that. Read on for 17 reminders to be your bold, authentic badass self. You’re welcome.
1. “You either walk inside your story and own it or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.”
2. “What’s the greater risk? Letting go of what people think – or letting go of how I feel, what I believe, and who I am?”
3. “I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.”
4. “When I see people stand fully in their truth, or when I see someone fall down, get back up, and say, ‘Damn. That really hurt, but this is important to me and I’m going in again’—my gut reaction is, ‘What a badass.’”
5. “Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.”
6. “Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.”
7. “I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time.”
8. “Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome.”
9. “There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period.”
10. “A lot of cheap seats in the arena are filled with people who never venture onto the floor. They just hurl mean-spirited criticisms and put-downs from a safe distance. The problem is, when we stop caring what people think and stop feeling hurt by cruelty, we lose our ability to connect. But when we’re defined by what people think, we lose the courage to be vulnerable. Therefore, we need to be selective about the feedback we let into our lives. For me, if you’re not in the arena also getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.”
11. “Vulnerability is not knowing victory or defeat, it’s understanding the necessity of both; it’s engaging. It’s being all in.”
12. “Somehow we’ve come to equate success with not needing anyone. Many of us are willing to extend a helping hand, but we’re very reluctant to reach out for help when we need it ourselves. It’s as if we’ve divided the world into “those who offer help” and “those who need help.” The truth is that we are both.”
13. “Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be; embrace who you are.”
14. “Perfectionism is a self destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimise the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame.”
15. “Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough.”
16. “Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.”
17. “We don’t have to do all of it alone. We were never meant to.”
We absolutely weren’t meant to go it alone. When you’re part of the Business Chicks community, there’s not just one woman who has your back, there are thousands. If you’re not a Business Chicks member yet, head over to our memberships page for more info.