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“There are no guarantees in the arena. We will struggle. We will even fail. There will be darkness. But if we are clear about the values that guide us in our efforts to show up and be seen, we will always be able to find the light. We will know what it means to live brave.”

 – Best-selling Author Brené Brown

If you are like me, you have been hearing a lot about author Brené Brown for years – since her highly viewed TedX Talk on vulnerability took the Twitterverse by storm.  I wanted to experience her presence firsthand and see what the buzz was all about, so I recently enrolled in her Living Brave semester, COURAGEworks.

Brené describes COURAGEworks as exercises that will encourage vulnerability, becoming braver, more daring, and courageous. I love the way Brené explains the experience, “imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.”

I knew after the first few exercises that I was hooked. To kick off our class, Brené shared an excerpt from a 1910 Teddy Roosevelt speech which I had never heard before but helped set the stage for what it means to live brave and dare greatly:

“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.”

We are truly blessed.  When I think of all the brave leaders we have in the world who are living bravely and daring greatly every day, it reminds me how honored we are to be in their company.

How are you living brave every day and when was the last time you failed while daring greatly?

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