Gearing Up

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“Why me? Why this blog? Why now?”

I asked myself these questions and the fear and self doubt that were implied in them paralyzed me. It wasn’t until I read Dr. Brené Brown’ s book “Daring Greatly” that I saw things from a different angle and I changed all of these questions to “Why not?” Dr. Brown uses Theodore Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena” quote to talk about vulnerability and “being all in”. One quote from her book in particular has stayed with me:

“When we spend our lives waiting until we’re perfect or bulletproof before we walk into the arena, we ultimately sacrifice relationships and opportunities that may not be recoverable, we squander our precious time, and we turn our backs on our gifts, those unique contributions that only we can make. Perfect and bulletproof are seductive, but they don’t exist in the human experience.”

Reading this I remember all the opportunities I missed or took for granted because I was paralyzed by the fear of not being enough (“What will people, my family, friends think?” “Can I really do this?”). I thought about starting a blog like this to fuel discussions around education much sooner, but I didn’t because owning my thoughts and putting them out into the world for all to see, to judge, to criticize, to reject, is scary. I realized though that it was only scary because I was trying to maintain a façade of perfection. So before we go any further, let me say that I am not the most qualified person to do this work. I am honestly in the learner’s seat just like everyone else. I care deeply about the function of education in transforming people’s lives for the better. In school I found my passion for dissecting loaded concepts and gleaming bits of wisdom that I could carry with me and pass onto others. I learned that I was much more capable of coping with stress and challenging tasks than I thought. And I dared because other people believed in me.

How many people are just waiting for permission to do that one thing they’ve always dreamed of? Or waiting for the perfect moment or when they have a Ph. D behind their name? And how much talent is the world missing out on because of it?

I believe everyone is here for a reason, not just to take up space. And we owe one another the best we can give, today. I wanted to write this here to set the tone for this space. I am living into a wholehearted, authentic existence where I own my mistakes, who I am, and share my heart with the world, even though there are no guarantees. I welcome you to do the same and to share constructive feedback, opposing viewpoints, and to add your own thoughts to this communal site or in conversations with people you care about. What I am not interested in is cheap, superficial criticism.

Dr. Brown says it best in a talk for 99U, a Behance supported platform to provide creatives with the tools they need to execute their ideas. Watch below:

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