After two years of gathering my courage and showing up in spaces because I wanted to be in them – not because I was invited – something amazing happened. I stopped getting stuck in and owned by failures, setbacks, and disappointment.
Now, when I realize I’m not someone’s “cup of tea” or struggle while speaking to a group, I am no longer knocked off my feet. Things that would have paralyzed me two years ago hardly affect me now. I still have to pause and check in with my feelings (like I’m testing a bruise to see if it hurts), but I’m always surprised and think, “Would you look at that? I’m ok!”. And the most remarkable part… I go on with my day. I don’t (as often) nurse my hurt feelings, stew, or replay the stumble over and over again in my head. It reminds me of when toddlers fall and check the faces of their parents to see if they are ok. They realize they are, and they move along with whatever they were doing. All. That. Drama… averted.
What would you do if your fear wasn’t in the way? Not the fear of physical harm but the fear many of us know all too well. The fear that keeps us small and from taking chances. The fear that we will fail, someone will laugh, or after we dare greatly, we will find our work is insignificant.
We can never make the fear go away completely, but we can keep showing up despite our fear. If we do this with self-compassion and the understanding that we are always learning and growing; we will not only survive, we will thrive. Getting stuck and owned by failures, setbacks and disappointments is recognized in Brene Brown’s work as Armored Leadership, specifically: Leading from Self-Protection. The research also uncovers the daring leadership side of the coin: Leading with Grounded Confidence. Brene describes Grounded Confidence as: rumble skills + curiosity + practice.
So, a few questions for reflection: How are you building your grounded confidence? Are you learning from your failures, setbacks and disappointments? Are you embedding this learning into your work?