Friday, August 5, 2016

Snape & Vulnerability

Brené Brown DARING GREATLY—How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

I listened, rather than annotating through Brenè Brown book Daring Greatly. Her voice was memorizing and full of humor and grace. Brown’s passion for pushing through life’s greatest challenges and rewards with vulnerability was frankly pure fun. I frequently laughed and smiled more often than felt guilty or ashamed for what I have or have not emotionally mastered. Frankly, it just felt good to know many of my day to day emotions of inadequacy are those we all experience, and to get “better” was to “be” better.

In chapter 4, Brown shared a story about the conversation she had with an audience member after one of her presentations. This guest was “made” to come along with their spouse to the event, and was more than skeptical. Their chat started out perplexing, but she walked away with one of the most powerful messages found in her book. “Only when we’re brave enough to explore the darkness, will we discover the infinite power of our light.”

This guest thought her message on vulnerability that evening would be dark and foreboding and likened her to the character Snape from Harry Potter. Well there are not many out there who would like to be called Snape, but Brown is not one of them. Snape is her favorite character as evident by the Snape key chain she carries with her.

As Harry Potter’s fears of becoming like Snape surfaced in the story, he eventually learned a powerful lesson through a long and difficult journey. Brown summarized brilliantly Harry’s “defense against the dark arts” lesson. “We all have shame. We all have good and bad, dark and light, inside of us. But if we don’t come to terms with our shame, our struggles, we start believing that there’s something wrong with us – that we’re bad, flawed, not good enough – and even worse, we start acting on those beliefs. If we want to be fully engaged, to be connected we have to be vulnerable. In order to be vulnerable, we need to develop resilience to shame.”

If we genuinely try to live our life believing we are worthy even with shortcomings, remembering we have good qualities along with the ones we need to improve on, we can push pass the belief we are never good enough. “To live with courage, purpose, and connection, to be the person whom we long to be, we must again be vulnerable. We must take off the armor, put down the weapons, show up and let ourselves be seen.” (Chapter 4).

To learn more about Brené Brown and to read the “Snape” incident in its entirety visit Although I would highly encourage you to read or listen to the book. You will smile, laugh, and more often have the courage to dare greatly. 

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