“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen”
Courage Over Comfort
by Jenn Collotta
In each of our lives, there are defining moments that stand as landmarks of change, pillars of profound impact that alter the course of our very existence. For me, one of these moments came while reading Brenee Brown’s book, Daring Greatly, a piece written on the relationship between vulnerability and courage. Throughout her book, Brenee highlights how when we allow ourselves to fully experience the former, the latter exponentially grows.
For so long, I believed that to be courageous, we had to ignore our fears, deny our need for softness or support, and rise up to meet life’s challenges bravely. After reading Daring Greatly, I realized that embracing our fears, our discomfort and our vulnerability actually indicates our level of courage and allows us to live greatly.
“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen… 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.” – Brenee Brown
Courage is something that many of us permit ourselves to engage in, moments of calculated risk where we are required to lead. Yet, we deny ourselves experiences that require surrender, faith, and vulnerability when we have no control over the outcome. Why is it so scary not to have control over the outcome? For many of us, it’s a desire to be accepted and loved by the people in our lives. How many opportunities for growth have we passed up on out of fear of being rejected or misunderstood?
As I consider moments in my life that required me to show up and be seen: job interviews, first days at work, teacher trainings, leading classes, women’s circles, group discussions, I can vividly see the moments in my life where I simultaneously tried to be courageous and not vulnerable. Worried more about what my boss, peers, close friends, or family may think, I cut off my authentic voice because I knew that if I really put myself out there, I wouldn’t be able to control their reaction. Although this kept me from feeling the shame of potential rejection, it also cut me off from my true self, it stopped me from daring greatly.
“Nothing has transformed my life more than realizing that it’s a waste of time to evaluate my worthiness by weighing the reaction of the people in the stands.” – Brenee Brown
What would happen if we stopped putting so much weight in the opinions of other people? We could start to reclaim our power. Feeling empowered in who we are, regardless of what other people think, would give us more trust in our own decisions. As our self-confidence and inner trust grows, the power that shame and fear has over us will diminish, while the relationship to vulnerability will begin to grow. As you allow yourself to show up and be seen time and time again, you will unconsciously inspire others to do the same. From this space, the entire world will begin to live more honest, authentic, and fulfilling lives. Can you feel the potential for a global shift? I know I can.
If you haven’t already, feel free to watch Brenee Brown’s TED Talk on shame, courage, and vulnerability. If you have watched it and are already implanting these principles of daring greatly into your life, comment below to let us know how they have impacted you!
From my heart to yours,
Born in Boston, Jenn’s path to yoga began in college as she looked for ways to find balance in her life. She began practicing in 2009 and got her teaching certification in 2013. Since then she has taught thousands of classes as a full-time yoga instructor and has led numerous 200-hour trainings as an E-RYT.
Along with yoga, Jenn enjoys hiking the beautiful mountains of Hawai’i, which she now calls home, and being outdoors in nature. She loves creating, sharing and inspiring and hopes to do just that here at The Source Yoga + Wellness.