The Call to Courage – Brené Brown

Brené Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston, serendipitously came upon this Theodore Roosevelt quote after reading viscous, painfully personal comments about her regarding a talk she gave on YouTube. This 1910 quote supports her theory of standing in the courage to be your full self.

“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, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

~ Theodore Roosevelt, in a speech given in Paris, April 23, 1910

Brené Brown’s talk on Netflix, The Call to Courage, is profoundly powerful, deeply authentic. I needed to grab a box of tissue as the tears rolled down my face. And moments later I was laughing so whole-heartedly that my stomach began to ache; and then another flood of tears … followed again by a bout of laughter. She spoke directly to my heart and I’m hoping you’ll give her a listen and see how it might impact you.

TedTalk description below:

Why you should listen

Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent more than a decade studying vulnerability, courage, authenticity and shame. She spent the first five years of her decade-long study focusing on shame and empathy, and is now using that work to explore a concept that she calls Wholeheartedness. She poses the questions:

How do we learn to embrace our vulnerabilities and imperfections so that we can engage in our lives from a place of authenticity and worthiness? How do we cultivate the courage, compassion and connection that we need to recognize that we are enough — that we are worthy of love, belonging and joy?

Brené’s other TedTalks:

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