What I learned while spending 3 days with Brené Brown!
Looking at this photo still feels surreal for me. I have been following Brené Brown’s work since 2011 and have consumed all of her books to support my own personal development and bring her concepts to my clients. When Dare To Lead landed at my door in October, 2018 I voraciously consumed every page and was so grateful that she had integrated all of her work into a leadership context. I jokingly told people “she wrote that book for me” which was really about me feeling validated to integrate her work into my leadership coaching and workshops.
When the opportunity came for me to become trained in this work, I took a giant leap of faith and applied. Being accepted was truly a career highlight, and I will never forget those three days in San Antonio, Texas.
Walking into that room the first day felt incredibly vulnerable for me. As each participant introduced themselves, I got more and more nervous. There were people in the room from corporations like Google, Amazon and Nike, along with experienced coaches and consultants and education and non-profit leaders (yeah!). People came from around the world to participate in this certification and on top of that, we were going to spend three days with Brené Brown in person! (I will tell you that for the first time in my professional life I sat at the front and was within 8 feet of her for the entire 3 days!)
Here is what I noticed about myself. I have a shame trigger that says “you are not good enough” that gets hooked in situations when I know that a lot of smart and powerful people are in the room. This can lead to an SFD (you will have to read the book to get this:) that lists all of the reasons I am not good enough to be in the room including not knowing enough, not having enough experience and yes, being too short or small to be impactful. These are my stories and they show up from time to time. And with Brené’s work, in particular Daring Greatly and Rising Strong, I have been able to change my inner narrative and dial down the negative self-talk. And yes, it didn’t hurt when I realized that Brené is about one inch taller than me! I was able to recognize those shame triggers, process my SFD and create a new story about my own worthiness to be in that room with everyone else. This would not have been the case even 4 years ago.
The investment I have made in my own personal growth and self-awareness has supported me to have the courage to leave a career that was no longer fulfilling and follow my passion for elevating the quality of leadership in the world. I can assure you that it was absolutely terrifying to leave that job security and step into the unknown. But when Brené shared that her research shows that brave leaders feel fear and courage at the same time – I got it! The path forward isn’t about eliminating fear in our leadership journey, it’s about feeling the fear and doing it anyway in service of your mission.
What I now have in my toolbox is access to an incredibly powerful Dare To Lead curriculum that includes a deep dive into the four skill sets that create daring leaders, and tools and videos that bring this work to life in a way that is both personally transformational and practical in a leadership context.
And if you are wondering “am I a leader” or have dismissed the idea based on your position or title, then I invite you to consider her definition of leadership;
“I define a leader as anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential.” Brené Brown
All of us are leading in our own context, and my belief is that this body of work has the potential to change all of us to become more courageous in our lives and leadership. I am excited to bring this forward soon, and will spend the rest of my time in San Antonio, Texas at the AFP conference processing this experience and integrating into my being so that I can bring it to you with my full self.