The one thing we have in common is that we’re sick of feeling afraid. Daring Greatly [Book]

What is holding us back from expressing courage, compassion, and connection in our daily lives? The introduction to Daring Greatly by Brené Brown explains that leaders, workers, and parents want to live out these virtues. Yet, we’re impeded by our culture of scarcity. In Chapter 1, Brené shares:

We want to dare greatly. We’re tired of the national conversation centering on “What should we fear?” and “Who should we blame?” We all want to be brave.

 Looking at Narcissism Through The Lens of Vulnerability

When I look at narcissism through the vulnerability lens, I see the shame-based fear of being ordinary. I see the fear of never feeling extraordinary enough to be lovable, to belong, or to cultivate a sense of purpose. …I see the cultural messaging everywhere that says that an ordinary life is a meaningless life.

Scarcity: The Never-Enough Problem

Lynne Twist writes: For me, and for many of us, our first waking thought of the day is “I didn’t get enough sleep.” The next one is “I don’t have enough time.” Whether true or not, that thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it. We spend most of our hours and the days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining, or worrying about what we don’t have enough of…Before we even sit up in bed, before our feet touch the floor, we’re already inadequate, already behind, already losing, already lacking something. And by the time we go to bed at night, our minds are racing with a litany of what we didn’t get, or didn’t get done, that day. We go to sleep burdened by those thoughts and wake up to the reverie of lack…This internal condition of scarcity, tis mind-set of scarcity, lives at the very heart of our jealousies, our greed, our prejudice, and our arguments with life.”

The Source of Scarcity are Shame, Comparison, and Disengagement.

The counter-approach to living in scarcity is not about abundance. In fact, I think abundance and scarcity are two sides of the same coin. The opposite of “never enough” isn’t abundance or “more than you could ever imagine.” The opposite of scarcity is enough, or what I call Wholeheartedness.”

Pondering scarcity dovetails with my thoughts on burden-layers and narcissism . At some point in life, to be whole and loving and connected and happy, I found (and am still finding) my enough in my husband, children, family, friends, dog, cat, neighbors, faith, food, baseball, and beer. Living an ordinary life can be extraordinarily meaningful when we do so with great daring and love.

Next in this series, Chapter 2: Debunking the Vulnerability Myths. For previous posts in this series, check out my Daring Greatly tag.

Are you sick of feeling afraid? Was there a moment in your life when you decided that enough is enough? Do you live, or want to live, a whole-hearted life? 

Daring greatly ~~~~~~~~ Angie Mc

84 thoughts on “The one thing we have in common is that we’re sick of feeling afraid. Daring Greatly [Book]

  1. Smart advice we’d all be wise to heed. Sounds like a great book. Sure, there are moments in my life when I decided enough was enough. But I’m afraid I’m too reserved and private to share them online. 🙂

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    • It is a well written, thoroughly researched book on such difficult matter! I know what you mean, Carrie, about some of my enough moments came at private times. I can also think of some very ordinary times…like once I was pushing a baby stroller on a walk when I stopped in my tracks and decided that I wasn’t going to listen to the ladies at the park who were fussing over toilet training! I wasn’t going to allow myself to be “quizzed” anymore…”Are you potty training? What do you mean you haven’t started potty training? Do you know what will happen if…? You really need to get started because…” As if my child’s entire future depended on toilet training at a certain and in a certain way. It took me awhile to get my mama strength up 😀

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  2. I have definitely came to a point in my life where I said enough is enough. I became ruthless and cut out of my life every person that sucked the life from me. That included family. I also removed myself from every situation that made me feel bad about myself or inadequate. Now, my life isn’t perfect but is damn good. I always get enough sleep and I always have enough time. Great food for thought Angie.

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    • “I always get enough sleep and I always have enough time.” <- This! There comes a point when we must be brave enough to not participate in our own destruction! Burden-layers, life-suckers, enough! Thanks for your contributions here, John.

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    • Love this. Yes, yes and yes. The only thing…. knowing what I know of you (and myself) is that the person who REALLY matters is still there, talking to you in your head, and must be monitored/watched. But MAYBE eliminating the bad influencers and situations both frees up space for GOOD ones and keeps whatever negative thoughts one personally holds inside one’s self to a manageable level. With no one there to “pile on” you’re freer to dismantle the old outgrown thoughts and rebuild.

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      • You hit the nail on the head. The internal voice becomes less caustic the time I spend NOT in the presence of toxic people. And with these kinds of people it is not just how they behave at any one particular moment that is debilitating but rather the whole accumulated history you have with that person. My happiness for the most has never come through any kind of counseling but through my ability to let a person go, completely, and move forward. This is what gives me an ability to write some objectivity rather than sounding like I’m on the therapists couch.

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      • It shows. Me too. I’ve read a lot but I do my own thinking. It worIs for me. I never really trust people who sound like they are reciting someone else’s words or mantras, *even if* the words are ostensibly positive, affirming and so on.

        Here is my real problem with the toxic people I have history with – they have never really acknowledged things they’ve done let alone apologized or lord help us, made amends, made it right. So I’m in a position to believe that should I continue to deal with them, I will be treated to more of the same. (Because at heart – and it took me a long time to get this – they don’t really believe that what they’ve done or do is all that bad if AT ALL bad, and moreover they often DO believe I am making too much of a fuss anyway.)

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      • And they likely never will. Sharon Olds, a poet who’s work I love, has a great line about it never being too late to let go of harmful things: “I knew a man of eighty who dropped his parents hands and walked the other way.” When I first read that it was a bit of a revalation. Time is running out for all of us. I cut out the people who do me harm as though I were dying because in a sense I am. I only have so many “right now at this moment” of my life left. And the best way to make people accountable is to write a fair, objective, creative, account of who they are and what happened. The power lies in there now being a historical record that is permanent and everlasting. I don’t want apologies, I just want to keep moving forward.

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      • I want to leave them skeletons in the dust behind me. I’m not fully there, but that’s the direction.

        I’m copying this comment of yours, giving you credit of course, to keep.

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      • I didn’t see a way to respond to your compliment to Angie and me for our conversation but thank you, John. If you scroll down the comments you will see what I said to Van (vanbytheriver) about you.

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      • Colette, are you replying to comments in the comments section of my blog, off the upper-right button under comments, or your phone? I’m curious about how the interface works. I’ve had the best luck following comments via the upper-right comments button.

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      • Oh Angie I’m confused! I *think* I can’t necessarily chime in to comments made & answered by other people in this instance – that is, comments that have no reason to appear on my blog, upper right.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for talking blog interface with me, Colette! I went to you place, left a comment, and wonder if I have a solution. I was offered the option to check this box: Notify me of new comments via email. Sooooo…I’m going to get into the habit of checking that box for comment sections that may involved discussion among more than one commenter. Does this look like I’m getting closer?

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      • Thanks! Because I have trouble with details, it helps me to pay attention to little things like checking a box. I’ve done so twice today 😀

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      • John, the topic here is daring greatly and you do. I appreciate your transparency and truth. Plus, boy can you write! “the best way to make people accountable is to write a fair, objective, creative, account of who they are and what happened.” You are putting your talent, time, and hard work to good use.

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      • The thing about people who do shitty things is that they do them ALL THE TIME. So if you bring something up that’s hugely important to you, you may find they don’t even know or remember what you’re taking about. You get dismissed. If you *keep* taking issue, bam, *you’re* the problem. I like your line indeed!

        This is such a great conversation today with you and John!

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      • John, when you refer to the “whole accumulated history” I thought of this. I’m quick to forgive the past, super quick really. But when the history remains the same…when the unhealthy history demands to be brought into my present unchanged, that’s a problem. I’ve found that the longer a pattern has stayed stuck, the harder it is to change…not impossible and I never give up hope…but realistically, the pattern will likely continue. And I do appreciate how you write objectively about sensitive subjects. <- not easy

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      • Thank you Angie. I am a big believer in forgiveness and second chances. But that is the limit. I’m not interested in you if you simply ask forgiveness and don’t change. And also there are people who are composed of so many elements that I find repugnant that I have no choice but to cut them from my life. I think this is the kind of person Colette was talking about. A person who has no awareness that they are simply a terrible human being. It would take a lifetime to illuminate them and to me that is really boring. Not interested.

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      • For an extreme example, my husband, Dave, works as a clinical psychologist with SMI (seriously mentally ill) clients and he agrees with you, John. Sometimes it can be a very humble act on my part to see that I’m not up to dealing with some issues. The best I can do is to protect myself and to hope that someone/s can provide the help and care that I can’t.

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      • Yes. It’s easier said than done though isn’t it? I mean, if you are any sort of decent human being you want to help. But when the helping becomes a giant time suck and an exercise in futility you have to walk away. I’m a huge believer in if people want to change they’ll find a way.

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      • A jump-start for sure, Jim! I needed to let myself wake up a bit before jumping into the depth of these comments today 😉 I’m so privileged to have been the hostess for this mostest 😀

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  3. Great post Angie, the book sounds like it has some good advice and some of which I’ve used in my own life. Thanks for sharing this, you’ve given me a lot to consider.

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    • The book is a gem, Mary. Engaging and well researched. If you pick up the book, would love to hear your thoughts. In the mean time, I’ll continue posting chapter reviews. Next up: Debunking the Vulnerability Mythes.

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  4. Great post, Angie 🙂 I have been there and my change is a work in progress. My transition is moving at a slow pace, but in the end it will be all worth it. Thanks my friend ❤

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  5. I’m loving this book, and the next chapter on vulnerability was probably my favorite. My “enough is enough” process has occurred slowly over the past few years…knowing however that there were awesome people, like yourself Angie, cheering me on, encouraging and affirming that I was enough gave me the courage to dare greatly.

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    • Enough is enough is a process of change! We’re supposed to be changing for the better, my friend, and so we are. It’s not exactly a straight line but good change is happening. Together 😀

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    • Right, Scott?! That’s, in part, why I’m posting on this book at a slowish pace. Each chapter is dense and purposeful. Good stuff to ponder before I rush on to the next point.

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  6. Hi Angie, I think I read this post last night, and saved my comment for later. It is one of those that touched a nerve, I think, and I wanted to respond, not react. When I came back to it earlier today, it had EVOLVED into so much more with such thoughtful comments. What a thread !!

    It took me a longer time than I’d like, but I did walk away from the toxicity in my life. The problem is that it involves family, and I was the only victim of this particular person. The others cannot understand why we don’t get along. They do not fully understand, and it’s too late to explain. They’d never believe it anyway. I’m sure I’ll address it again in future posts. Just wanted to thank all involved here for such meaningful dialog.

    Life moves on. And so must I. ❤ Van

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    • Oh, Van, sending you sista hugs. I totally get the “only” position and how weirdly isolating it is. There can be such pressure in a group to “all get along” but why would getting along need to be contingent upon accepting poor behaviors and/or lies? I’m eager to see how this book, Daring Greatly, addresses these issues of truth and vulnerability especially. Thank goodness that life moves on and provides us with good information, support, and encouragement through wonderful people…like you!

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    • And people/family have an unpleasant way of taking the attitude that “You’re spoiling things for the rest of us. But for you we could all be just fine and life would be grand.” Sometimes they take this attitude even when they ostensibly KNOW what bad things have gone down! And moreover, their position is BS, simply not true or tenable.

      There’s a terrific book, The Sociopath Next Door, and one of the many interesting things said was that once you personally know someone is a sociopath, just totally keep your distance no matter if other people don’t understand or quiz/challenge you on it. Too bad if other people don’t see it or don’t believe you; watch your own back. Reading that helped me a lot.

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      • Interesting title..the Sociopath Next Door, my problem centered around one in the same room ! Have been watching my own back for many years now, but the hurt goes way back, and to such a vulnerable time. Thanks for the share, Colette.

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      • Oh the sheer exhaustion from watching my back! While it’s a good skill to have, it’s way better to find people who are trustworthy enough that we can let our guard down.

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      • The ole party pooper argument, “Every party has a pooper that’s why we invited you, party pooper.” Come on, now! It’s not a real party if everyone involved isn’t having fun.
        Wow, what a name for a book! When I read “sociopath” and other severe disorders, again, I see myself as humble before it. I need to protect myself because I’m likely to be in over my head or not have the tools (or energy) to deal with such serious matter. That’s where I’m quick to acquiesce to professionals, even if the troubled person doesn’t choose to get help from them…which they often don’t. But that doesn’t change the fact that I may not be the best person to directly deal with such matter.

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  7. This is a special topic for me in my current state of life…oh thank you for this sharing! Along the way I have found setting boundaries is my way of saying enough to toxic people or situations…with my own self talk it has been a bit trickier…and still a challenge…starting the day in prayer and letting go of the outcome…being present and really seeing, hearing etc what is around me…trying not to miss the gift of now…and saying to myself, “Just do the next right thing”…and all will be well.

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    • You are killing it, sista ❤ I can't tell you how many times of think of your words, "Just do the next right thing." And I tell my kids the same, too! Do you own the book, Daring Greatly?

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  8. “Living an ordinary life can be extraordinarily meaningful when we do so with great daring and love.” Amen!

    In this day and age, I’ve come to believe that simply living an ordinary life is something extraordinary.

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    • Love it! Yes, yes, yes! It’s as if ordinary is the new extraordinary. You know, you wake up, kiss your spouse, hug your kids, work and learn, eat and clean up, have fun. <- This is extraordinary! Dull in the eyes of some but I'll take dull if that's the definition ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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