How can you say that you have truly dared greatly, at least once in your life? I can count in just one hand the times that I did.
Each one of us have our own definition of daring greatly. It may translate to applying for a new job that you truly desire, resignation from your old job to start a new refreshing one, chasing and going after your dreams, venturing in a small business, letting go of the past, changing your present, being hopeful or excited for your future, coming out of the closet, or advocating for a zero-waste management cause. There is versatility in embracing how to dare greatly and it is uniquely vast as to how this fits in our personal life story.
I define daring greatly as being able to do a personal intention that I have in mind and taking the next step towards my desired action. But in one of my favorite podcast episodes from Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations with Dr. Brené Brown (a professor, New York Times best-selling author, and nationally acclaimed speaker), Dr. Brené defined daring greatly as the courage to be vulnerable, to show up and be seen, to ask for what you need, to talk about how you’re feeling, to have hard and heart-to-heart conversations.
“You cannot go to courage without walking to and through vulnerability. Vulnerability is the cornerstone of confidence. Unless you allow yourself to take the risk, to be open, to live as a wholehearted person, you recognize that you’re really like everybody else and that gives you the confidence to be YOURSELF.”
– Oprah Winfrey
I know I have dared greatly enough because there are circumstances in my life that propelled me to try certain things I have never foreseen myself ever doing.
My mom would share random stories about my raw singing talent. She claims I started singing at the age of four. My family and relatives would reminisce old memories by watching VHS of our baptisms and birthdays. You can be certain that during my adolescence, witnessing footages of myself singing at a young age was equally hilarious and embarrassing.
During my freshmen year in high school, Ms. Sharon Roque has always encouraged me to share my talent in singing. I was an anxious new student and an insecure thirteen-year-old still navigating her way in the high school jungle. How was I supposed to share my talent without the fear of being judged or rejected? As the guidance counselor, Ms. Sharon has always pushed me to my limit but in the kindest and most gentle way. In my sophomore year, she convinced me to sing a piece inside the classroom. We were at least forty-five students or less in one section. I still remember the memory vividly in the back of my head – I was holding the microphone with my unsteady left hand and my eyes were barely making any eye contact. My heart was beating ridiculously loud as I tried to sing in the best way I can. As soon as I was done, everybody shouted in cheers asking me to sing more. I think my performance in that small classroom together with the persistence of Ms. Sharon, paved the way for me to be open, to consistently face my stage fright, and be confident in sharing my talent in singing even to this day. In fact, I improved on the talents that I am good at as I journeyed my way towards the college labyrinth and onto the real-world arena.
“Vulnerability is never comfortable. It is probably the messiest. But there, lies the most colorful wildflowers one can ever find.”
– An excerpt from my own journal
Vulnerability is uncertainty, risk, and an emotional exposure. There will be countless times that you will be faced with life scenarios wherein you need to make a choice to face your fears or resort, to believe you have everything in you to have what it takes or unreservedly doubt yourself, to be open to possibilities or welcome your limitations as your safe place, and to ignore the growing anxiety or start worrying about what other people would think or say towards you. The list goes on and it is only your decision to choose which side you want to be in.
Have courage to dare greatly today no matter what it looks like. Start surrounding yourself with honest people who share similar stories as yourself and who will motivate you and want you to be the best version of you that you can be. Daring greatly does not have to be huge or loud. It can come in the simplest form yet it can still be beautiful like sharing a piece of a short poem that you wrote, writing encouraging notes and slip it in between the pages of random books in a library, having a genuine conversation with a stranger, or making a real connection with people despite their race or who does not have a gender identification.
Courage is sharing all of yourself. Sharing your whole story with your whole heart. It is an act of courage with an act of story-telling and loving yourself through the process of owning your story. If you want exciting opportunities to magically fall into your lap, compel yourself to risk, be open, and put in the work to fail. Once you welcome even the tiniest idea of opening yourself to failure and letting yourself be seen, it’s not going to be easy. It’s scary and it’s going to hurt. We all can’t escape from it. There is a quote from Haunted Mansion that made a lasting impression on me and I still carry in my heart today wherever I may go, “You try you fail, you try you fail, but the only true failure is when you stop trying.” Just like anything present in your life such as your faith, spirituality, wellness, learning, career, personal relationships, and causes, you will not do it perfectly. There are no precise ingredients on how to dare greatly. But if you keep on trying every single day, you are already a step closer to unapologetic courage and vulnerability.
“Decide that you’re worthy. Decide that you owe it to yourself to try. Decide even when it feels fake. Decide that you deserve to take up space. And trust that even if you aren’t where and who you want to be, that you have what it takes to find your way there. That it takes time. That you’re allowed to give yourself that time.”
– Daniell Koepke
Each day is an invitation to be more of you – to be more of yourself. You can always start small and it will gradually be, truthfully, daring greatly. Every single one of us has so much to offer, it just looks differently for each person. It is an essential key to identify what you are undoubtedly good at, what gives you joy, what feels home to you, and try your best to avoid self-comparison.
There is only one of you out of a seven billion in this world. Your heart is your trademark and no one can ever copy it.
Have courage. Be silly, be honest, and be kind.
I wish you a daring day ahead! ☺
“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
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