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Brave & Vulnerable

 

I was talking to a fellow freelancing friend today who was asking how business is going these days. And the answer is; slow. I am usually slow in the winter, but some how this year, it feels slower. So where does my mind go? Do I chalk it up to the season? No, I start to tell myself I am failing. Failing as a small business owner, failing as a creative professional. Is it actually true? No. A lot of that feeling is contributed to by the barrage of media and cultural competition we are exposed to. We look at these impeccably curated lives of others on Facebook and Instagram, showing only the best and shiniest moments. But as many of you probably know:

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And I need to remind myself that I should read this 10x a day:

And that I should listen to this:

If you are a creative, if you are a small business owner, heck, if you are a human being, you might want to take a listen to Brené Brown. She has books, TedTalks, and an Oprah connection, so you have probably already heard her name. If you have ever been unsure of yourself, questioned if you were on the right path, started a new venture (career, marriage, relationship) you may want to take a listen to this woman. Brené is a "vulnerability researcher," sharing her findings about the interconnectivity between vulnerability and love. 

Taking a non-traditional career path feels vulnerable. Am I doing the right thing with my life? So-&-so has more Twitter followers then I do, she must be better than me. That person has more Instagram followers, they must be smarter than me. All of these thoughts come from fear. Brené talks about that fear. Yes, it is there, but if we don't try, go out on the limb, or her favorite "go in to the arena," then we buffer ourselves from failure, but also from true success.

Can we choose to see others work, and not compare ourselves? Can we start our days thinking about the real things we are accomplishing rather than imagined failings? Someone having more followers, (or "likes," or items in their Etsy shop)  than I do, is not a real failure. We are all doing better and more than we give ourselves credit for.

One more from the brilliant Emily McDowell

One more from the brilliant Emily McDowell