I’ve been enjoying the book so much — so many great ideas and a-ha moments. If we were all sitting together in my living room, I’d ask you some questions to get the ball rolling. I’ve shared a few of my thoughts below, but didn’t want to chime in too strongly until y’all have a chance to speak from our hearts. Take a look at the questions below and share your thoughts in comments. Don’t feel pressure to answer all the questions; feel free to respond to the ones that inspire you — and be sure to add questions of your own if the spirit moves.
1. Generally, how do you feel about what you’ve read so far?
Is it challenging your beliefs? Echoing them? Did you find anything surprising?
2. In the preface (page xiii), Brené wrote:
I learned how to worry more about how I felt and less about “what people might think.” I was setting new boundaries and began to let go of my need to please, perform and perfect. I started saying no rather than sure (and being resentful and pissed off later). I began to say “Oh, hell yes!” rather than “Sounds fun, but I have lots of work to do” or “I’ll do that when I’m __________ (thinner, less busy, better prepared).”
Wow! I could really relate to that… When I was the Marketing Director for the Texas Rollergirls, Roller Derby was an (unpaid) full-time job that I juggled in addition to a paying full-time writing job, and all the usual household/life responsibilities. But as busy as I was, if someone asked me to do something social or to take on a little extra work, the pleaser in me wanted to say “yes.” Eventually, I realized that I wasn’t doing anyone any favors be behaving that way. I needed to learn to say “no.” I typed the letters N O in a big, bold font, and taped them on the wall in my eyeline from my desk chair — and I slowly learned how to say “no” in a way that sounded more like “not right now” so the people on the other end could hear it without having their own reaction. I still have to remind myself to do that sometimes, but it gets easier.
What about you? When or with whom are you most likely to say “yes” when you mean “no”? Does that turn into resentment or blame? What would it take for you to practice “no”?
3. On page 4, Brené discusses the notion of digging deep.
Is it your habit to “Dig Deep” or DIG Deep?
4. The discussion of “ordinary courage” on page 13 also really resonated with me.
In 2010, I experienced a crisis in my life that brought me to my knees. For real. I literally collapsed to the floor in tears on more than once occasion. Until then, I had enjoyed a relatively grief-free life, but in just a few minutes one day, that changed. At the time, I couldn’t see any upside to the experience. But now, I’m grateful that I learned to be vulnerable and to practice “ordinary courage” as Brene describes it. Don’t get me wrong: it was hideous to go through, but I feel like a more valuable person now because I know the dark, I live in the light, and now I can be compassionate toward — and maybe help others — who are stuck in shadows.
Can you think of a time when you practiced ordinary courage? How did it feel?
5. Related to number 4, have you experienced the ripple effect of courage? What happened? How were you affected? (See page 15.)
6. In the book, Brene writes, “Shame loves secrecy.”
The truth of that knocked me on my ass! One of the things I’ve noticed in the last 10 years or so is that I respond really well to other people who are willing to share their “shameful” secrets: their true body weight; a struggle with drugs, alcohol, or food; those everyday things that move beyond “embarrassment” to shame. By bringing those things out of the dark, we remove their power and free ourselves and others to talk about them.
What do you think about this? Have ever shared something you considered shameful? How did you feel — and what was the reaction of others?
Hit the comments and let us know what you think!
Pages 48-85 (Guidepost #1 though Guidepost #4)– Monday, February 20
Pages 86-130 (Guidepost #5 throrugh the end)– Monday, February 27If you’re new here, you’re welcome to join us! Just get a copy of The Gifts of Imperfection and chime in on the discussion anytime!
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