Courage, Brené Brown and Creativity
Posted on October 18, 2018
I bought Brené Brown’s book Dare to Lead as soon as it was released.
I love Brené Brown’s voice. Her relatability, writing style, and authenticity make it feel like she is reading her words to me from the page. Courage has been a common theme in her message, which she identifies as one of her personal core values. Reflecting on her words, I feel that courage has become an obsolete quality. Do you see it in your kids, or is it just me? This sense of comfort and complacency, sometimes born of a sense of entitlement, or simply acceptance that this is the life we have been striving for.
And while I don’t wish for life to be a constant struggle, I can’t help but notice how the more comfortable we become, the more dissatisfaction we feel. It is part of the human condition. Maybe this comfort and complacency has come at the expense of resiliency.
How does discomfort make my life better?!?
Learning about neuroscience and how creativity works in the brain helped me to put some pieces together. Creativity is about being unsure, uncertain, uncomfortable in the greyness of expressing oneself. Therefore, you cannot create something without some discomfort about how it will turn out or be received. With creativity comes new connections, since neuroplasticity requires new experiences, new connections, a diversity of relationships and experiences. To sum it up, being creative makes us vulnerable, which makes us uncomfortable, which means we are doing something new, which creates new connections and associations to change our brain. Cool!
In our everyday life, we have answers to most of life’s questions at our fingertips, easy ways to find out “why the sky is blue” or “how long should I cook black beans”. As a result, when we are faced with uncertainty, we panic, withdraw, and rebel against the unanswered question. Our discomfort muscle is unused and atrophied, and we are on high alert. Brené says this discomfort lasts about 8 seconds, and writes “choose courage over comfort”. Learn to breathe through the discomfort, and come out stronger on the other side.
The link between discomfort, creativity and resilience inspired me to create an event to shake up the complacency. I didn’t think a talk would be enough, because it’s so easy to sit in a comfy chair and listen to words, without taking any real action. So I tried to develop a safe space where women can take a risk, with the support of amazing women they would otherwise not meet.
Join us on November 8 to challenge yourself
On November 8, 2018 I will host a luxurious dinner at a top restaurant in Calgary. We will juxtapose the gourmet meal with an activity (with a professional facilitator) that will jar your senses. Put you into discomfort. Make you cringe, just a little bit – in a safe and supportive environment.
My hope for this event is that women, stuck in melancholy, will show up and find the nudge they needed to aim for a little more discomfort in their lives.
And, to quote Brené; “we know that vulnerability is the cornerstone of courage-bluiding, but we often fail to realize that without vulnerability there is no creativity or innovation. Why? Because there is nothing more uncertain than the creative process, and there is absolutely no innovation without failure”.
What can you do today to seek a little more vulnerability, creativity or discomfort in your life?
If you haven’t read Brené Brown’s books like “Gifts of Imperfection” or “Daring Greatly”, start there.
If you are in Calgary and are curious, and a bit nervous at the thought of an event to jar you out of complacency, you probably need something like this.
Contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (403) 464-4990 for details – cost is $125 for dinner and activity.