The Man in the Arena

Brene Brown is changing the way I see everything. From her ted talks to her Netflix special, Brene’s words and stories have a way of sinking to my heart. So, if you haven’t checked out her Youtube speeches or her Netflix special, you are missing out on some profound wisdom.

In a few of her speeches, she quotes Theodore Roosevelt and “the man in the arena” quote. These words are applicable to everything, yes–but as a writer, these words breathe confidence and courage to my soul.

Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt

“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

Brene Brown goes on to speak about vulnerability. Vulnerability is courage. Without being willing to be seen– for our good and bad and everything in between– we are incapable of innovation, creativity, and change (Brene!). If we are waiting to be perfect before we write our first story (or whatever it is you feel deficient at), we will never see results; we will never live a courageous life. So… with that… I will keep writing–imperfectly, yes, but with vulnerability and courage.

It’s not the critic that counts.

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