Embrace The Suck


I had the good fortune last night to attend a Brene Brown talk. I admittedly didn’t know much about the woman prior. When I left, I was a whole-hearted fan.

We are kindred souls for sure.

The message was about the softness that has evolved in our society: the “everyone gets a trophy” mentality that we’ve created.

Brene is bringing it home again with the message that we do more DISSERVICE by softening messages, letting things slip by, avoiding confrontation then by setting boundaries and holding people accountable.

Accountable. Yes. Sign me up.

Quick takeaways:

Have the tough conversations. By doing so, we establish clear objectives, parameters and consequences. It gives our human brain structure which it seeks and let’s people know exactly what is expected for them to perform to their highest levels.
Know that you are an emotional human being. Accept it. It’s ok to cry, have anger, feel fear. Show up and show IT. People will appreciate knowing exactly how you feel.
We can get stuck in setbacks. Don’t re-live your shortcomings. It’s over. Brown’s research showd that employees, athletes and the like will be most apt to follow a leader who gets back up after falling; who doesn’t dwell on their failures versus one who projects perfection. She also suggested that if you’re not failing, you are not trying hard enough; one of my favorite mantras. Failure should not be stigmatized but rather viewed as effort, trial, a positive step toward sorting through options.
We have a problem-solving action bias. We feel better when we take action. We’re “doing something”. Brene exposed that when presented with a problem and 1 hour to solve, Einstein would spend 55 minutes thinking through the issues and only 5 minutes executing.
Inclusivity, and diversity. Don’t be afraid to confront your own fears about saying the wrong thing. If said with empathy, people will understand. It may FEEL uncomfortable, but courage isn’t comfortable.
The shame and blame game. Don’t play it. Own your mistakes
These lessons apply to ALL dimensions of our lives, including work, fitness, relationships, environment, and spiritual self.

The takeaway, which I could not agree more with, is that life is not easy. We should not expect it to be. But in the long run, we are happier, more productive and more successful when we handle tough things directly.

In thinking about my own life, there are areas where I’m really good at “sucking it up” and doing what needs to be done…..fitness, career….and then there are areas where I’m not so strong….delivering bad news to friends and family, being positive and not ruminating about my own shortcomings (and more). Think about yourself. Do you fall into the camp of “soft?”

One of Brown’s phrases which resonated last night was “being clear is kind. Being unclear is unkind.”

It isn’t easy. It isn’t comfortable.

As she said while training for a run she was coerced into doing…”embrace the suck”. Take the hard road. You will be happier and more successful you did.

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