#BlogElul 22 – Dare



You’ll notice that I have a badge right next to this blog post (and all others), which says “I am daring greatly” and has a link to Dr. BrenĂ© Brown’s website.

I am a great fan of her work – she’s a researcher who writes amazing books on shame and resilience. If you are local, she’s going to be here in November! There’s a public keynote in the evening that I am going to try to get to – I hope to see you there.

So, what does it mean to dare? Ask a dictionary, and words pop up such as courage, boldness, or defiance.

dare [dair] verb, dared or ( Archaic ) durst; dared; daring; past singular 3rd person dares or dare, noun
verb (used without object)
1. to have the necessary courage or boldness for something; be bold enough: You wouldn’t dare!
verb (used with object)
2. to have the boldness to try; venture; hazard.
3. to meet defiantly; face courageously.
4. to challenge or provoke (a person) into a demonstration of courage; defy: to dare a man to fight.

Some people seem to think that courage, or daring, is the opposite of fear – that to be daring implies fearlessness. Nothing could be further from the truth, in my opinion. If a person is truly fearless, they cannot be daring – if you are not afraid of something, no courage is required to face it.

A daring person is one who has faced fear and decided to carry on despite it. Venturing into a scary-looking cave, driven by curiosity, is only daring if you imagine there might be danger inside.

Sending a piece out to a periodical to be published is daring if you are afraid of what the editor might say. Rejection can be difficult to deal with at first, especially if you are attached to your own work and believe it to be worthy.

My wonderful coach Berni Xiong turned me on to this amazingly wonderful video, which says everything that needs to be said about the fear of rejection, and about daring and courage.

For some reason, while I found Noah Kagan’s Coffee Challenge to be unethical, somehow I find this venture less so. Maybe I just like Jia Jiang much better than Noah Kagan, and imagine that his requests are gentler, kinder and less likely to traumatise the listener.

How have you been daring? What do you wish you dared to do? How are you going to dare greatly and do it?

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