If you’re not in the arena getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested

We all love Brene Brown, right? Her vulnerability polemic strikes deep, meaningful chords.

I’ve met and chatted to her and learned that we both do the “three strikes and we act” thing. I also share her tips for getting real with yourself. I share also share a bunch of her insights from our chats in my new book first, we make the beast beautiful.

But I recently came across this ripper quote from her latest book Rising Strong:

A lot of cheap seats in the arena are filled with people who never venture onto the floor. They just hurl mean-spirited criticisms and put-downs from a safe distance.

She goes on a bit, but I jump to the kicker:

[clickToTweet tweet=”‘If you’re not in the arena getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.'” quote=”‘For me, if you’re not in the arena getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.'”]

Bam! An edict for life on the interwebs. And beyond.

Right now, I’m totally fatigued by folk who cling to the sidelines who have an opinion in so far as it’s merely a negative reaction to something big and bold and creative that someone else has done.

I’m sickened by defensive, oppositional politics. Come on Left! Get a backbone!

I’m tired of people who don’t own their own shit when confronted by something or someone that exposes their own smallness.

I also feel it’s time I take on Brene Brown’s edict. That is, to shut down from the small spectators who don’t put their ideas and heart on the line. This means applying said edict to some loved ones, too.

Brown’s insight actually came to her via a Theodore Roosevelt speech from 1910:

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.

He goes on to describe who does count:

(It’s he/she) 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.

We must continue to support the courageous and vulnerable who go out on the farthest limbs. They count. Courage counts.

We must applaud them so that the clapping is louder then the cowardly insult-slinging from the small people. I personally do it even when I don’t always agree with the person standing in the arena. I’ll applaud them by taking on board what they say and enjoying the sport of having my opinions confronted.

As I Insta-memed a while back:

[clickToTweet tweet=”‘I love big, get on my level.'” quote=”‘I love big, get on my level.'”]
FullSizeRender If you’re not in the arena getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested
Do you agree? Do you feel it’s time to focus on those who stand in the arena? Are you one? How so?
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