Courage Calls Us to be Both Vulnerable and StrongSep 13, 2020
Brene Brown’s podcast cracks open a new season with a brilliant piece on what she calls ‘Day Two’. She used to teach her vulnerability and shame material in three-day workshops, Day Two was the hard part. It’s the messy middle. The grind. The enthusiasm of Day One is over, and you’re not yet able to see the finish line. Around this time she was invited to give a talk at Pixar. The teams loved and latched onto the ‘Day Two’ idea, excitedly telling her that ‘Act Two’ is always the toughest to build in their movies.
It is the center of the Hero’s Journey, described in Joseph Campbell’s masterwork ‘The Hero With a Thousand Faces’.
It is the middle of childbirth: centimeters 4-7 when it feels endless.
It is the time when we don’t yet feel worthy, but we’re too far in to turn around. The sunk cost is too high.
I’ve long loved the Hero’s Journey as a teaching tool. And I can’t tell you how many times this year I have said to myself, “Remember who you are” in Mufasa’s voice. Right? I mean, that right there—I can barely type it without crying!
What gets us out of Day Two in any journey?
Brene asked this question too. And I answered out loud as she spoke. She said 'vulnerability'. I said “courage".
Same same. The root word for courage is the French word for heart, coeur.
Courage calls us to be both vulnerable and strong. Open. But ready.
Brene posits that we are in ‘Day Two’ of our Hero’s Journey. We can’t turn back, and we don’t know what’s ahead.
Whatever it is, it will be different than our old normal. And would we want that normal back, now? No. We are different already. We are stronger, wiser..more aware, and outspoken.
This is helpful for all of us in 2020, for sure..but how does it apply to coaching?
Knowing that Day Two is part of the path to mastery can strengthen you to believe that the uncomfortable, stuck, bored, irritated, burned out or resistant experience you are having is DAY TWO. It is not the end game. Coaching is a newer path for you. It requires that you learn to think and feel differently, and the ego is a noisy beast. Fatigue, burnout, frustration, and fear are common.
They do not last.
When they rear up, go to your essential energy hygiene techniques! They’re called essentials because they work.
- Call a friend who has capacity.
- Move! Dance it out, or workout.
- Hydrate—salt bath or shower, and drink lots of water.
Hmm, these handy tips can help with the global issues we’re managing too. There’s a reason that Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey is also called the Monomyth. It is the enduring central story. It IS the story of our lives.