“When we spend our lives waiting until we’re perfect or bulletproof before we walk into the arena, we ultimately sacrifice relationships and opportunities that may not be recoverable, we squander our precious time, and we turn our backs on our gifts, those unique contributions that only we can make.”
― Brenè Brown
This quote is from Brenè Brown’s book Daring Greatly.
Regarding the arena, she’s referencing another quote, which inspired the title of her book.
“The phrase Daring Greatly is from Theodore Roosevelt’s speech “Citizenship in a Republic.”
The speech, sometimes referred to as “The Man in the Arena,” was delivered at the Sorbonne in Paris, France, on April 23, 1910. This is the passage that made the speech famous:
“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.”
Here’s another Brenè Brown quote that I spotted on Instagram a couple of years ago.
“If you are not in the arena getting your ass kicked, I am not interested in your feedback, period.”
I was fresh out of a weeklong painting retreat, where we painted from live models everyday. I had a whole sketchbook full of paint sketches, and decided to start adding quotes and text to them.
I’m not a trained painter, or even a trained visual artist, but I’ve always loved to draw and paint in my journals and sketchbooks.
Nearly twenty years ago, I was led to my first painting retreat when I answered this prompt in my journal: If I didn’t have to do it perfectly, I would…
You can read that (short) story here: Giving Up On Perfection
Now taking a weeklong retreat to just paint is something I do regularly, as it stretches me. It’s both difficult and exciting at the same time. It brings me alive on my own creative edge.
After I rubber stamped the quote next to one of my painting sketches (this one was done in ink with a twig found outside the studio in Sedona) I uploaded it to Instagram and tagged my sources.
Original post said:
With a notebook full of quick sketches from my recent painting retreat, I thought I’d have some fun with them by adding text with meaning. You know how I love adding words to my paintings! This is just what I needed to hear today – thanks to @brenebrown for the words of wisdom and to @clarebowditch for sharing it.#sketchbook#visualjournal#30dayjournal #painting#writing#dreamingonpaper #creativepractice
Not only did this image receive the most likes that year, but Brenè herself clicked on the heart.
Authors are my rock stars.
The cost of perfection is, in a single word: Expensive.
The Journal Prompts in this Post Are Included in the FIRE: 30 Day Journal Project Printables
During the first journal challenge, I found that having the prompts printed out in advance helped me get right into my writing for the day.
The 30 Day Journal Project Printables are designed to make your journaling quicker, easier, and more organized.
This is my lazy writing & journaling method. It works!
Included: 30 days of prompts & quotes (plus one bonus day) with 2 different layout designs
FIRE: PRINTABLES | $18
Whether you are brand new to writing or journaling or simply want to break out of a rut in your creative practice, these printable prompts make it fast and easy to get going.
See All 30 Day Journal Printable Designs
There are four different sets of 30 Day Journal Project Printables, beautifully designed, each with a different theme.
Use the printables on your own, or with The 30 Day Journal Workshop
Come on over to my studio in Mexico (via video!) where I’ll show you how to journal with intention and focus as we create two different kinds of handmade journals. It all happens in The 30 Day Journal Project Workshop, designed for experienced and brand new journalers alike!