Risks, Edges, and Failing Big

Listen, we need to talk about Brené Brown for a moment.

First: She’s awesome. She’s got this motherly goddess energy about her that makes you want to confess your soul. At the same time, she has fire that wants to get out and say “suck it” when someone’s mean.

Second: Her ideas resonate. She spoke at the World Domination Summit about vulnerability as the birthplace of creativity. To be truly creative (and to create), you must be willing to fail. And fail big. That can be a wildly scary thing, especially when we’re taught society only awards successes. But you can’t succeed big unless you walk up to the edge and are prepared to fail big as well.

Edges have been on my mind a lot lately, especially as I write. As artists, as creatives, as people, we need to push ourselves; we need to walk to that edge and swan dive over. And sometimes we may fail. But we get ourselves back up, dust off, and do it again, because we know what we’re capable of. We do it with the art we create, with the romantic relationships that we delve into, with businesses that we want to start.

The metaphor is easy. It’s the practice of getting to the edge and failing that’s difficult. In some cases, I don’t know what that looks like. What am I willing to fail big at because the risk is worth it? What would my edge in my writing be? Is it the language I use? The content I write about? I’m still trying to find out what feels edgy for me, what makes me feel vulnerable. There are ideas stirring in my head and so much I want to work on.

What was the biggest risk you’ve ever taken? A business? A romance? A trip? I’d love to know — and hear how it turned out.

{image from Chris Guillebeau’s flickr, used under Creative Commons License; also check out Brené’s TED talks: The Power of Vulnerability and Listening to Shame}

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Jane Reaction

(logo and original branding) is a graphic design and art director who works with with small businesses and creative entrepreneurs, creating cohesive and interesting brands and websites.

Carrie Coleman

(photography) is a wedding photographer, whose goal is to capture the visual expression of a couple's love through timeless, organic images. She is based in Charlottesville, Virginia.