Daring Greatly

man riding a bicycle on a tightrope over a canyon

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.”

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

-attributed to Goethe

To dare greatly may seem like an idea that only some individuals might decide to do. To dare greatly is to live wholeheartedly, expressing what’s alive inside with no concern about the critics in this world. When one decides to let go of outcome and approval, life becomes a different experience.

It sounds like an intriguing idea to dare greatly but what does that mean? It could mean something different for each individual. My conversation today is about being the type of person who

  • speaks with no fear of vulnerability
  • has no concern of what the critics will say
  • lives with an open heart, and
  • is able to express the feelings that show up no matter what is happening.

Giving empathy to those who are frightened, alone, hurt, or angry—to anyone who needs some understanding—will connect with empathy. Empathy connects us and sympathy drives connection away. Sharing empathically opens the heart. This could render one vulnerable, by getting in touch with the feelings that show up for us when another is hurting or expressing themselves in ways that we are not enjoying. The courage muscle is built by allowing the self to be vulnerable and open to what’s up in one’s heart and soul. Many are able to do this selectively and some are rarely able to do it at all. The good news is that Nonviolent Communication teaches us to raise our level of courage, inspiration and confidence to connect with the self and others to a depth that may not have been part of our world previously.

The tools of Nonviolent Communication will enrich one’s personal and professional life. When practiced there is the possibility to end violence and invite peace and joy to be one’s dominate experience every moment of the day. I have yet to meet someone who does not want more peace or joy in their life. When we change our filter of the world around us, when we build courage through vulnerability and respectful connection, we begin to love self more and find strength not yet experienced. For strength lies not in guilt or shaming, but through understanding the deep value in peaceful, respectful and empathic connection.

Are you willing to dare greatly? Check out our newest workshop, Daring Greatly—The Power in Vulnerability.


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I'd love to chat with you about how NVC Training can best meet your needs. I am always looking for ways to touch more lives...creating custom trainings, developing online courses, visiting remote communities, supporting NVC practice around the world. What's alive for you? I'll put the coffee on . . .


Leslie Williamson