As I browse my LinkedIn and Facebook feeds this week, everyone seems to be writing New Year’s Resolutions. One post claims that 44% of us write resolutions. Not me. The idea of setting goals for the new year never appealed to me. I’m enough of a perfectionist that starting such a process just seems like setting myself up for failure.

But wait. Last week, Henry called me “courageous” — not a word I usually use to describe myself. A courageous person walks toward change, sets goals, takes risks, and is vulnerable to failure. I have taken steps at the personal and professional levels in the past few years that have improved my health, given me new creativity and energy, and strengthened my relationships.

In fact, brain research shows that stretching beyond our comfort zone, taking risks for growth, and focusing on the process instead of perfection actually improves our brain function! Call it “grit” or “growth mindset,” choosing a new future makes all the difference. I may not write resolutions, but I have learned to step more readily into goal-setting, to cultivate courage.

What it Means to Dare Greatly

In Daring Greatly, a DVFBC recommended reading, Brené Brown lists 10 guideposts for whole-hearted living. Notice her use of the active verb “cultivate” for this list. It gives us all space to nurture, try, and even fail along the way!

  1. Cultivate Authenticity: Letting Go of what People Think
  2. Cultivate Self-Compassion: Letting go of Perfectionism
  3. Work to Cultivate a Resilient Spirit: Letting go of numbing and powerlessness
  4. Cultivate Gratitude and Joy: Letting go of scarcity and fear of the dark
  5. Cultivate Intuition and Trusting Faith: Letting go of the need for certainty
  6. Aim to Cultivate Creativity: Letting go of comparison
  7. Cultivate Play and Rest: Letting go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth
  8. Cultivate Calm and Stillness: Letting go of anxiety as a lifestyle
  9. Strive to Cultivate Meaningful Work: Letting go of self-doubt and “supposed to”
  10. Cultivate Laughter, Song, and Dance: Letting go of being cool and “always in control”

We encourage you to read Brown’s book and furthermore to attend our Forums this year where we will focus on the concept of Whole-Hearted Leadership. It takes courage to be a leader, to build teams, and to cultivate growth. Our community of family business leaders is a great place to test out your questions and ideas with vulnerability and courage!

Bronwyn Histand


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