Hope as a result of struggle title image


Recently I listened to a podcast by Brené Brown (author of Daring Greatly and other books) on the subject of hope as a result of struggle. In researching more of her work, I then listened to her TED talk on the power of vulnerability.

Having done six years of quantitative research studies on the subject of vulnerability and shame, Brown shared her struggle with vulnerability and how her realization of its importance in her own life has made her a better leader, teacher, wife, and parent. Her research has brought her to the conclusion that the courage it takes to be vulnerable and to struggle is what gives hope to our lives.

This reminded me of a recent article I read about how more and more college students and young adults are seeing therapists because they feel lost due to hopelessness and lack of direction. I saw a connection with Brown’s thoughts, and I see a connection to Biggest Job Priority # 6: Allow Obstacles to Become Opportunities.

It’s very important that we let our kids struggle during their lives. Can you remember the day you walked out of the hospital with your first child? What were your thoughts? Did you think about all the advantages you wanted to provide for your child? I did! (I also thought the hospital didn’t know what they were doing, letting me take responsibility for a human life!)

Included in the thought about my son having the perfect life was the hope that he would never struggle – just breeze through life. Not a very realistic thought, but that’s what I set out to do – keep him from physical and emotional pain.

In her TED talk, Brown says that kids “are wired to struggle.” That when kids are born, we need to look at them and realize, “You’re imperfect, and you’re wired for struggle, but you’re worthy of love and belonging.”

Perhaps in this way we can begin to realize that struggles make us stronger, obstacles can become opportunities, and these contribute to hope.