Speaking at Dare Conference on Courage and Vulnerability

October 13, 2013 | 37 Comments

lion from wizard of oz

A year ago I was in a low down place. I believed I was failing at everything and openly talked about it here. I was on the brink of leaving my nine-year teaching career to start a business. A friend shared with Steve that blogging about my stuff maybe wasn’t so great for client relations.

Months later, Jonathan Kahn put out a call for speakers for his brand new Dare Conference.

The Dare Conference is all about being brave—and speaking publicly is one of the bravest things you can do. We’re looking for breakout sessions that tackle difficult topics without pretending to have all the answers. If you’re willing to be vulnerable, admit your failures, and share what you learned from them, we want to hear from you—even if you’ve never presented at a conference before.

Two friends sent me the link, “Shan this conference was made for you!” I submitted a proposal along with a ridiculous video. I cringe watching it, but it also makes me giggle, so there’s that. Johathan and his team chose me, partially based on said ridiculous video, so there’s also that.

My talk forced me to work through lingering hurt and fear I carried after learning that I’m not everyone’s flavour (which, obviously, I knew on some level, but wasn’t ready to have confirmed). It was the healing and reflection I needed to find my health. I’m proud of me for doing something so brave: facing my ick and talking about it on stage.

My talk wasn’t recorded, but many were and it would be well worth your time to have a watch. I promise you won’t be disappointed. You can even donate to help lock more Dare goodness into place.

The speakers were all  fantastic, but Nina Burrowes particularly rocked my world. Nina came at vulnerability from an angle that smooshed sense and healing into all my brain cracks. She spoke right before I did; it was better than a shot of whiskey. I stepped on stage with fresh truths about courage—AND NINA SAT IN MY AUDIENCE. Best! Her talk isn’t up yet, but you can read its written equivalent on her blog.

Sarah Wachter-Boettcher summed up the conference beautifully when she said,

“Dare felt like a chance to get unstuck. A chance to admit that our work and our feelings go hand in hand. A chance to help one another start pushing our organizations and clients to more honest, wholehearted places. Places more of us could stand to reach.”

If you’re on the hunt for a conference that will change your life and how you approach humanity—Dare is for you. I promise. Watch for the 2014 version.

Give my very first talk a read and leave a comment, please and thank you with chocolate chips on top.

Thank you Jonathan and friends for giving me a place to share my story. For reminding me I’m brave, I’m enough and I belong. For valuing courage and connectedness. For being the loveliest. All the love.

Fantastic post-Dare-conference write-ups:

Other loveable posts:

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