Braving the Wilderness Quotes & My Journey to True Authenticity

Braving the Wilderness Quotes & My Journey to True Authenticity - Brene Brown Quotes -

Do you ever think about how our decisions and thoughts are influenced by others? We live in a world of filtered social media posts, online trolls and 24-hour news cycles. The advertising, marketing and new industries are constantly commanding our attention, telling us what to think or consume. I question the ease in which we can all make decisions for ourselves and be the most authentic version of ourselves in this world. Are we all just emulating the things we see that we like? These thoughts and questions have sat with me for some time, and they are the initial reasons I was curious about Brené Brown’s book Braving the Wilderness. If you’ve had similar thoughts or feelings, hold tight and know that you aren’t alone. I’m sharing my favorite Braving the Wilderness quotes, my journey to authenticity and what it means to find true belonging.

Now before we get any further, I want to make one thing clear. I don’t have it all figured out. I am on a journey to authenticity. It’s something I strive for, but am in now way an expert in.

Braving the Wilderness Quotes

Braving the Wilderness Quotes & My Journey to True Authenticity - Brene Brown Quotes -

In Braving the Wilderness, Brené Brown shares her personal experience coming to understand what it means to find true belonging. She talks about wanting (and trying) to be a cheerleader in high school in addition to the expectations her parents had of how she would fit in as a child. While Brown shares her journey, she doesn’t share her personal beliefs. I found that refreshing. Instead, Brown points out how we often avoid hearing beliefs that are different from our own. She encourages us to get comfortable talking about our values and beliefs with others.

“When we avoid certain conversations, and never fully learn how the other person feels about all of the issues, we sometimes end up making assumptions that not only perpetuate but deepen misunderstandings, and that can generate resentment. These results are sometimes worse for the relationship than just having the so-called “argument” would be. The key is to learn how to navigate conflicts or differences of opinion in a way that deepens mutual understanding, even if two people still disagree.” — Brené Brown

This is honestly something I struggle with. Outside of my close friends and family, I feel bad sharing personal thoughts because I worry it could offend someone. Now, I’ll never be someone who openly shares thoughts in a Facebook post about the latest headline story. But, as I get older, I realize I cannot hide my thoughts or allow myself  to feel ashamed for a certain belief just because it is not what the majority of people I know think.

Brown talks about how comfortable it is to keep to ourselves, but on the flip side it keeps us disconnected from others.

“Most of us are either making the choice to protect ourselves from conflict, discomfort, and vulnerability by staying quiet, or picking sides and in the process slowly and paradoxically adopting the behavior of the people we’re fighting. Either way, the choices we’re making to protect our beliefs and ourselves are leaving us disconnected, afraid, and lonely.” — Brené Brown

Brown also talks about our current culture and how geographically Americans are living among other like-minded people at a much higher rate than in previous periods of our history. There is a comfort that comes with being surrounded by people who think like us. Often the most common exception we make, as Brown points out, is with our families. Within many family dynamics there is an acceptance and respect for each person’s unique beliefs.

This begs the important question of why we so often judge and ridicule other people when their reaction to a situation or their belief about a certain topic is not the same as ours. 

What does it mean to Brave the Wilderness? 

When Brown talks about braving the wilderness, she is talking about the ability to confidently stand by your thoughts, actions and beliefs, regardless of whether you are alone in them. The key here is that if you are willing to brave the wilderness, you will find true belonging.

Braving the Wilderness Quotes & My Journey to True Authenticity - Brene Brown Quotes -

“Belonging is being accepted for you. Fitting in is being accepted for being like everyone else. If I get to be me, I belong. If I have to be like you, I fit in.” — Brené Brown

Braving the Wilderness reminded me that the feeling of acceptance starts with ourselves. One of the best parts of Brown’s book is her interview with Viola Davis. Davis shares her journey to true authenticity, how she braved the wilderness and what that looks like in her life today.

Personally, I think my journey to true authenticity has just begun, and I plan to share my journey on this blog and other social media channels. While I don’t ever want to focus on just the negative things in my life, I do want to pull back the lens more. I will look for more opportunities to show you all who I truly am, my real life, struggles, recent lessons learned and achievements. There are two main reasons I plan to share these things. First, to get more comfortable being myself. And second, to hopefully inspire someone else to live unapologetically.

I would love to hear your thoughts about authenticity and these Braving the Wilderness quotes. Do you think the increase of technology, social media and  advertisements make it harder to brave the wilderness today than in decades past? Do you have a favorite Braving the Wilderness quote?

Are you on a journey to true authenticity? Do you struggle with not wanting to hurt other people’s feeling like I do? Let’s chat in the comments and share some support for each other.

I’ll leave you with one last simple, but profound quote.

“It takes courage to open ourselves up to joy.” — Brené Brown


Sarah Camille


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Reflecting on 2016

Happy New Year everyone!

I truly hope 2017 brings you more peace,  happiness and opportunities to grow. I was reminded this morning of the quote below that I found on New Year’s Day 2015. It still rings true to me, so I thought it was worth sharing as I reflect on 2016.

Now that 2016 is over, I feel like it is time for me to take an inventory of my year and reflect on the highs and lows, the lessons I learned, the mistakes I made, the challenges I faced and the successes I celebrated.

For me 2016 felt like a roller coaster, with several ups and downs. My job situation presented the most challenges throughout the year and brought me a lot of stress and feelings of disappointment in my career. I was repeatedly feeling drained and uninspired at the end of the day. It was clear to me that I needed a change, but deciding what I wanted that to look like, looking for jobs and interviewing was stressful. Especially when your work environment leaves you feeling unaccomplished at the end of the day, it can be hard to feel motivated. And while I worked very hard to find a better work environment before the end of the year, I was unfortunately let go before my new job came to fruition. I was left feeling like the wind was taken out of my sails and the rug was swept out from under me by people who I thought were on my side.

It was very difficult and upsetting to me, but I knew I needed to regain confidence and momentum in order to end up in the better place I envisioned. I had been feverishly looking for a job for four months, and thankfully my hard work paid off — just two weeks after I was let go, I had a job offer in my hands. It was a whirlwind, and not something I would wish upon anyone. I am glad I started looking for a job when I did, but of course it was difficult to stomach being let go when I was repeatedly trying to keep my confidence high for job interviews. In hindsight, this experience taught me an important lesson about self-worth, showed me how many awesome people I have in my life to support me and made me realize how strong I can be in tough situations.

In hindsight, I see how toxic a bad work environment can be. We spend so many hours of our week at work, and it is truly not worth it to be living the majority of those hours upset about your job. I also see more clearly now how those terrible work days were effecting other parts of my life. Almost instantly, I felt a relief leaving that job behind. I am SO much happier now that that chapter is closed. I have forgiven the people who I felt like let me down, and I can see how my new-found happiness has helped my relationships with friends and family.

While that job situation was the most difficult challenge I faced in 2016, the year had tons of wonderful, positive moments. I had some amazing trips, like my trip to the west coast with my mom and brother and my trip to Jamaica with Will. I also had an important revelation just how meaningful the relationships in my life are when it comes to maintaining a happy life. Below are a few of my favorite photos of 2016.

I feel like there are always goals to be achieved in a New Year, but I think it is also important to make room for those surprises or the ways we might surprise ourself, as Neil Gaiman’s quote mentions. I shared my job struggle because so much of that experience was a surprise to me. And while I thought at the beginning of 2016 that the year would go very differently than it did, I feel now that I can be grateful for the struggles that I faced in 2016 because they made me stronger and taught me important lessons.

I hope some of you can relate to my experience or find it helpful during a time when you are struggling. Life can be rough, and I’m sure it will have its ups and downs. My hope is that with those, we can remain focused on the good things and look for the lessons that come out of our struggles.

Cheers to a lovely New Year!

Sarah Camille

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The Secret to a Good Life

Last week was one of those weeks when it felt like EVERY little thing was going wrong. Maddie (my dog) got sick and I had to go to four different pharmacies to get her prescription filled. I was pulled over by a cop for a registration mix-up.  I lost my mail key. Work was difficult for a few reasons, and in the moment, it really felt like the universe was not on my side.

I generally try not to focus on the negative parts of my life, especially if I cannot change the circumstances. When it seems way too easy to focus on the negative things, I find it most helpful to refocus my attention to the positive things in my life and the things that matter most to me.

As I went on a walk yesterday afternoon, I thought about my difficult week and I tried refocusing. Then, as I took in the beautiful fall weather, I stumbled across a TedTalk by Robert Waldinger, “What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness.”

In the TedTalk, Waldinger shares how this decades-long study has found strong relationships are the foundation for a happy life. He talks about how loneliness is correlated to poor health. Waldinger also shares that the relationships don’t have to be romantic. Quality friendships can be just as valuable as a romantic relationship.

It was fascinating, and made so much sense. I have found my relationships with friends and family are the most valuable thing. When I think about the big picture, I know my life would be so different and so lonely without their support and the smiles they put on my face. The important people in my life are a huge positive force, especially on a hard day or during a difficult week.

In fifty years, the details of my difficulties will not matter. What will matter is that my relationships with family and friends remain strong, if not stronger than they are today.

“The good life is built with good relationships.” – Robert Waldinger

Here’s to a happy week for everyone!



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