Ep 51 | The Arena of Bigness: How to Live a Braver Life

By Kim Strobel

June 16, 2021

Many times we think we are overwhelmed… when in fact we are also underwhelmed. I believe burnout comes from both. When we feel underwhelmed, we feel lost from who we used to be, we no longer know what our hobbies are, or the dreams we want to pursue. Feeling underwhelmed keeps us tied to a job that sucks our soul or stuck in a relationship that continues to bleed us dry. 

Which is why it’s time to step into the Arena of Bigness. 

The Arena of Bigness is scary. It’s where you will fail. It’s full of uncertainty and risks. It’s where you fall face down in the dirt and wonder, “Will I ever get up again?” But, it’s also where you find your true gems, your true potential. It’s where you step out with courage and allow yourself to get uncomfortable because you know that’s what it takes to get where you need to go. On the other side of fear, vulnerability, risk, and uncertainty, lies greatness. 

It’s time to step into our bigness, together. 

If you don’t step forward with confidence, believing in the power of your dreams, you risk sitting on the sidelines your whole life. You risk never seeing your dreams manifest into reality. Playing small does not serve the world. The world needs your magic. 

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Tune in to Learn more about…

  • How to show up, be seen, and live a braver life—you can overcome self-doubt and discover your potential. 
  • Why feeling overwhelmed might not be the cause of your discouragement. 
  • How courage changes the way we experience life, especially when you no longer care what other people think of you. 
  • Understand how your core values lead you to fulfillment or dissatisfaction.
  • Why 90% of your potential is still up for grabs.
  • The price we pay when we choose safety and comfort over risk and uncertainty 
  • How to get off the sidelines of your life and step into the Arena of Bigness

On the other side of your fear lies greatness.” – Kim Strobel

If you enjoyed this episode and it inspired you in some way, we’d love to hear about it and know your biggest takeaway. Take a screenshot of you listening on your device, post it to your Instagram Stories and tag me @kimstrobeljoy.

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About Kim

Kim Strobel is Chief Happiness Officer at Kim Strobel Live Events and Retreats. She is a teacher, consultant, motivational speaker, happiness coach, and a mission-minded person whose passion helps others overcome their fears and discover their joy!

You can follow Kim’s journey on Instagram at @KimStrobelJoy, and in the free private, She Finds Joy Facebook community.

 Love this episode and want to continue the conversation with me and other like minded individuals? Join the free private, She Finds Joy Facebook community.



Hello, everyone. Oh my gosh, I want to make sure I want to know what all of you thought about my burnout episode last week. 


I just really went there with all of you. So I'm curious to know what you thought about that. Now we're gonna pick up some pieces of that because I feel like burnout is a really big topic. 


And I think it comes from when we feel overwhelmed, but I also think we feel underwhelmed sometimes in our life. I think burnout comes from under wellnot. And you're probably thinking, are you crazy, Kim? What do you mean, under Wellman? Well, underwhelming is when you just feel kind of lost from who you really are. You wonder what happened to me, what happened to the hobbies that I used to have? What happened to the meantime, what happened to looking in the mirror and loving the person that looks back at me feeling good about who I am, rather than leaving every day feeling like I'm not enough, you know, and so sometimes I think we feel underwhelmed because we're stuck in a job that we really don't like, that does not fuel our fire, or we're stuck in a relationship that has lost its possess, or were sucked up into our roles as as parents that we don't even know how to identify as anything else. And I think all of these things can also lead to under wellnot. And I know in the last episode, I was telling you guys about some of the people who went through the happy Academy, my 10 month program this past year. And I 

think that overall, that's what I saw is I saw that they were doing all of this stuff every day, right? They're doing the laundry and cooking the mills and purging the closets and knocking it out of the ballpark with their jobs, but still, like just completely, you just see it on their faces just that look of dullness of discouragement of like survival, right. And then I feel like as we got to the end of the program, they just were like on fire. They were, I don't know, I, I just was amazed to see what happened to them. But what I want to talk to you about today in relation to that is I want to start by sharing one of my favorite quotes, and it's by Teddy Roosevelt, former president, and it's called the man in the arena. But you know me, I'm going to switch it to the woman in the arena, just because many listeners are women of this podcast, although I have heard that the men are really starting to catch on to this podcast. And just so you guys know, men that are listening, I have like a man only centered podcast episode coming up for you in a couple of months here. I've already recorded it with this knockout. guy who is just going to school, you guys. It's amazing. Anyway, here's the quote, are you ready? So the man or the woman in the arena, it is not the critic who counts, not the woman who points out how the strong woman stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the woman who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who airs who comes short, comes up short again and again. Because there is no effort without error, and shortcoming. But who does actually strive to do the deeds, who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends herself in a worthy cause, who at best knows in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if she fails, at least fails while daring greatly so that her place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory or defeat, nor defeat. 


Just sit with that a minute you guys 


that I think that quote encompasses just everything that I stand for. I have been criticized so harshly for every little move I've ever made in my life. And I you guys, it It hurts so bad. But I have come to understand my own self worth and my own value. And that has made all of the difference because the people 


That are criticizing you, the people who are gossiping about you, the people who are on the sidelines secretly hoping that you fail. They don't count. They are not in the arena, I 

call it the arena of bigness. I want every person to step into their arena of bigness and whatever that looks like to you. Because that, my friends is where all of the action takes place. That is where you yes will fail. That is where you will head plant faceplant down into the mud and come up and have to cough out the dust from your mouth. But that is also where you will find just how very capable you are of achieving 


x experiencing or exploring whatever it is that you want to feel, be and intend on in this life. Now, I want you to think about that. Because it also reminds me of this other quote that I'm totally gonna botch. It's like that one that basically says that you have chosen 

aside when you remain neutral in times of adversity, do you guys know that quote, it's like, I should have looked it up. But it's something like, you know, you have chosen the side of the oppressor when you remain neutral in times of adversity. Now, listen, there's a reason that we don't want to step into the arena. And there's good reasons there's reasons we want to remain neutral, why it is, it's safer to be neutral, it's safer to never ruffle feathers, it's safer to try to force yourself to be who everybody else thinks you should be, than have to endure the wrath of being who you really are knowing you're gonna get pushed back. It's safer. 


But it's also less than you guys. It's also the place where you will never discover who you really are. And when you discover who you really are. It changes everything about how you go about in your life. And so you have to ask yourself, right? Are you going to be the one who always chooses the easy, safe route? Are you going to be the parent who takes 

the easy route and says, Hey, I'm not going to approach this difficult conversation with my kid, because it feels scary. And I don't want to feel scared, I don't want to feel uncomfortable. So I'm not going to have the hard conversations with my kid. Because it just feels so scary, or are you going to be like, yep, I'm going into the arena with my kid, not knowing how it's going to turn out. Or you're going to be the person who decides to create boundaries around your life, who decides to have honest conversations, because you're not willing anymore, to just stuff it in and leave it be. I'm going to give you an example of this, you guys, I have a really dear friend. And she has been in a long term marriage where she has been severely unhappy for about 30 years. 


And one of the things that we do in my program is we really try to get you in the happy

Academy, we really try to help you even figure out like, what are your values? See your we all have what's called core values. And your core values might be different than my core values. But one of the activities that I take you through is like, okay, here's 100 core values, courage, freedom, family loyalty, trust, responsibility, reliability, you know, there's a list of 100. And what we have you do is we have you circle the top 20, what are the ones that you think are the most important to you, and then I have you go down and I have you circle the next 10, or choose 10, from that 20. And we finally get it down to five, we finally get it down to these are the five core values. So for example, one of my core values is courage. All right, and another one of my core values is freedom. So I really value courage, I look for friends who have courage. I get really upset with myself when I choose the easy route over the hard route. Like, if I'm scared to have a conversation with my husband about something that has me upset because I don't want to get him upset, I will get really upset with myself for not having the courage to have that conversation. Because courage is a core value to me. And so once we figure out what your core values are, then we can see where you're feeling empty in your life, why you're feeling empty in your life and what you can do to embody those core values. So going back to my friend who's been in this 37 year old marriage, where she literally has just been waiting through she's just been waiting through trying to get through for her 


Kids trying to do the right thing trying to stay in the marriage doesn't want to break the family up doesn't want to disappoint the children like she has all these really great reasons for why she should have stayed all these years. But then she has another list, which is I have been depressed, I am so lost, I am so emotionally lonely. I don't even know what I like to do for fun, I don't even know who I am anymore. I feel depressed about how I have let this happen for 30 plus years. And so as we're doing this activity, one of her core values was courage. That is something that she valued. And when we had her look back at the times in her life that felt really bad to her in her relationship. It always had to do with courage. It's like when she could go all the way back to 30 years ago, when her husband first moved in, in an apartment with her. And he had piles of clothes, he never put anything away. And I know this sounds silly you guys, but hang with me. And so two weeks later, she was like, Hey, you know, her husband, whatever his name she like, hey, I'd really appreciate if you would get these clothes picked up. And he just raised up and tore into her and, and got not aggressive. But you know that over? What do you call that just that over encompassing personality. And she's a little more passive in nature, right. And so she immediately decided, oh, man, that wasn't worth it, I should have just left those clothes alone and never said anything to him, or I should have just put them away myself. Because she did not like that that bullying technique that he used when she called him out on something. And that started a period of 30 years, you guys where she constantly did not 

uphold her core value of courage, because it felt better at the time just to give in, it felt better at the time to just give in to her husband to not ruffle the feathers to not go into conflict. And so she could see little by little over and over again, all of the times that she did not demonstrate courage, which was a core value to her in her relationship, which got her into this situation right now. Trust me, my program is not like, hey, how to prevent yourself from getting a divorce or it's not that. But what it is, is is about identifying what are our core values? And how can we start to engage in those core values so that we create the proper boundaries in our life, so that we step into the arena with courage, knowing it's going to be difficult, knowing it's going to be hard. And I think that's why the man in the arena or the woman in the arena is so important to me. Because I think for me personally, courage is a core value. 


Because of my own struggles with because of my own vulnerability, right? vulnerability is scary. Like when we have to embrace our vulnerability when we have to go, I really don't want to talk about whatever it is I don't want to talk about sex with my husband because 

it feels really shameful. Or I don't want to share an unpopular opinion when I'm in conversation with my girlfriends because I'm too I'm too scared to say like, Hey, guys, I feel really different about this. I'm too scared to do that right? Standing up for yourself, right? That's a vulnerability, saying no, that's vulnerable, right? Like when you're like, sorry, no, I can't make that work. Like you feel bad. You feel scared because it's that people pleasing mentality that comes after that after you. starting your own business feels really vulnerable. When I started my own business, I already knew that I had like a whole group of women out there who had hoped for years that I would fail just in my own teaching career. Now I'm going to start my own business, and they're really going to tap dance on my grave if it doesn't work out. Hell yeah, that was a vulnerability. You know, initiating sex with your partner that feels vulnerable for some people. 


You know, I think when we're thinking about everything that causes this vulnerability, I want you to think about how you step away from vulnerability, how sometimes we keep ourselves out of the arena as a way to what Renee brown calls armor up, we armor up, we shield ourselves, because we don't want to feel vulnerable. We don't want to risk failure. We don't like uncertainty. And so we avoid going after that very thing that we want to do, because it feels too scary. And so we choose safety and comfort over and over again. And I'm just going to tell you guys, I want you to it's hard to hear. But I want you to start stepping into the arena of your bigness because there is 


So much potential inside of you, Shawn Aker says that most of us are only using about 10% of our potential that we have 90% left in us. But we don't even know how to tap into it. Well, let me just tell you guys, I know how to tap into it. This is the work that I do. Because I know that each and every one of us has the ability to do even bigger things than what we realize. But it means we have to face uncertainty, it means that we have to risk failure. It means that vulnerability, as hard as it is to endure is actually the gateway to getting to what we want to do with our life to getting to how we want to fill in our life. Do you even know how you want to feel on a daily basis? Right? Do you? If I told you that anything was possible? What would you go after? Here's the deal. 90% of women can't answer that question. You know why? Because they don't. They're so far removed from themselves that we don't even know how to answer that question anymore. Because we've been sucked into society's culture of saying stay small, play it safe, stay in a job that you don't like because it provides a steady paycheck. Don't train for the half marathon because you're a young mother. And if you're a young mother, you don't have time to train for a marathon, right? Don't be seen out bottle feeding your baby, you should be breastfeeding your baby. Let me just tell you what guys, all of that is BS. You become the best version of you by giving to yourself first by discovering what your core values are by starting to step into what I call the arena of bigness. Because when you step into the arena of your bigness, I will tell you that the vibrational energy that you stand in, literally changes. And when you start valuing yourself, when you start saying, I count right now, I can invest in myself right now. I can make myself a priority right now. I can state an unpopular opinion, right now. I can start to write that first chapter of that book right now. I can have the difficult conversation with my husband right now. Am I going to feel uncomfortable? Yes, I am. But I am someone who steps into the arena of their bigness. And I do it over and over and over and over and over again. And sometimes I get beat up you guys. Sometimes it hurts like hell. But most of the time, it's an believably magical.

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