I have so many different stories to share with you about what Brave Fear is and what it has meant for me. Some of them I’m ready to share and some I’m still healing from. All of my stories though have an ounce of the miraculous in them, but there’s a few good reasons for that...and you can have these same kind of stories as well, it’s easier than you think.
So what the heck am I even talking about?
Well, I want to start by telling you a story…
In college I applied for and was one of the few chosen to attend an elite music school through our study abroad program. I was beyond excited. One of the only reasons I was at that school was for this specific program, and I had to wait 3 years until I could apply.
We travelled “abroad” to the island known as... Martha’s Vineyard. (ha!) It was so beautiful though, it felt like another world to me and I could have easily lived there staring out at the pond each day.
I was there for 4 months, a complete semester, and I was out of my league.
The first night there, I had such an extreme panic attack that I took my Xanax (which I thoughtfully prepared to have on hand for such a time as this), but the truth was it was my first time taking it...and the dosage was far too high.
I felt like a Zombie the entire night. I was basically half awake and half asleep — the night we were all meeting for the first time… grrreeaat….
The next day was all about performance. We had to choose an original song to perform in front of the group and there were two tracks within the school — the Managers and the Performers. You were either learning the business side of things, or you were learning how to perform/write better music.
I had never written a song before the one I wrote and used for my application...and it was…rough. (But obviously not terrible, I mean I still got in!)
My song was called “Lackluster Life” and I played it on the piano.
When I finished performing the crowd of unfamiliar faces applauded politely and the next performer went up. My new professor came up to me and asked the name of the song, I said “Lackluster Life” then he laughed and said, “Oh okay! I thought you were saying F*ckcluster the entire time, not sure which one is better.”
This encounter already sent a shockwave through my very conservative upbringing, and immediately I felt smaller than I did before and started to feel like I didn’t belong there at all.
The next phase of this process was when all of the “managers” went up to the meeting room to decide and fight over who got which artist.
You know that quintessential moment in the school yard, where the captains are picking their teams and you’re the last one picked?
That was this scenario too. To a tee.
I was the last one picked, and my “manager” got left with me. She was very polite and said that she was excited to work with me...but it was super obvious. I was the one that literally no one saw potential in.
You could read my journal from those days and literally feel drenched by my embarrassment, shame, and loneliness coming off of every page.
In just a few days our task was to write a new song and perform it at our very first concert. We would work with our manager to get the lighting, set the tone on the stage, discuss the outfits, etc…
I was a nervous wreck. After the experience I'd already had, a huge portion of me wanted to get on the next boat off the island and never look any of these people in the eye again.
But instead, I used my philosophy that I’m now calling Brave Fear.
Every morning I woke up early, ate a quick breakfast, grabbed my guitar, and went off to find a quiet place to practice and write.
What it came down to was this: I couldn’t leave and whether or not I was willing to be the butt of people’s jokes was up to me. I could cower in the corner and try to blend into the wall, but instead I decided to show up, take the criticism, and then do it all over again the next week.
Brave Fear is about taking brave action alongside fear.
My fear didn’t go away. All of the odds were stacked against me. No one took me seriously. And the humiliation I felt was almost unbearable.
So here’s what happened.
Each day, I journaled out all of my thoughts, frustrations, emotions, and then I took action. I showed up, I did my best, and then I did it all over again the next day.
The “mean girls” (I say it in quotes because most of them were actually dudes) said their snotty remarks to me each day...and my fear wasn’t ever gone. It was very much present. But every day I took brave action anyway and I followed my fear.
Eventually, people started to ask me to sing with them and to join their band. Some people even wanted to collaborate on songwriting with me.
To wrap the story up, at the end of the semester my song, “Travel Light” was chosen to be the top-billed song on our compilation album. I received the “most improved” award, which is usually a slight stab in the gut, but everyone cheered profusely and I could tell this award wasn’t out of sarcasm, but instead out of true admiration.
And on the last day, my favorite professor and songwriting coach pulled me aside and whispered quietly that I had more potential than anyone else there and in 2 years I could be doing this full time if I wanted. I cried and hugged him. It was the kindest thing I had ever heard; I’ll never forget that moment.
I have since used this Brave Fear philosophy to create my current business and make incredible dreams come true (like a Mastermind and retreat to Disneyland — #bestbusinessexpenseever), but I want to invite you to share in this brave action with me. I want to teach you Brave Fear™ and give you the motivational kick you need to make your dreams happen.
Join me for the Brave Fear Bootcamp happening on May 29th.
This is a 4-Week - make-it-happen intensive, and I would love for you to join me. I’m going to help you make huge strides toward a dream/goal you’ve been sitting on for far too long. It’s time to take action. No more waiting or procrastinating.
Are you in?
P.S. If my story above resonated with you, I’d love to hear one of your Brave Fear stories (we all have them). Share it below in the comments so I (we) can cheer you on.