Everyone wants to be brave.
Just take a moment, right now, and imagine your life if you were brave all the time. Every second of every day, and you never tired of it or got weary.
What would you accomplish?
What would you do?
How would you feel?
Now that you know what you’re capable of…
What stops you from being brave?
The fear of failure?
The fear of judgment?
The fear of being unqualified?
The fear of being embarrassed?
The fear of messing up?
The fear that you’ll no longer be loved?
The fear that you’re not capable?
The fear that you’re unworthy?
The fear that you don’t have _____ enough?
The fear that you aren’t enough?
All of the above (and maybe a little bit more)?
I’m going to fully pretend now, that we’re face to face having this conversation - sound good?
Me: “What if I told you these “fears” were all lies? Every last one of them. Would you believe me?”
Me: “Okay, what if I told you that you are enough always, and there’s nothing you can do or not do about it about it… would you believe that?”
You: “Not really, but kinda. I mean, I get that, but no I don’t really believe it.”
Me: “Fair enough. What if I told you that you were already brave...would you believe that?”
You: “Sometimes, at least.”
Me: “Excellent! What if I told you that since you’re already brave, you can do far more than you realize...do you believe that?”
Me: “Woo hoo! We’re on a roll now. What if I told you that you could cultivate your bravery, and get braver each day with minimal effort...does that sound good to you?”
You: “YES! I love that idea!”
Me: “Done. Let me show you how…”
“Courage is like—it’s a habitus, a habit, a virtue: You get it by courageous acts. It’s like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging.”
― Brené Brown
So here’s the deal love…
You can be brave, every day, if you look at it like a habit.
What if each day you took a brave action step?
Did you just freak yourself out thinking, oh no! I can’t do that!
Stop that, you’re over complicating it.
These don’t have to be GIANT steps! They can be small steps, tiny even… because they build up one and then the next.
You’ve heard me talk about Brave Fear before, you can listen to my podcast, read this blog, see my Instagram or Facebook posts, read my emails… and you’ll see Brave Fear being a theme throughout.
You want to know why? And you want to know why I named it that?
Because Brave Fear is a habit. It’s a choice. And every day you get to make this choice (with both small and large things).
Let me give you a small “for instance” moment.
I am VERY afraid of spiders.
I have been.
For a very long time.
And what’s even crazier, is that I’m afraid to kill them.
I’m afraid that if I get too close, they will attack me. (Some are pretty aggressive, let’s be real…)
But, every time I see a spider, I’m given a choice.
To run and cower, or take some brave action and either let the thing outside or kill it on the spot.
Over the years, I’ve gotten better. I used to just scream and run out of the room…
Now, I get quiet and wait for an opportunity.
I used to just kill every one of them… (the only good spider is a dead one), but now I consider letting it outside (though that happens far more rarely for me).
But here’s a story that I find really interesting, and I started to get curious about it…
You see, my whole life, regardless of the size of spider, I tend to try and get as far away from the spider as possible. Across the room, out the door, on top of anything so my feet aren’t near it… etc, etc… and then call for help. Someone come save me from this terrible beast!
I’m so afraid of spiders, I used to cry. (#embarassingtruths)
But one day, several years ago, there was a HUGE spider and I mean HUGE. The thing was a beefy mass of eight chunky legs and a bulbous hard-shelled body, the likes of which I had never seen inside a home before. It was monstrous. Venomous looking. I could see it’s pinchers from ten feet away! And it’s dark eyes like something out of your darkest nightmares (okay, maybe it’s just my darkest nightmares). This gargantuan was smaller than a tarantula, but at least 8 times the size of your typical black or brown house spider.
I was horrified to see this creature, which had come from the depths of the earth, on my hardwood apartment floors. The shock of seeing it could’ve stopped my heart alone, but then a very clear and present danger presented itself. . .
My sweet, precious, little, naive and playful kitty, only 4 years old at the time, had found it from whatever corner of hell it had been lying in wait and brought it out to PLAY with!
She was batting it around from side to side because it was so large it looked like the size of one of her toys.
Much to my horror, she LOVED it when it would move, launch itself at her or try to get away.
I’m fairly certain that in this moment I went from 0-60. I grabbed my kitty Lovey with one hand and held her to my side and with the other hand, I grabbed whatever was nearest to me and ended that creature from the deep.
There was no hesitation, running, screaming or crying… I took freakin’ BRAVE action and I saved my precious baby from that monster.
Now, I realize in hindsight, it was far more likely that my precious baby was the monster to that cowering spider in that particular scenario, but I also knew that by the size of that monstrosity, if the spider had bitten her, she might not be here today.
Even though I never felt brave with spiders, that day I was Brave without hesitation. In fact, it was my first instinctual reaction. Which means, that at my very core, I am brave.
Yes, this story is about my fear of spiders, yes it seems silly that I should be using this story to illustrate bravery, but it doesn’t matter how silly the story is. If you have proof of your bravery...bring that story to your mind right now. Write it down somewhere or tell someone about it so it’s forefront on your mind.
You are brave.
This is your proof.
So, remember all of those fears I listed earlier? Use your own Brave Fear story to provide you the proof you need to combat that fear and take brave action anyway.
You: “BUT - how do you create the habit of courage to be brave on a daily basis?”
Well, I’m so glad you asked!
Next week I’m hosting a 5-Day Brave Fear challenge, July 29-Aug 2 and I want you to join me. Each day you will be given a new challenge to complete before the end of that day. By doing this, you will be building up a Brave Fear habit - to be brave every day!
Even after a quick 5 days, you will have even more PROOF to throw into your arsenal and combat those fearful lies that try and bring you down.
This is how to be brave.
By building up the habit to be brave and embracing your Brave Fear. <wink>
Click here to join the challenge, and bring your friends along too, so you can celebrate, uplight and encourage each other! https://www.brightlyandco.com/bravefearchallenge