Lovelies, what if one day you stumbled on a whole new way to be you? You hear one sentence, said quietly to someone else, read one line in a book, hear part of a song and something inside of you clicks and you change? Change and growth happen slowly, over time, but can they also happen in an instant?
Something I read over a year ago is still flying around in my head, clamoring to be heard.
What if being open and vulnerable is a truer sign of strength than building thick walls of protection that keep you from disappointment?
Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am brave and worthy of love and belonging //brené brown
My whole life attitude changed (just ask my boyfriend and close friends) when I read Daring Greatly by Brené Brown. A long time pursuer of perfection and people pleasing, her words were like a jolt of caffeine on a cold morning mixed with the warm squeeze of a wise old friend. My previous mindset of what it meant to be brave and what that looked like in my every day life was forever changed.
What do you think of when you hear the word brave? Perhaps a superhero charging into a dangerous situation, cape flying, no regrets. Maybe the image of a powerful animal, not letting anything get in its way. Or maybe you think of the girl right next to you who seems to dive into deep water without a second thought and always emerges victorious – I know that’s what often comes to my mind.
We don’t often think of a weak person (or even ourselves) when we consider what being brave looks like. Surely a brave person doesn’t tremble and shake before a meeting? A brave person doesn’t need a pep talk and a brave person doesn’t make mistakes or need any help. And a brave person certainly doesn’t blabber about their feelings, letting their expectations get in the way. They always know what is coming their way, how the situation will turn out.
What if I told you that none of that is true? That being brave doesn’t equal success, placid emotions, or self-sufficiency? That the true test of bravery is the fact that you are standing there, shaking, taking one more step forward?
Perhaps bravery looks like going home and trying again tomorrow. Bravery is the ability to confide your deepest, darkest thoughts to those closest to you. Bravery is being able to cry in the midst of those who love you. Being brave means having hopeful expectations and knowing that you can handle the unknown outcome of the situation.
I think of this every time I’m heading into a new situation and I feel like I’m standing on quick sand. The very fact that my heart is beating out of control means that I am putting myself in a situation that is uncomfortable and I’m doing it anyway (brave).
Your hands are sweaty and clammy but you showed up and you’re trying (brave).
Your tummy is turning somersaults and your bed sounds do inviting but you are working on having a hard conversation and you’re doing it anyway (brave).
The brain turns these nervous feelings into danger signals that tell us to run away, fast. But these signals that we interpret as danger are actually signs of bravery – you are stepping out and acting in a way that is uncommon. Because true, real bravery and the ability to be vulnerable is not common.
So celebrate those shaky legs and pounding heart – they are the awareness that comes with having courage and being brave.
Do you struggle with bravery? Tell me in the comments, I’d love to journey into bravery with you!