Society as a whole commends those who work a lot of hours and sleep very little. They are known as the shakers and the makers of any given industry and, as a result, often inspire us to kick our own lives, even unrealistically, into a higher gear. But I've been doing a lot of pondering recently. Specifically with this concept of being brave. It almost seems little-girlish to vocalize, but people who are brave in my opinion - even in the tiniest of ways - are the real shakers.
Bravery is about wrestling with fear and coming out of the brawl with the upper hand. Or at least trying to. And while they aren't revolutionary concepts, I've learned a few things about being brave this year...
1) Identifying fear doesn't make you weak, it makes you known and then gives you an opportunity to become stronger. Whether it be in relationships, job pursuits, or adjusting the way you live your daily life, we all encounter moments of vulnerability and change. The reaction, or at least my reaction, is to clamp down and dig my heels in. I become terrified of what people will think of me - especially if I "fail," - and am paralyzed, not freed, in the process. Can I just say something? It's okay to talk it out, cry it out, express it out. Being brave means having the courage to grapple with what's truly going on in your head and then moving forward.
2) Passion fuels bravery. Without it, there's no point in doing much at all. It's not good enough to look around and see what other people are doing and then copying it. We do this comparison game because we think it will result in what we perceive as reaching "success." It sounds vague, I know, but I'm learning slowly but surely, that by answering my "Why" in business, and even personal goals, enables me to be braver and braver with each new step I take.
3) Community preserves and satisfies. Often times I think we highlight those who are "brave" because of the finished list of accomplishments we read. But today I'm willing to venture that an accomplished goal means that a journey was required. One of the main problems of journeying, however, is that takes a while and seemingly goes unnoticed. Yet, living a lifestyle of bravery is more about the journey - the small acts of bravery along the way - than a bunch of check marks on a resume. Moreover, I'm learning that there is power in community. We all need someone who believes in us - especially when we don't have the courage to believe in ourselves. You know, the people we call Friends. And sometimes being brave means that you're willing to share how you're doing, what you're dreaming, and even what you're doubting.
Stay tuned, perhaps there will be more thoughts (maybe even a series) on living a life of bravery in the future. In the meantime, will you share your brave moments in the comments? I'd love to hear!...
“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in that gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” - Teddy Roosevelt