I am convinced that "Being Brave" may just be a personal motto of my life. Not because I'd like it to be, but because it always seems to unearth itself in the messiest circumstances. It's not a change within a snap of the finger or a badge we can display for all to see. Unlearning fears and staring failure in the face requires deep breaths and bravery. No matter where you are - employment, family/friends/special relationships, planning a wedding, cleaning your house, caring for the babies, or studying diligently - we all could use a little more "I believe in you's."

One of my favorite motivational authors is Mark Batterson. He's got the craziest stories coupled with passion-igniting lessons learned. With each pivotal move in my life (leaving college, quitting my job, entering into a long distance relationship) I've, ironically, been in the middle of one of his books. And today, I'm flipping through that very first title for renewed inspiration. First page I flipped open? Chapter 3, "Unlearning Your Fears," of In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day. Grrreat.

(Photos by Stephen, edited by me)

As any business entrepreneur would tell you, "Perception is everything." So what if I applied that not only to my business and social media marketing approach, but also to the thoughts that I really think? The fears I really wrestle with. What if my perception of fear is actually the greatest failure? And if so, what if I could re-frame what I'm afraid of and face it bravely? What would that do, who would I become, what stories could I tell then? How would that make me smile differently?

"Your fear is worse than the actual thing you're afraid of. And if you learn from every mistake, then there is no such thing as failure anyway." - Mark Batterson

"Psychiatrists posit that we're born with only two innate fears: the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. That means that every other fear is learned. And more importantly, that means that every other fear can be unlearned."

I think so much of the fear vs bravery dance is mental. It's almost like conquering yourself in understanding who you are, what you love, and where your heart is that can be the greatest battlefield. It's not so much a matter of having dreams as it is having the courage to chase them. We all have dreams. But do we have courage, even in the face of quote on quote failure (or better yet, perceived failure), to go after them? We have to learn what we don't know. And then sometimes unlearn what we do know.

I was reminded this past week that life isn't about "ifs" but about the "when & how's." Isn't that beautiful? Friends, I don't have massive, earth shattering goals today. But there are things that I'm pondering and planning for 2016 - mainly under the umbrella of "simplify."  And I'm recognizing that more than anything, each goal requires intentional action coupled with an attitude of "Yes. You. Can." It starts when you and I decide to start. Just one step. Then the next.

What is holding you back, today?

"Faith is unlearning the senseless worries and misguided beliefs that keep us captive. It is far more complex than simply modifying behavior...Faith is rewiring the human brain."

P.S. Weekend Wear coming back next week - and I cannot wait to show you what's been cookin!

--Tara M

* I am voluntarily praising & quoting "In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day," I was not asked to promote it.