Being brave isn’t meant to be easy, but it is the key to moving forward.
Today, I did something incredibly brave – I still can’t believe I did and said it, but that’s part of the new ‘courageous’ me.
I’ve learnt that not taking risks has led to nowhere, and although I may have created a complicated juncture for myself, I feel so much better for it – I’m making the conscious decision to add more bravery to my life and I’m excited about it!
I did it anyway (because I am brave)!
The idea of bravery is often misconstrued.
What does ‘being brave’ actually mean?
For a great deal of my life, I considered the meaning of bravery to be associated with ‘hero’. You know those gallant types who run into blazing fires, saving the lives of many. I considered being brave to be those courageously fighting terminal illness. I thought the meaning of brave was defined by my grandparents, who made the treacherous journey across Europe to Africa during WWII.
Yes, of course, all of the above denote the concept of bravery, but now the word ‘brave’ means a lot more to me.
It means traveling alone, making the decision to walk away from a relationship, telling someone how I really feel…
My last act of bravery was literally 20 minutes ago, which has led me to write this. I sent a message, which I wasn’t sure was the right thing to do or not. Immediately after I was like WTF? WTF did I just do that for? Time passed, I’m writing this, and do I regret what I did?
To me, the idea of being brave is going into a decision where the outcome is unknown and the consequences unsure.
Having mulled over it all day…I decided it was worth taking the risk for. And because I was (mostly) steady in that choice, I’m also ready to endure whatever happens as a consequence.
Taking the risk is better than not taking the risk at all, right? (Please say yes!)
How Being Brave Has Helped Me
I can’t control every single situation in my life – the previous shitty things would never have happened otherwise, but being brave has helped me let go of my controlling perfectionist nature and allowed me to enter into (potentially beautiful) situations that challenge me.
I believe making the choice to be brave is essential to my growth – it will help me reach my full potential and help me feel truly fulfilled in life.
How else am I going to grow as a person?
It’s so easy remaining complacent, playing it safe all the time, but it’s a hell of a lot harder to be brave.
On reflection, I’ve made some really shitty decisions in my life. These have related to where I’ve lived, worked, who I’ve chosen to get into relationships with, and what I believe.
Yeah, there have been a few WTF moments in my life and I’ve made some controversial decisions, but I’ve also adopted a new ‘screw this’ attitude, an attitude that doesn’t believe in regrets.
I’m finally discovering who I am and what my path is. Since I started being brave (braver), and opening up more, I’ve discovered some beautiful hidden areas of myself.
How I Have Helped Myself Be Braver
Listening to Myself
I often use other people to guide me. I have some great confidantes in my life, namely in my mum, brother, cousin, aunt, AB, and CC. They’ve all supported me wholeheartedly. They’ve also helped guide me.
Sometimes, however, I’ve had to listen to myself, because at the end of the day, it’s always going to be me who has to deal with the potential consequences. I try not to make too many life-changeing decisions on the whim – I make conscious decisions based on what it is I think, feel and believe.
Doing My Homework
In some cases, I just have to follow my gut instinct – what it is my intuition is telling me. But other brave decisions I’ve made, such as moving to a foreign country, quitting jobs and taking up new ones and divorcing were all made with the help of my research.
There are so many valuable resources out there to guide us in making the right decision, however, sometimes we forget to educate ourselves, and sometimes emotions block us from doing the logical thing.
Doing this has allowed me to make those so-called brave decisions and act on them in a calm manner.
I know this sounds all new-agey and stuff (trust me, I haven’t turned into a hippy yet), but I’m a true believer that my mind, body and soul need to connect to bring about these changes properly.
In the past, I failed to tend to some of these areas (at one point I wasn’t tending to any), which ultimately resulted in me disconnecting from myself. I wasn’t centred and therefore found it challenging to make any kind of serious decision.
To connect them, I’ve looked after and nurtured them. I write and keep a journal for my soul. I study, read and research for the sanity of my mind. I exercise regularly for my body.
Through doing all of the above simultaneously, I’ve been able to bring about more balance in my life, which in turn has resulted in my ability to make more concerted decisions. It’s been in these moments that I’ve found myself at my creative best and it’s also been in these moments when I’ve ultimately made some of the hardest decisions in my life.
All good things take time, and I’ve never been that much of a patient person. When I decide I want something, I want it then and there.
In the past (including not so long ago), I hurried into making a decision. Those decisions backfired on me greatly, which did admittedly leave me feeling shit and temporarily lost.
But I’ve learnt how to think things through rationally. I sleep on it. I rationalise with myself. I try and get a feel for it without my usual harsh self-judgement.
With most huge decisions that I’ve taken and will continue to take, there’s no real deadline. From now on, if I’m unsure, I’ll wait – I won’t make stupid rash decisions based on the present emotion.
Final Thoughts on Bravery
We live in an extremely tough world, but showing the courage to be brave and face the things we’re scared of can be rewarding. Even those things that didn’t work out have a silver lining – they’ve added new perspectives and clarity, they’ve taught me to be even braver and stronger in a highly competitive world, and this I’m thankful for.
To me, this is what it means to be brave.
So you’re scared, be scared and embrace it, but get your shit done either way!