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What It Means To Be Brave

being brave

In my work I talk a lot about helping you find your brave but what does that mean? What does being brave really mean?

The dictionary defines brave as having the mental or moral strength to face danger, fear, or difficulty.”

This calls to mind scenes from movies like Braveheart or Gladiator. But that image of being brave feels incomplete to me.

Glennon Doyle Melton says, “Brave is listening to the still small voice and DOING AS IT SAYS.”

Now we’re getting somewhere. Connecting both Glennon’s and the dictionary’s definition gives a complete picture of brave for me.

It’s honoring what is true for you and that only happens by, as Glennon says, listening to the still small voice inside you. But listening to that quiet voice instead of the noise of the crowd does require moral and mental strength. It does, by necessity, involve facing danger, fear, or difficulty.

Being brave means listening to that voice and then stepping into the fear that almost always shows up. Sometimes that looks like jumping out a plane to overcome a fear of heights. Other times it looks like doing the unexpected even though you fear the judgment of other people.

When it comes to risking change and taking back control of your life being brave looks like:

Disappointing Others

Being brave enough to live life on your own terms means you risk disappointing other people. Even if you are not a people pleaser this is a hard one to step into because you might be rejected and nobody likes how rejection feels.

I would not consider myself a people-pleaser. But when I had my own change I needed to make, one of the things that kept me stuck was the fear of letting other people down.

I had a skewed sense of loyalty, which convinced me that it was better to disappoint myself rather than disappoint the people who had invested in me for so long.

Over time, however, the dissonance in my soul between how I was living and how I really wanted to show up in the world became too loud to ignore. I did disappoint some people and you will too. Finding your brave means finding a way to make peace with this reality.

Saying No

Being brave means learning how to say no to honor your soul’s yes.

You’re good at saying yes to everyone except yourself. But there is a nagging that keeps happening inside you. It’s a sense that something isn’t right, something is off or incomplete in some way.

You can’t put your finger on what it is or find the words to explain it. All you know is something inside of you keeps telling you things need to be different. You just can’t figure out WHAT exactly needs to change.

Getting quiet and going inward is the only way you’ll find the answers your soul is inviting you to explore. Staying busy by saying yes all the time helps you ignore that quiet voice. But ignoring her means risking regret later in life and as I’ve said before, fear is temporary but regret is permanent.

Speaking Your Truth

I remember the day I told a friend for the first time what was really going on in my head and heart. I was so terrified to say the words out loud that my voice shook as I spoke.

Speaking your truth CAN be terrifying but it is also liberating and it’s often the first step in the journey. Saying it out loud gives permission for the other steps to present themselves.

You don’t know the way out of your current situation yet because you haven’t yet spoken the truth of your desire to change. Speak your truth, even if your voice shakes as you do it.

Judging Bravery

We try to measure bravery by things that can be seen. But the truth is brave can’t be judged by things or people outside of you. It can only be named by you based on how you are responding to what is happening inside you.

It takes courage to look there. Bravery is what comes as a result of your willingness to look and act. As such I see courage as a pre-requisite to being brave. But, like brave, courage isn’t what we think it is. In my next post, I’ll share how you can cultivate courage.

In the meantime, I would love to hear from you. What does being brave mean to you? Tell me in the comments below or head over to Facebook and share in the comments there.

Here’s to you finding your brave and rising into your greatness.

From my heart to yours,

 

 

P.S: If you are tired of feeling stuck and afraid, if you’re ready to discover how to find YOUR brave let’s talk. Schedule a complimentary call with me today. On this call, we will take an honest look at where you are and what’s been standing in your way. We’ll also talk about what it will take to help you access your courage. The call is free. Schedule it today

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