Ok….So no, you don’t need to be this brave. No one is asking you to do a handstand on a roof (unless you want to – YOLO). But you have it in you! You can possess this level of courageousness and bravery.
Why have I been such a chicken?
We fear things that threaten our survival. It is natural to feel afraid and then avoid scary things. Staying away from that big, growling bear in the woods is smart! It keeps us alive! So in this instance, the fear is appropriate. But for most of us, we aren’t in the woods facing grizzly bears. We are living our lives facing daily demons like asking for that promotion, wanting to say no to someone, leaving a relationship, going back to school…These are real fears that people face everyday.
These fears can feel terrifying. They can feel intimidating. They can make you feel super uncomfortable. But the silver lining is not a single one of these situations threaten our existence. We can confront these fears and we can survive! That is where we are lucky!
There was once a woman who had it pretty rough. She was born to parents who repeatedly physically and emotionally abused her. Her father would beat her with leather belts and her mother would berate her and call her names.
When she was a teenager, she met a man who promised to love her and take care of her. One day he proposed to her and she was so relieved! She could finally escape her abusive household. But her happiness was short-lived, as she moved in with her husband and found out he was even more abusive than her parents. She stayed with this man for 30 years.
After suffering 30 years of abuse, this woman decided she had enough. She mustered up all the bravery she had in her system and made a decision. She left her husband, moved out of their house, and began the work necessary to move forwards on her own.
We all imagine our lives to turn out a certain way but life can be unpredictable and it’s not always easy. We can’t control everything that happens to us. Life throws different obstacles at us that get in the way. Sometimes, those obstacles can feel so overwhelming, you feel like quitting. But there is always a way to overcome those obstacles. There are solutions, if you are brave enough to at least try.
How can I face my fears?
- Talk to yourself. Ask yourself questions such as “What am I actually afraid of? Can actual harm come from what I’m doing? What could possibly happen if I do this thing I’m scared to do?” Remind yourself of similar situations in the past where you were successful.
- Be confident. Acknowledge your strengths and use them to your advantage. You have a ton of positive qualities! The phrase “fake it til you make it” is around for a reason. If you behave confidently, the feeling of confidence will eventually follow.
- Be an individual. Someone had to do it first, why can’t it be you? Even if no one else sees your vision, the greatest innovators were those who thought outside of the box. Those individuals were the brave ones. Don’t get stuck doing what everyone else is doing. Thinking for yourself will open so many doors for you.
- Ask for help. Sometimes we need the assistance of others to help us feel more brave. You don’t have to chase your dreams alone. Ask your friend to help you practice for that job interview you have your heart set on. Ask your friend for dating advice so you can finally ask out that person you have been fancying. If you have the support and love around you, use that assistance to feel more brave and go after your goal.
- Breathe. When you feel fearful, your body is aware of it. Your heartbeat increases, your palms get sweaty, your stomach starts to feel like it’s in knots. Show your body some love and compassion. Help your body come back down to a neutral state of being by taking some long, deep breaths. Close your eyes. Sit or lie in a comfortable position and just breathe.
Being brave allows you the freedom to make mistakes, learn from them, and try again. Being brave allows you to discover new aspects about yourself that you weren’t aware of. Being brave allows you to try things out in the first place. So even if you’re scared, commit and just do it scared. Be brave.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” —Nelson Mandela