When we think about being brave, powerful images of Wonder Woman or firefighters often pop in our head. We imagine strength, confidence and fearlessness.
Those perceptions are sometimes true, but in my experience, more often than not, bravery is terrifying.
Bravery is standing up for someone who is being made fun of on the subway. And it’s scary.
Bravery is speaking in front of a large group of people when your hands are sweating and your voice shakes.
Bravery is not laughing at a cruel joke when everyone at the table is laughing.
Bravery doesn’t always feel good. Sometimes it makes you sick to your stomach.
Be brave anyway.
When you are faced with a difficult choice, the easy way out is to say nothing, do nothing, or just blend in. And many times in your life, you’ll choose this option. None of us have the time or the energy to fight every single battle that comes our way. Sometimes we need to “be like water” and conform to our current situation. But every once in a while, something strikes a nerve and we can’t sit quietly. We have to speak up because the idea of doing nothing is more frightening than the potential result of standing up.
So that leaves us with the question of when to be brave and went to just let something go.
I don’t have the answer to that, but if you listen to your gut and your heart, it will probably steer you in the right direction.
Bravery isn’t always glamourous. You may be laughed at, picked on, or you may try something new and fail. You aren’t always going to be praised or commended for your courageous act.
Be brave anyway.
Be brave when:
- Faced with uncertainty
- Defending those whose voices are smaller than yours
- You want to tell the truth and it’s easier to lie
- You have something important to say, but you are afraid you’ll be judged
- “Everyone” is doing something one way and you wan’t to do it differently
- You are trying something new for the first time
- You need to say no to something that your friends are saying yes to
- You need to ask for help
- You have a crazy idea and you’re afraid of being laughed at
- You have to go see a doctor about a health concern
- You need to leave a bad relationship
- You dress, act, or think differently than everyone else in the room
- You change your mind
- You have absolutely no idea how you are going to be brave
There is no Wonder Woman. Superheroes don’t exist. Fearlessness is ignorance.
Don’t be fearless. Have fear.
But be brave anyway.