I am enchanted by the idea of bravery. Maybe it’s because I’m a giant scardy-cat. But I’m a person that wants, desperately, to be brave. To live bravely. To do one thing every day that scares me, even if it’s just Crow pose (man, that pose is scary.)
Fear is healthy. Fear is that thing that keeps us from jumping off of buildings. A reasonable amount of fear is good – fear of diseases and illness keeps me washing my food, my hands, and my dishes. Fear of giving bad advice has kept me from getting clients in trouble, or getting myself in trouble. Fear of bad neighborhoods and high crime rates has made life in a city known for it’s violent crime and high drug rates, thus far, fortunate and possible.
Fear can also be crippling. I’ve skipped parties and events because I wouldn’t know anyone there, and I was afraid to go alone. I’ve missed the opportunity to apply for jobs, or to ask somebody to be a reference because I’m afraid they’ll say “no”. I’ve deferred dreams because of fear. I’ve avoided making phone calls because of fear. I’ve avoided helping people, helping clients, because I’m afraid of being wrong. Fear keeps me inside at night when my husband is out of town because I’m afraid to walk down the street alone.
There is that old saying, that ships are safe in harbor, but that is not what ships are built for. This is part of why I started making a 30×30 list, which I’m still revising and am afraid to actually finish because what if I forget to put something important on it?
Pinterest turned up a number of inspirational bravery sayings, which I’ve pinned to my “being badass” board.
I do some things now, in an effort to live bravely. I go places where I don’t know I’ll know somebody, and sometimes I talk to total strangers. I apply to jobs that I don’t think I’m good enough for, because I want them. I make an effort to trust, to have a little bit of faith that things will work out, and to go forward bravely, but I’m still not there. I’m trying to finish my list. I can’t even make a list of all the things I wish I was brave enough to do.
What does living bravely mean to you?