From the Inside Out
When you think of living a Brave and Courageous life, what comes to mind? If you’re like most people, you may picture yourself accomplishing great feats, fulfilling your life’s purpose, and creating a beautiful legacy of a life well-lived.
But what if living Brave meant that you smiled at a stranger on your next walk? Or you called an old friend you haven’t spoken to in years? Or you finally wore those crazy pants you love and have always been afraid to wear? What if Brave Living happened in the small moments of everyday life, every day?
It does. And that’s where you’ll find your magic.
Small steps matter. Every small step you take towards the edge of your comfort will stretch you in new and profound ways. The steps I’ve outlined here not only focus on making smaller choices in everyday moments, they also focus on cultivating courage from the inside out. Begin by befriending your fears and making peace with what is. This will give you the confidence and momentum to carry your courage out into the world in bigger, braver ways.
With love and in courage,
1. ALLOW FEAR
The thing that erodes our courage more than anything else is pretending we don’t need it. Pretending we’re not afraid. Pretending our feelings don’t matter. When you’re feeling fear fluttering around in your heartspace, it’s not there to scare you – it’s there to tell you something matters, to tell you it’s worth it. As long as you’re pretending the fear doesn’t exist and pushing it away, you’re also pushing away the message behind the emotion.
I wanted to take the scary mask off of my own fear and I thought the best way to do that was to let it speak for itself rather than having my ego and inner critic make up all manner of stories for it. When I asked my fear what it wanted to say for itself, this is what emerged…
Please don’t be afraid.
While I want to get your attention through this feeling of fear, I do not want you to fear me. Please don’t run. I want you to see me fully. I want you to open your eyes and face me, in order for you to fully face your life.
I want you to know there is a safe space to rest when you need to, but that this cramped and narrow corridor of darkness is not meant to be lived in. It’s meant to be lived through. Because most of all,
I want you to be brave.
I want you to come closer and closer to me until, as you stare into my pool of darkness, you see clearly your strengths reflected back to you. I want you to move through me, diving to the depths where your pearls of wisdom await.
It will feel cold at first. You might think you can’t do it, it’s not worth it, it’s beyond uncomfortable – it hurts. Don’t get out, dear one. Don’t run. Don’t let these cold waters numb you, freezing you in place.
Keep moving. Allow these cold waters to wash over you and rush through you in a way that makes you feel renewed, strengthened, and invigorated.
Let these cold waters make you come ALIVE!!
2. CULTIVATE TRUST
Trust is needed to move through fear and into a place of courage. In his book “The Book of Trust”, Charles Feltman defines Trust as:
“choosing to risk making something you value vulnerable to another person’s actions”
That’s a risk that certainly takes a great deal of courage. If you followed by Creating A Life in Alignment series you know that Trust is one of the top 10 Values I identified with at this time and season of my life. Through my continued efforts to live in alignment with this Value, I have experienced just how much courage it takes to live in Trust.
Trust in myself. Trust in others. Trust in the process, Trust in the Universe.
It feels like leaping without a net every single day. And what I’m learning is that the net doesn’t just appear from nowhere, it appears from within. While it takes courage to trust, trust cultivates courage. The expansion is exponential.
3. BE SEEN
Yes, it is necessary. Yes, you must be seen. No, you can’t just skip this step.
Being seen matters because vulnerability matters. Leaning into vulnerability is the courageous act of answering the call of our wild hearts. It is the necessary and tender path toward living a Brave life.
When we feel called to speak up, share an idea, ask for help, offer help, look someone in the eyes, or be the first to apologize, we are raising our visibility. We are taking a risk in being seen and we are honoring that call from within.
For some, being seen may mean running for office, public speaking, and live videos. For others, being seen may mean walking down the street with their head up instead of watching their feet. It may mean saying hello to a stranger as they pass by or offering them a compliment. It may mean sharing your idea or opinion even when it’s in opposition of those around you.
Being seen will look different for everyone and it will always feel the same – like standing in the center of the fire, and not shrinking back. As we near the Summer Solstice that’s what I encourage everyone to do. To harness that fire within you. To fan your own flame. To risk being seen. To trust in the process. To live Brave in small ways every single day.
4. PLAY BIG
You’ve likely heard a lot about “not playing small” as well as encouragement to “play bigger” in your life. So what does that even mean? Tara Mohr wrote the book on Playing Big and she defines this term as:
“Being more loyal to your dreams than to your fears.”
That is going to look different for every single woman. And it’s important to acknowledge and honor that. No matter what that looks like for you, it requires courage to manifest your dreams into reality, to step into a bigger role in your life and live so fully from your heart.
Playing big is both scary and exhilarating. It’s like roller coaster fear. People will stand in line for hours and pay good money to feel that thrill of fear bursting into expanded release as they crest the edge.
What if that moment of exhilaration was accessible to you every single day? What if you could take the fear that’s living inside of you right now and burst that into an expanded version of yourself? What if one small step you took this very week changed everything for you?
It is. You can. It will.
For support, inspiration, and accountability in Living Brave every day, join our Tribe of women who are choosing to return the call of their wild hearts with Courage!