My sister recently visited me in Nashville while she was in town for a conference. And while she was here, I shared with her my vision for this podcast. I told her the genesis for this show was that I wanted to be braver.
She responded in a way I didn’t expect….
“You already are brave,” she said.
But, in giving me examples, she shared something I didn’t anticipate…
She told me I was brave for moving to Nashville all by myself almost 18 years ago.
It’s something I hadn’t thought about in a long time. And honestly, I don’t know that I thought it was all that brave. It just happened to be where I found a job after I graduated from college.
The Brave Move I Forgot
But, to her point, I moved 500 miles away from my family and I didn’t know a soul here. My new boss was the only person I knew and I had only met her twice before I moved.
But at the time, I thought that this is just what you do when you graduate. Nashville is not where I envisioned myself living, but it’s where I found an opportunity after college and I decided I would give it a year to see what I thought about the job and this new city.
Of course, it’s now my home. It’s where I met my husband and where we are raising our child. But 18 years ago? I didn’t know anyone. I didn’t know what I was doing here. And I remember that feeling of loneliness after my mom and sister left me behind in Nashville after they helped me move.
I remember coming home to my empty apartment and I had NO idea what to do with myself.
So, I found ways to start making friends…. Through my work. Through my sorority. Through my college alumni group (which I got off the ground).
It seemed only natural to me. I couldn’t just sit around my apartment moping. And because I did all of these things, it’s how I met my husband.
Bravery Doesn’t Always Feel Brave
The funny thing is I didn’t feel that what I did was especially brave. It just felt necessary at the time. But, in looking back now and seeing this story through the eyes of my sister, I realize that what I did was indeed brave… if not necessarily for me, it’s something that many people would consider to be brave.
I think that’s the funny thing about bravery. Sometimes, the things that don’t feel brave to us can feel incredibly brave to someone else. I can’t help but wonder if sometimes our acts of bravery aren’t for ourselves but to help light the way for others.
But, I also think we (or at least I) can do an awfully good job of downplaying or diminishing the courageous things we do. We are braver than we are willing to admit. We brush off our heroic acts as if it’s no big deal.
But, in fact, moving forward despite fear IS a big deal. Whether it felt hard to you at the time is not the thing we should focus on. Instead, we should celebrate that we didn’t let fear stop us. That we didn’t get stuck in complacency. That we didn’t let fear win.
An Exercise if You Feel Stuck
So, if you’re feeling like you’re stuck or that you wish you were braver, I encourage you to go back and look at the times in your life that you did a brave thing. And if you’re having trouble coming up with a list, talk to a friend or family member. I’m betting they will gladly tell you about all of the brave things you’ve done.
And then celebrate those wins. Acknowledge that you are capable of doing hard things. Remember that you have the capacity to do big, bold things with your life.
Write them down. Post them on a wall. Make them your screensaver.
And then go back and look at them anytime you’re feeling scared or stuck. Remember that you have what it takes to be brave today.
You are braver than you think. Let this list remind you of that today and every day.
I’m rooting for you, friends! I hope this helps you go out there and Make it Brave today!