how to be brave

Some words about bravery.
Oftentimes I’m called brave and asked how in the world I can be so brave.
Well here’s the truth.
Bravery isn’t a one time thing.
It’s really this moment by moment and hour by hour and try over again and moment by moment and hour by hour and keep on going and try over again thing. The more we tell ourselves we are brave the more we shut down the voices in our heads that tell us otherwise.
Those thoughts?
Insecurity. Doubt. And fear.
Yes, fear.
Because to be brave means to look fear in the eye and to not let it stop us but to continue to do what we need to do.
From the smallest things – from getting up when we’re exhausted to sitting in doctor’s offices holding littles down for lab work to dealing with divorce and money issues to fighting for that teen – it’s all brave. From cleaning up the kitchen again to calling lawyers or preschools to negotiating media time to working long hours to being up in the middle of the night to fighting for your heart. 
And here’s the coolest thing about bravery.
It can’t be ranked.
My brave looks different than your brave than the mom at Target’s brave. And the more we stop comparing our brave to the braves that we observe in everyone else the braver we will become. Because letting go of comparison means letting go of fear of measuring up which means you are being brave.
The more you believe this, the stronger you will be.
The more you are proud of you, the stronger you will be.
The more you see your beauty, the stronger you will be.
The more you know you matter, the stronger you will be.
The more you fight for your heart, the stronger you will be.
The more stronger you become, the braver you will be.
That’s how I became brave.
Every day, every step, every stumble, every try again.
I believe in you.
If no one has ever told you those words before let me be the one to tell you.
You are brave.
ps. Being brave kicks fear out and makes space for joy.

One Response to “how to be brave”

  1. September 3, 2016

    Barbara Alban Reply

    Hello, Rachel!

    I luv that last thing you said about how being brave makes space for joy.
    So true!!! We need to be reminded of that more often!
    And yes, it applies to different things in our lives – from major life-changing moments down to simply everyday things!
    I recently just went thru my big brave moment (resigning from teaching after 17 years) and I know I will need to continue to be brave as I try to figure out what to do next.
    Oh and I’m a mom to 3 girls (7, 11, & 13). Enough said, right?!
    Anyway, thank you for this inspiring post!
    More power to you…

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