If we are honest, it is hard to recall more than a few times when we have actually felt brave. However, in hindsight, when we look back at both big and small actions we have taken in our lives, we see that bravery was absolutely present despite the fact that we felt scared.
According to dictionary.com, Brave is defined as - to defy; challenge; dare. All these words are verbs (doing words). This means we can feel afraid, uncertain, reluctant and even downright dread and terror, and still be brave.
Often we think bravery looks like a warrior with a sword, a picture of determination and confidence. However, we have come to learn that being brave does not always look like we know what we are doing.
Bravery can sometimes surface in ways we do not perceive. It can look like taking one tiny step forward or deciding to feel our sorrow instead of side stepping around it. Somedays, bravery simply looks like breathing.
It can be frustrating or upsetting when others call us brave and we don't feel brave.
>> Maybe this is because we feel being called brave discredits us or makes our battle seem small.
>> Maybe it is because being called brave places expectations on the way we should tackle our problems.
>> Maybe it is because secretly we are terrified and we desire someone to help cool our fears.
>> Maybe it is because the word brave seems too tidy, like our experience can be tied up in some kind of pink bow, and well, truly, the experience has been messy and awkward and unpredictable.
But here’s the facts - Brave is messy, awkward and often unsure. Many of us are facing big giants. The good news is, it is not the absence of fear that we need in order to win our battles.
Let's learn to celebrate the many expressions of bravery, let's start to notice it more within ourselves, and let's give ourselves permission to express our fears while moving forward without discrediting our courage.
And when people call you brave and you don't feel it, understand that in reality we are all brave in our own way.
We are all heroes!