...but most of us don't feel like we are brave. Am I right? We might use several other adjectives to describe ourselves, but brave probably isn't high on our lists.
We go through life living days on repeat, only to look back at the end of the year and wonder where all our time has gone. We ask ourselves, "How did I get here?" We meant to do something more meaningful, more purposeful, more adventurous, risky, or unique. But we followed the crowd, our parents, or our friends.
We took the road well-traveled.
There's a reason we took it, a reason why most people do. That road has far less resistance. The current will carry you and me along just fine if we let it. But is that really what we want? Do we want to just go along with what everyone else is doing simply because it's easy?
I know it's not what I want. And I'm willing to be it's not what you want, either.
That kind of life is purposeless. Living that way doesn't leave a mark. That kind of life blends in instead of standing out.
You and I were made to stand out.
We were made to be brave.
You and I weren't made to be paralyzed by fear or to squeeze ourselves into the box our culture tries to fit us inside.
We are called to something greater, something braver.
Bravery looks different for all of us. Your act of bravery is going to be different from mine because your life and your journey aren't the same as mine. But one thing is certain: it will always require courage and faith.
We often associate bravery with bold acts of courage, which definitely do require bravery. But that's not where bravery ends. Bravery is taking your next step even when you can't see the ones beyond it. It's speaking up and speaking out for the ones whose voices aren't being heard.
Bravery requires showing up faithfully, with your whole heart. It's is pursuing your passions and using your gifts even when the people and the world around you don't seem to understand or agree with you. Bravery is choosing to be fully and completely yourself in a world that is constantly trying to get you to be somebody else.
Bravery is required for living wholehearted, purposeful lives. If you and I want to make the most of the time we've been given and truly live full lives, we need to exercise some bravery. We need to be willing to take risks. We need to show up. We need to put ourselves out there and invite others to do the same.
In order to live brave lives, you and I have to really believe it's worth the cost of stepping out from the safety of the crowd and doing our own thing. We have to know that the prize at the end of the race is worth taking a different path to get there.
What does being brave look like for you? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!
Let's All Be Brave by Annie Downs
The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown