The Bravest Thing: Self-Discovery Word-by-Word

What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?

Skydiving? Freestyle rock climbing? Saving a baby from a burning building?

Joining the military to defend our country? Quitting a stable job to stay at home with your kids?

Giving unrealistic expectations and social norms the middle finger and living your own life?

Bravery comes in different forms, but sometimes the scariest things in this world have nothing to do with physical danger.

Instead of fighting dragons, we might be standing up for ourselves and what we believe in, choosing to love ourselves the way we are, or deciding to live according to our own values despite society’s relentless messages that we are not good enough, that we always have to change, buy something, or do something to make us worthwhile.

I used to think I was a ‘fraidy cat because I’m afraid of doing anything that involves being towed behind a speedboat, or because I’ve crossed skydiving off my Handprint List, or because I dated some guys or had friends who were really bad for me because I didn’t think I could get anything better.

I feared rejection, failure and most of all, hurting other people’s feelings and being a “bad person”. Over the last few months though, I’ve learned that sometimes, you have to be willing to disappoint someone, or get rejected, or even piss someone off.  Sometimes you have to just accept that some people will think badly of you, that you’re a wingnut or too outspoken or even selfish. While you don’t want everyone to think of you this way, do the right thing.

Leave. Or stay.

Do it. Or don’t.

Make a decision. Change your mind. Even if someone disapproves. You know what’s right. Do it.

Say no. Take time to think about it.

Listen to your body.

Wear the damn swimsuit.

I think one of our deepest fears is the disapproval of others, but this fear is rooted in the deepest fear of all: That without the approval of our peers, we are nothing. We are only worthwhile if everyone else things we are.

This is the biggest lie we tell ourselves. Deep in our hearts, in our very souls, we know who we are, what we were sent here to do and what is right for us. We might forget this sometimes, but we know our own worth. Living authentically means eliminating the sway of “What will everyone else think?” and accepting our own worth and uniqueness.

Accepting our worth takes courage. Living our purpose takes courage. We can never accomplish these things we feel we need to look, act, or be a certain way.

Be brave. Be yourself.

This post is part of Self-Discovery Word-by-Word. This month’s host is Dr. Dana Udall-Weiner at The Body and the Brood. The word for June 2011 is “Bravery”. 

 

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Posted on June 17, 2011, in Authenticity and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Gosh, we are so similar. I’m still on my journey towards fully accepting myself – with or without the acceptance of my peers. Thank you for this reminder that sometimes it’s worth it to disappoint someone else, especially if it means I’m being true to ME.

  2. McKella, love the way you link being brave to being authentic, and being yourself. Over time, we come to see that being a “bad” person is more about being a phony person – if people only like you when you’re being fake, then you’ve won phony approval at the expense of your real self (and added a whole lot of stress to your life.) Stepping out can be scary, but it is SO worth it.

  3. Great Post.
    What we were sent here to do and what is right for us gets lost in the clutter of our feelings. We loose sight of what we were meant to be and to do.
    Mostly because we are wounded and we have chosen to escape the wound instead of facing the emotions and sensations around it.

    Our love is what will move us to the destination.
    If only we embrace it.

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