And no, not because you are never nervous or scared. It’s actually a lot harder to be the person who tries like hell to NOT be nervous or scared. It’s like trying to fit into a dress that is two sizes too small, you might get it all together enough for it to zip—but you’ll feel constricted and you’ll risk cutting off your precious blood flow.
But we see people do this. We may even do this. Because somehow, society has engrained in us that nervousness=weakness. Fear=flaw. So we either turn away from these feelings or even worse, we work against these feelings.
You are brave when you stop and celebrate the fact that you are doing something bold, courageous, difficult… and completely new. You are brave when you transform that heart-racing feeling or that dark crevice in your stomach into motivation. You are brave when the hard times motivate you enough—that even when there’s no one to turn to, you don’t just keep circling aimlessly, you climb. You climb because you’ve had enough of the fears, enough of the what ifs, enough of the disappointments. You climb because you refuse to watch life pass you by through a window as you sit in that constricting dress you’ve forced on until you can hardly breathe.
You are brave when you stop letting things happen to you, and you start happening to things.
You are brave when you pick yourself up and find the strength to carry on. Because at the end of the day, you are all you’ve got.
No one else has your experience. No one else has your vision, guts or grit. If you throw in the towel, you deprive the world of something truly amazing.
And trust me, the last thing we all want is for you to deprive the world of your strong, beautiful and brave self.
Be brave. Without bravery, you will never know the world as richly as it longs to be known. Without bravery, your life will remain small—far smaller than you probably wanted your life to be. –Elizabeth Gilbert