This year for Christmas one of my best friends gave me a book called Let’s All Be A Little Brave: Living Life With All You Have. She bought it because she needed it and thought I might enjoy the inspiration too. As cheesy as the title sounded, I was all in for a good motivational book that may trick my mind into the YOU GO GIRL attitude. And as I suspected, I was total hyped-up I GOT THIS by the end. The message was what you may expect, stories on defeating the dirty little minions in your head and world and taking that big ole leap into braver pastures. She talked about being brave in your Yes’s and your No’s and when to Let Go and Hold On. She shared the importance in surrounding your self with people, exploring your talents, and believing the words that may get you to bravery. But there was one message that really struck a chord with me – bravery comes in the smallest of acts to the largest of leaps. And that simple idea brought me to my 2017 words – Brave and Celebrate. Now lets dig in.
Yesterday I read a quote that says “Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” Well Dorothy Bernard, I could not agree more. Lately I have learned that bravery has many different forms and is spurred on by a various number of things. Typically when I think of bravery, my mind goes to the grand tasks: moving to a new city, skydiving out of an airplane, or changing career paths. And while those are incredible things to be brave over, there are so many more moments in our days where bravery needs to take place. This year I want to become aware of those small moments of bravery. Brave to ask for prayers even when my pride tells me not to speak. Brave to finally begin learning a new hobby even though I may utterly fail. Brave to serve my neighbor next door, join a small group or ask an old friend to coffee. These are the brave actions that I want to CHOOSE to act on everyday. Because choosing bravery means that jumping is worth the risk despite the outcome. Bravery doesn’t always result in what you “want”. Over the past few months I have learned that very well. But I can tell you, even though the outcome sometimes results differently than I desire, it is worth the jump every. single. time. There is a lesson to be learned with bravery and there is always something to be gained – for your self and possibly even for others. Here are a few things that have helped me take the leap:
- Prayer – Whether it is a quick second or weeks of asking for direction, prayer is the answer. Always. Before taking the jump, I ask God to prepare the way and protect mine and others hearts in the outcome. With guided faith, He will never fail you.
- LAY DOWN THE PRIDE – Oh I am so prideful. When I am weak, I do not want anyone to know it. But bravery requires vulnerability and humility. Ask for prayers. Be brave to be your authentic self. When you do, you will see bravery spark in so many more places.
- Discipline – Bravery can become a way of life. For example, walking into interviews. If I am not prepared, I am anxious and less likely to be a confident version of myself. If I continually prepare before every interview taken, courage will naturally show up. It goes for running, smiling at strangers and so much more. Discipline brings courage.
With the message of being brave in the small and large things in life, I started thinking what if this could apply to everything in my life – wouldn’t that be aweeesome. And guess what? It can! The word Celebrate came in my mind for two reasons:
- I wanted to be better at celebrating myself
- I wanted to be better at celebrating others
In the past few months I have experienced some minor anxiety attacks that are ZERO fun. One of those times happened to be right before all of this thinking came to mind. I was downstairs in my room mind boggling of the overwhelming picture of what my life looked like and where I needed to go. Most of the days – I’m cool (imagine emoji with sunglasses inserted here). This day – freaking (maybe purple devil horn guy?… probably pretty accurate). Anywhooo I was looking at the huge picture of getting a job, moving and more instead of focusing on the small successes that would help me get there. And thats when it hit me – or probably God hit me – I want to be better about celebrating the small things of my days and not just the major moments of my life. Today I was declined an interview, but also granted a final interview. CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES COME ON! Earlier I ran four miles with ease when five months ago, I could only run one. THIS CALLS FOR WINE! I have spent more time with my grandparents these past few months than last year combined. FAVORITE GRANDCHILD STATUS? MAYBE?! These moments – they are worthy to be celebrated because they may be a stepping stone to get us to where we are going, or just maybe, they are simply good.
Not only do I want to celebrate myself, but I want to celebrate others. This can sometimes be a daunting task when your friends are getting everything you desire – a raise, a husband, a vacation or maybe just a donut. But as Annie F Downs says, “Love given is courage gained”, and I’m always in for a little love and courage. So I encourage you, celebrate your friends and those around you. Throw a party, hand write and mail a happy letter, or just give them a big ole hug! Celebrating others allows you to take notice of all the other things you have to celebrate in your own life. And believe me child – YOU IZ BLESSED.
If these words resonate with you, join me at the bravery and celebration station! I think it’s going to be an awesome time. So let’s do it!