This week I stepped into a room filled with people who were there to hear from Kristy and me, ask questions, and see for themselves the work we’ve poured ourselves into. Nothing felt more vulnerable than stepping into that space, prying our hands open to let others see the dream we have cultivated for so long. We had one hour to explain it all, and for the sake of our translator, we had to simplify our words while still sharing the most important and complex details. We had to speak about things that are deeply personal to us, ready to hear any critiques the group had.
This is living brave.
On the back wall of Braverly, our mantra is painted in big, bold letters.
Live brave. Dream bravely. Influence bravery.
It’s actually the inspiration for the book we’re writing, the heartbeat of it all. It’s a challenge we give to our women all the time. Daily, they are put in situations that force them to either face their fears and insecurities or run away. Over the years, our women have conquered so much— like the fear of trying something new, like the fear of looking silly, like the fear of failing.
And here’s the beautiful thing: they are at their best when they choose to live brave every day.
This challenge to live brave, dream bravely, and influence bravery isn’t just for our women. It’s a charge for us. It’s a charge for me. It’s a charge for you.
I have a friend in the States who tries to do something that scares her every day, and she’s my hero. She refuses to let fears or insecurities control her. Instead, she leans into them, knowing that the place she feels the most fear is the place the Father longs to use her the most.
Sometimes I need to sit with that truth, cling to it, and remind my heart of it. The place I feel the most fear is the place the Father longs to use me the most.
I remember first hearing that on a podcast by Jonathon David and Melissa Helser, and it continues to rock my world. I can’t fully describe the fear that comes with writing a book, knowing it will get rejected by some agents and publishers. I can’t explain the fear that comes with vulnerably telling some of my story on the pages of said book. I can’t describe the fear that comes when I simply allow people to see the book writing process, people who have the power to question it all.
We all have these kinds of fears, right? It surrounds our work, our relationships, our place in this world, and for me so much of this fear comes from the feeling of vulnerability.
Sharing my ideas, opening myself up to criticism, trying something new, sharing my story—all of these things invite vulnerability into my life. It’s so much easier to write in my journal than on my blog. It’s so much easier to keep certain ideas to myself than honestly share them in a meeting. It’s so much easier to gloss over my story than share the really messy parts.
It’s much harder to step into a room, to take a seat at the table, and share my heart, my work, my ideas, and my story with a group of people. It’s much harder to invest time and effort and energy when there is uncertainty or risk at the end of the conversation.
But brave living calls us to show up and be seen. It calls us to say yes when our entire body screams no! Brave living is an everyday choice. Sometimes it’s a moment by moment choice. It doesn’t always mean getting on an airplane and moving across the world. Please hear the truth of that, because sometimes brave living is simply looking at the person across the table and saying, “I love you.” Sometimes it’s taking a new job. Sometimes it’s being vulnerable with others. Sometimes it’s going to the small group that seems like it might never click. Sometimes it’s sending that email or text that may never get a response.
And sometimes it’s learning to sew a bag you don’t know if people will buy. Sometimes it’s figuring out how to make a bagel from scratch. Sometimes it’s making a home in a new country and culture because that’s what’s best your family’s future generations.
If there’s one thing these last nine months have taught me, it’s that living brave is such a daily choice that transcends culture. Our stories are littered with the big and little decisions to live brave, but they are just that—decisions.
This week, Kristy and I decided to show up and be seen. We shared our dreams, our hearts, and our vision uncertain of how they would be received. We decided to live brave.
And tomorrow and next week and the week after, we will show up and be seen again. We will share our dreams, our hearts, our vision without knowing the outcome.
We will choose to live brave.
What does it look like for you to live brave today?