What does being brave mean to you? How brave do you feel you are now? And what would be different if you had more bravery in your life?
How many of us are just going through the motions of life, settling for anything, and just taking what life gives us? I feel like it’s so much more common than we think and it’s become so much more acceptable today than it ever has. But why is that? Why do we settle for less than we want when we all know that this is the only life that we really get?
These are questions I started to ask myself years ago when I started my journey of self-development. And it wasn’t easy. They were difficult questions to answer. And I had to be honest with myself, I had to make a choice. I had to decide if I wanted to be safe in my life or if I wanted to be brave in my life. Having courage and being bold ultimately were the things that I wanted the most. I urge you to answer the same questions.
So to give you a little bit of backstory, I am the ultimate rule follower. I’ve always been one to do the things that were told to me. And because of that, I was living my life the way people told me I should be living it. I did all the things that I felt I was “supposed” to do and did things the “right” way.
I always had my life planned out. So of course, you know, I went to school, got my degree, got a house, and got a stable job. And on the outside, my life looked perfect. But on the inside I was unfulfilled, I was depressed, I was lonely and I felt hopeless. I felt that there had to be more to life than what I was doing.
But because I had followed my plan and done everything the “right” way I had no idea where to go or what to do.
I knew I was tired of being tired and miserable and that I had to make a change. But the one thing that I think a lot of people overlook is that when you are ready to make a change you sometimes have no idea where to start. You may even feel hopeless and you may not even feel that you can achieve what you want. There is also usually a lot of fear mixed up in being brave and living courageously.
So, that’s what I’m going to talk about today. How to start to change your life and live it authentically while conquering that fear. Because that fear can feel like a real thing. But you don’t have to let it prevent you from living the life you want.
Living Authentically: The Beginning
Living an authentic life is so much more complicated and so much messier than we give it credit for. It’s a journey and it so worth it. It is one of the most exciting, the most challenging, and the most growth-filled opportunities that you will ever encounter in life.
You slowly learn, implement and things begin to change. And when you choose to live a life that’s authentic to you, that’s when you really start to show up in your life. That’s when you learn what your real power is and what you are truly capable of. It’s amazing. And it requires bravery, courage, dedication, and the audacity to take a chance on yourself.
So how do you get there? Where do you start?
Learn who you are
The first step is really learning who you are. It’s taking a look inside and learning what’s important to you. It’s learning to live your life based on what your values are and your heart desires, instead of what you’ve been told they are.
And that can be a little scary because most of us have been living our lives based on other people’s values. So the first step really is to dig deep within yourself, by yourself, and to really understand what it is that you want from your life. How do you want it to look? What do you want it to be like? How do you want to be?
The second step after really digging deep is to create a vision. Create a vision not only for what you what your life to look like but for how you want to be. How are you going to be showing up differently in your life because of these changes? And I encourage you to really write this down and get as detailed as possible.
If it helps, think about how your life will be different day to day. What is your day going to look like? Who’s going to be in your life? Not only what will it look like, how will you feel? I want you to envision it like it’s really happening now.
Tackle the fear head-on
Now that you have your vision I want to go over the crucial step that we often overlook, tackle the fear head-on. Whenever there is a change in our lives there is a certain level of risk and uncertainty and it can cause us to become fearful of making that change.
The tip that I give for managing the fear is to really recognize that you’re not alone in feeling that fear, most people often just don’t talk about it. People don’t talk about how they’re afraid to do the things that they want or go after their dreams as much as they should.
So the first thing to recognize is that the fear is just your way or your mind’s way of trying to keep you safe and safety isn’t a bad thing. Know it’s there to keep us safe from real physical harm. So this fear is not your enemy, it’s something that is there to protect you.
With that, recognize that you don’t have to be submissive to that fear. You don’t have to let it drive what you do. Because you can’t let it stop you from that vision that you created. Don’t judge yourself for the fear. Don’t feel like it’s a sign that you shouldn’t be doing what you’re doing because in actuality it is a sign that that is what your heart wants and that is where you should go.
My biggest tip for actively going after the things that you want while managing that fears to find support. Find people who are like you who are going through the same things or have the same goals. Find a mentor or surround yourself with positive people. Or find someone that’s going to hold you accountable. We are so much stronger together.
Know that when it’s time to take action is when your fear tries to rear its ugly head. Recognize that you have the vision and the support team and that the fear doesn’t have to hold you back. So I encourage you to take action no matter how small or how big it is as long as you’re moving forward.
Power in Fear
I think it’s important to realize that we all have to fear. There’s always something for us to be afraid of no matter how much we grow or how much we change. But the thing is when we’re fearful that seems to blind everything. It seems to be the only thing that we can focus on.
And when we choose to focus on that fear it can distract us from what we really want.
There’s something that I saw when I was looking at Ellen one day and she was talking about how she was fearful of coming out so much so that it consumed her. And then when she actually faced the fear, while there were consequences, she didn’t die. And she said that once she did come out that is when she realized how much power she really has.
And when you overcome the things that you’re afraid of, that’s when you realize just how strong you are and how much you can do in your life.
When you face your fears and choose to live your life that’s when you prove to yourself how strong you really are. You already have it in you, but its time to let it shine through.
The steps are simple, know who you are, decide what you want and take action. The complexity comes in when we have to tackle the fear head-on. But it’s the difference between a life of going through the motions and a life that is true and authentic to you.
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