Who doesn’t want to live a brave life, really?
And yet we we don’t always live that way.
Fear has a way of spilling its lies into our lives, and when we believe them, we too often draw back – from risk, from relationships, from the raw unpredictability of our bravest life.
Imagine a whole bunch of people walking around trying to protect their hearts from each other. Imagine those same people believing that pursuing their giftings and callings with passion and tenacity and discipline doesn’t really matter, because their contribution is just not that meaningful or powerful anyway. Imagine them unwilling to venture into the uncertainty of new ideas and perspectives that could transform their lives, businesses or families.
Doesn’t that just sound… small?
But then imagine a group of people fearless in their pursuit of authentic relationships. Imagine that group dedicated to their callings, to pursuing their gifts and seeking the good of others. Imagine them brave enough to be truly willing to seek first to understand, and only then to be understood.
Doesn’t that sound like something significant?
When we choose to live brave, it is better not just for us, but for those in our lives, and even for the world around us.
So how can we choose to #livebrave today?
Let’s Be Brave in pursuing our gifting
Do you know that feeling when you see someone in your circle really stepping out, taking on new challenges and kicking goals with their talents and passions? Isn’t it fantastic? Doesn’t it inspire you?
That is what we do for each other when we are brave in pursuing what’s been put in our hands to make a difference in the world. We give each other courage. We give each other something to cheer for.
And we give the world our best, bravest selves.
Let’s Be Brave in our relationships
When we are brave in approaching relationships with honesty and authenticity, we take on ourselves the risk of being vulnerable first, giving those around us what two writers I love, Jon Acuff and Anne Marie Miller, both call ‘the gift of going second’.
There is a too-true quote from writer CS Lewis about being brave with our hearts –
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”
As Murray Averill puts it, “We can often think that vulnerability in ourselves is weakness and in others is courage.”
Being brave in our relationships opens the door to true connection and intimacy, whilst fear of getting hurt, judged or misunderstood ultimately leaves us in isolation, and robs those around us of the possibility of authentic relationship.
Let’s Be Brave in being willing to be humble and teachable
As we #livebrave in our work and our callings, we will find ourselves stepping into greater responsibilities and leaderships. As we do so, there is a small voice that tells us that now, we need to have it all together and know it all. This is one more lie of fear.
When we are brave enough to do away with the pretence of invulnerability and cultivate a posture of humility and teachability even as we exercise our skills and authority, we allow ourselves to continue to grow, expanding our ability to make an impact in the world.
At the same time, we role-model authentic leadership to others, and allow them to feel secure in their own ongoing growth.
If we allow ourselves to believe the lies that keep us from living brave, it doesn’t just hurt us – it hurts those around us.
So let’s be brave.
Let’s be brave for each other.