I cannot believe how much I've needed to lean into Brave these last few weeks. Do you remember when I was wondering if I even needed Brave? You can find that blog post here in case you missed it. What was I thinking? I bet a few of you were like, oh, she needs Brave, for sure. Wait for it, Jen.
My word for 2014 is rightly chosen for me. I need Bravery. Period.
Here's what I've learned about Brave since the last update:
- I am afraid of many things. I know I may not look like I am afraid or sound like I am, but I am. I'm afraid of failing, letting others down, letting myself down, sounding like an idiot, dreaming too big. Fear, fear, fear.
- The antidote to all of those fears is one simple thing, Bravery. I only have to be Brave.
- I've learned I am not alone. Recently at a leadership retreat I attended, I found about 30 people (out of 40) who feel like I do. Fearful. And we all agreed, if we could just be Brave the fear would be a non-issue. A non-issue! Gone.
- This book I'm writing. Oh, man, have I had to own it lately. Here's a true story - one that took Bravery and is a good example of dreaming too big (or dreaming just the right amount - depending on how you look at it). I am on the airplane to Chicago to attend the leadership retreat I mentioned. The guy next to me asks what do you do? You know what I say? I say, I'm an author. I'm writing a book. What? Have I lost my mind? Yep. I'm an author (amongst many hats I wear, which I further described to him later in our conversation). Bravery to say I'm an author aloud, plus a whole lot of audacity.
- Oh, here's another true story. I spoke to my literary agent last week. I mean, if you are writing a book you need an agent, right? She happens to be a childhood friend of mine, too, which makes our conversations equally serious and playful. Anyway, she was sharing information about some of her authors and their "two book deals" they've received. When I awoke the next morning, I said to Mr. UpCyclist, I think I have two book deal in me. What the bleep?! I haven't completed one book and I've got ideas for book #2? And that's the day, I started a new list in my notebook, Topics for Book #2. So far, I have two ideas written down.
- That was also the day I started to question myself - is this Bravery or arrogance?
- But, this I know. Arrogance doesn't get you anywhere. People dislike you. No one wants to be around you. Bravery is just the opposite. The braver I become, the more magnetic life becomes. So, what feels like arrogance, I believe is confidence. And what feels like Bravery really is because I can feel and see the path clearing in front of me. The more I lean into Brave, the clearer and wider that path becomes.
I hope you have one of those path-clearing-weekends - even if its a path right to your couch for fall movies, which totally sounds delightful.