Some people are born brave. Some people are forced to become brave. And maybe there are some people who will never be brave.
Yesterday Finn woke up from nap time at school with blood dripping from his mouth. He had bitten through his bottom lip, was lethargic and his skin was splotchy red. The teachers assumed he had a seizure, though no one saw him shake or go rigid. We took him to the ER and ran a shunt series (IV, blood work, head and chest x-rays, and CT scan) to be sure his shunt was working properly and that his brain wasn’t swollen. Praise God all his tests came back normal!
Apparently this was his first seizure and most likely not his last. We’d appreciate your prayers against them. They’re so scary to me, and yet another thing to worry about/watch out for.
As Finn was wheeling away from the CT scan room, wiping tears from his eyes, he said through swollen lips, “I was so brave, wasn’t I, Momma? It wasn’t so bad. Where are the Popsicles?”
Nothing terrifies Finn more than being strapped down and shoved inside that spinning CT scan tunnel, but he was forced to do it (not the first time; not the last), and he emerged braver. He was an over-comer, and he knew it. He was brave.
Since I was a child, I’ve been a risk-taker, dangling my legs over the edge of the canyon, asking bold questions, and pushing boundaries.
But I’ve been fearful, so O U T S I D E my comfort zone, in the past two years because of various life, friendship and career changes. I’ve had to remind myself daily:
“God did not give [me] a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
So if I entertain fear, it’s not from God.
How to Be Brave:
1. Feel the fear, but do it anyway.
-I tell my clients, “Don’t think, just do it.” Box jumps. Pull ups. Meal planning.
2. Remember what you’ve already overcome. Think back to the struggles. Many of us have endured some scary stuff. Stand tall; you made it!
-Parenting is tough. Wear your supermom/dad cape with pride, knowing this is perhaps the most difficult job you’ll ever have.
3. Make a commitment and stand by your word.
“A commitment is doing what you said you’d do long after the mood you said you’d do it in is gone.” -George Zaluki
-Faith in God. Marriage. Jobs. Ministry. Taking your kids to the park. These are commitments we stand by whether we feel like it or not.
-I love the phrase, “Because I said I would…” There aren’t many characteristics I admire more in people than those who do what they said they’d do, when they said they’d do it.
4. Instead of shrinking from that which you’re afraid of, go toward it. Run! Now.
5. Put yourself in situations where you’re uncomfortable.
-Comfortable faith and comfortable lives don’t transform us or inspire others. Get to the point where you’re actually uncomfortable in your comfort zone.
6. Surround yourself with people who are bolder and more courageous than you are. They’ll rub off on you.
7. Dream bigger.
-I’m a realist, so I’m guilty of dreaming small. I dream only for what I think is attainable. That’s boring, and it doesn’t involve faith or big thinking.
-Write those dreams down somewhere and share them with others. It makes them more real and you’re accountable for them.
8. Pretend you’re brave.
-When I first became a personal trainer, I had no idea what I was doing. I just knew I liked people and I liked movement…so I made people move. I faked it. When they’d ask why we were doing a particular exercise, if I didn’t know the answer, I’d say something semi-intelligent then let them know I’d research the answer. And I did. I got better.
9. Practice being brave.
-Talk to your cashier. Ask them a specific question like, “Do you work all evening? Has it been a tough day?” Look them in the eye.
-Invite someone to your church. Or your gym. Or your play date group.
-Order your own food. I listened to one of the top-earners in Arbonne say she used to be so terrified of being in front of people that she actually couldn’t even order her own food at a restaurant or in the drive-thru.
-Ask your family and friends questions. Be in control of the conversation.
-Voice a complaint or a compliment–in person–at a local establishment.
-Discipline your kids. They’re kids; you know best. Be the boss.
-Ask for a raise and articulate why you deserve it. But be sure you deserve it.
10. Ask God for courage. He commands it.
-Mary and Joseph, Ruth, Rahab, Joseph son of Jacob, Paul, Moses, Abraham, Solomon, David, Peter…these imperfect people trusted in a perfect God for their courage and strength.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Be braver, friends. I’m right there with you.