You’re braver than you think you are.

You’ve proven it time and time again. More than enough times for the Universe to back me up on that statement.

Even if you don’t think so.

The fact is that whether you’ve built a business or a family, given birth or given hell, stood up for injustices or stood up for yourself, asked for the promotion or just asked for mercy – you have been brave.

You were brave the first time you went down the slide on the playground, the first time you sat behind the wheel of a car, and so very many times in between. And if you’ve ever had a teenager, and let him or her sit behind the wheel of a car, then you are extra-brave.

If there is one thing I know for sure, it is that if you are alive and have lived for any length of time, you are brave.

To clarify:

Bravery, or courage, is not when you do something that you are genuinely not afraid of. Not even if it’s an inherently scary thing like, say, bungee jumping. Or getting married. Or baking a souffle. (Frankly, if bungee jumping or getting married don’t scare you even a little bit, then I worry about you.)

Let me say it again: being brave does not mean that you are not afraid.

We are all afraid, at some times and of some things. This is part of being human.

The brave person is scared too. But they get out there and do the thing anyway, while being afraid.

Bravery is stepping out into the arena and trying even though you might fail.

And I’m willing to bet that you could fill pages recounting all of the times you’ve been brave and gotten into that arena, even though you were afraid that you’d fail or that the sky would come crashing down.

I’m also willing to bet that even if you failed, the sky stayed put.

You’re braver than you think, if you’ve lived at all, because you’ve faced unknowns and it’s the unknown that scares us mere mortals. It doesn’t even have to be a truly terrifying unknown that we face down and conquer. Brave is brave is brave. If you were afraid of getting on the roller-coaster or getting on the bike or getting the guts to get on with life after a loss, but you did it anyway, you have been brave.

You’ve been brave, at least once and probably a whole lot more than that. But even if you’ve only been brave once, you can be brave again because courage is a muscle that you’ve spent a lifetime building, even if you don’t know it, so no matter what you’re facing today or what you will face tomorrow, you really do have the strength to face it.

It might be a new unknown. In fact, it probably is. Once you’ve stared down a dragon, that particular beast generally won’t frighten you anymore. His cousins might be able to, but he won’t.

The good news is that you already know how to stare down a dragon. You’ve done it every time you’ve faced hard news, faced a loss, or lost face. You’ve certainly done it if you’ve ever had to start over.

You, my friend, have been brave before.

And you’re brave now.

Braver than you think.



“Promise me you’ll always remember that you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” (~Christopher Robin)

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