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Why I Love the Phrase “Be Brave”

My box turtle, Bruce (right), being brave enough to approach Malti, my redfoot tortoise….he has a little crush on her!

In my last post here, I shared my somewhat grumpy thoughts about the phrase “be fearless.”

But that was the last post. And today in my 30-day yoga journey (which is sort of like a 45-day or 60-day journey by now) our teacher, Adrienne, chose the theme of “be brave.”

And I loved it!

It reminds me of the Sara Bareilles song “Brave” (and my previous blog post about that awesome little number).

That song make me actually feel brave! So does hearing someone say to me “be brave.”

It’s like my fight-or-flight system – the same exact system that reacts with overt hostility to the phrase “be fearless” – gets all giddy when it hears “be brave.” I can almost feel it inside me, revving up its little survivalist engines, waving its arms in the air and calling “Pick me! Pick me! I’m brave!”

I can’t really explain why this gets my limbic brain so jazzed …. I just know that it does.

But I think I do know why I love the phrase “be brave” so much. It is because “be brave” doesn’t try to ignore or crowd out or discount or disprove my fear. There is fear underneath every act of bravery – I am truly convinced of this, at least through my own personal experiences of bravery thus far.

“Be brave” is like a short and far less cliched way to say “feel the fear and do it anyway,” which I don’t really like because it focuses on the fear I am feeling. “Be brave” doesn’t ignore my fear, but it doesn’t shine a spotlight on it either.

It just says “okay, you there, yes, the one shaking and quaking in her flip-flops, wanna give being brave a try? 

And through trembling lips and numb tongue and icy cold fingers and shaky balance, I manage to nod my head and say “yes!” In those moments, trust me, I want nothing more in this world than to be brave.

“Be brave” reminds me I can. It reminds me that fear is normal. It is natural – perhaps more for some of us than for others, but we all have it programmed in there somewhere. There isn’t something wrong with me or different about me that I am feeling fear. This doesn’t necessarily mean I should turn and run or hide or count myself out of whatever it is that is provoking the fearful response.

It’s a part of life to have fear. But it is also a part of life to be brave. And that is a part of life I really want to experience more of!

Today’s Takeaway: Do you have a favorite phrase or song or poem or piece of art that helps you to feel more brave? How do you feel about the intersection of fear and bravery? If you’ve never heard the Sara Bareilles song “Brave,” it’s one of my absolute favorites! Give it a listen if you like (I love the video too!) and share your thoughts here! 🙂

Why I Love the Phrase “Be Brave”

Shannon Cutts


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APA Reference
Cutts, S. (2018). Why I Love the Phrase “Be Brave”. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 11, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/mentoring-recovery/2018/04/why-i-love-the-phrase-be-brave/

 

Last updated: 21 May 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 May 2018
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.