I really loved the 25 Small Actions That Are Actually Very Brave list on Buzzfeed so I’m going to grab another five and highlight them today. It’s important to recognize the big moments of bravery AND the little moments.
On the last post we highlighted numbers 1, 3, 5, 6 and 7. I know, random. But those in particular had resonated with me.
So today I’m going to grab the following:
8. When you start up a conversation with a stranger. Sean will tell you I do this all the time.
I will talk to the person in line at the grocery store.
I will talk to the person in the seat next to me on the plane.
I will talk to someone sitting by me in the waiting room.
But there’s plenty of times I’m flat out rejected and I get the “don’t talk to me” look. That’s not embarrassing at all.
And from RUNNERS no less. One time I was given an opportunity from the local MRTT group to attend a very popular runner author/blogger speaking event. The room was filled with women. Women that were runners. It should have been inspiring. Instead I spent two hours without one person speaking to me. I attempted a few conversations ~and for the record I think I can safely say I can make small talk pretty well~ and no one would speak to me. No one. I’ve never felt so uncomfortable. Even at my advanced age, it was middle school cafeteria all over again. Those are the kind of situations that send me retreating.
But if I retreated every time I was uncomfortable or scared I’d never meet the Christina’s of the world. I’ve had the best conversations and made friendships I would never have connected if I hadn’t been brave enough to just speak up.
It’s worth it.
10. When you say no to something you really don’t want, even though it’s going to upset people around you. This is REALLY hard for me. I do not like to upset people. I’d way rather suck it up and do it then say no and make waves. But recently, I’d say in the last year, I’ve found my voice. Or maybe I’ve started finding my voice. In some circumstances I’m able to say unequivocally…I will not be doing that. The answer is no. It’s not good for me and I don’t need to process that kind of stress on top of whatever else is happening. I don’t know if I’m feeling all powerful but my soul is strong. I’ll take that.
12. When you stand up for yourself and your values. We all have personal beliefs we hold dear. Some we are vocal about. Some we are private about. Some are maybe a little of both depending on our audience, right? Making the choice to stand up for yourself and your values…it can be a nothing moment that becomes important in that instant or it can be a life changing moment…whichever it is be proud of yourself for standing strong. This is not an easy task right now and putting yourself out there is risky. Brave indeed.
An addendum to this: I personally have great admiration for someone (that rarest of creatures) who changes their mind. I KNOW…Did you know such a creature exists? Someone who becomes better educated. Hears discussion on both sides…Maybe only heard one side before and after hearing the other side stepped up and said….I get it. I never knew that. I understand. This is not only brave but this person I have such respect for. Because they exposed their most vulnerable selves and admitted they might be wrong.
13. When you’re the first to reach out and say I’m sorry. Let’s keep this short and sweet. Just freakin’ apologize. Is it REALLY THAT IMPORTANT? You and I both know it isn’t. And in my experience…once you apologize, the other person does, too and then BAM (didn’t mean to scare you) you have a conversation. And check it out…the misunderstanding is explained and hopefully avoided next time. All because what??? You were brave.
**below are some examples of how to apologize…Like Sesame street…some are better than others**
14. When you accept that you just can’t control everything, even though that thought makes you anxious. Oh MAN was this one written for me. When I was leaving work I had piles and piles of file maintenance I was desperate to “complete” before I left. But I can’t do it if these six other people don’t. So I have no control over it. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t think straight.
I worked ridiculous hours trying to get as much of it done as possible. And at some point I realized I had to get whatever I could get done and just prepare the rest for the next person because I didn’t have any control over it. I didn’t love coming to that conclusion. I don’t love settling. But this was what I had to work with and my choices were either never sleep again, don’t quit my job or freaking learn acceptance.
Sigh. I learned it. It was a very very hard lesson. I didn’t like it but I could breathe again.
So there you go. My next five favorites. In case you’re wondering why I’m skipping around and not following the list completely it’s because these were the point on the list I personally really found that grabbed me.