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If you want to live a successful life, you need to be brave and persistent. Success can be defined however you want it to be. If you want to grow and accomplish anything, you have to push past your fears and not give up.
Learning to be brave and persistent
I want to share with you what my life experiences have been with learning to be brave and persistent. I hope that it inspires you to work through your fears and to be bold.
We need more people in this world who will step outside their comfort zone and try. I hope that as you read this something comes to mind in how you can take a small step towards bravery in your own life.
Learning how to be brave
Bravery looks different for each person. It doesn’t have to be something grandiose. Any time we change any habit or try anything new, it can take an element of bravery.
To understand bravery, it helps to first understand our fears. Did you know that the most common fear is public speaking? Some of you may be breaking out into a cold sweat just reading that.
Many people fear rejection and/or failure. It is common to not try new things because it is risky. You don’t want to look silly. You don’t want people to laugh at you.
And I get it. I’ve felt all of those same things too, but then I started pushing the boundaries and trying things I didn’t want to because I wanted to challenge myself.
What I found on the other side was freedom. I also discovered that regret is a lot scarier than failure.
Trying to live simply and intentionally can take bravery. It isn’t easy to be different. Choosing less in a culture of excess requires that we have confidence in our choices and we’re ok not going with the flow.
What bravery looks like
As a kid, I was painfully shy. I remember hiding behind my mom’s legs when people would try to talk to me.
I would walk to a local drugstore, but was afraid to interact with the clerk so I would beg anyone who was with me to buy my popsicle for me.
As I got older, I worked through my shyness. I learned how to speak up and advocate for myself. This was never a problem for me at home (just ask my dad) but it was a challenge in other situations.
When I was in my twenties, I decided after a break up that I would spend the next year saying yes to anyone who asked me out on a date. My social circle was mostly my church so that didn’t seem too scary, but it did feel brave since I had pretty specific ideas about who was datable.
That year led to some interesting and funny experiences. It opened my mind about things I thought I needed or didn’t need in someone I dated. It also left me with some good stories for later in life.
I’ve continued getting braver as I’ve
matured aged. There is something about motherhood that breaks you of any feelings you had about caring how you appear.
Learning how to be persistent
Persistence pays off. It does. Because you can never win if you quit.
Starting this blog a year ago stretched me to be both more brave and persistent. I knew that not everything would go well.
I knew I would hear no’s and get rejected. And I have, but I haven’t let it stop me. It’s made me more determined.
If I wasn’t willing to take that risk I’d never get any of the opportunities I have to meet people I admire, to write for sites I dreamed of, to achieve goals and keep striving to aim higher.
I met my blogging mentor in July because I was brave enough to ask and persistent enough to follow through when I got a yes. I wrote for my favorite blog just a few weeks ago because I was willing to step out on a limb (and because he was incredibly kind and generous).
Those things couldn’t have happened if I wasn’t willing to try.
I’m a bit rebellious. Not in a scandalous way, but in a non-conformist way (that’s probably why I’ll never be an actual minimalist). In the I’m gonna chart my own path and you can’t tell me I can’t kind of way.
I’m oddly motivated by hearing no. I take it as a challenge. It means I either need to work harder or find a new path.
I’m competitive even if it is only against myself. My standards are high and I want to constantly prove myself. It isn’t for how I appear to other people though. It’s to prove it to me.
Comfortable equals stagnant, so look for ways to do challenging things.
When I started this blog I intentionally made a choice to be bold. I was going to do things that make me uncomfortable (um, videos) so that I could grow. It’s hard work, but persistence does pay off (eventually).
I accept the no’s as part of the process. Yes it is sometimes disappointing, but I don’t let myself get stuck there. I choose to continue moving forward trying different things. I won’t let other people’s no’s hold me back from my goals.
The way I figure it, either I get a guaranteed no because I don’t even try or I am willing to risk getting a no that could actually end up as a yes.
Don’t be your own no.
Your goals will look different than mine, but I bet there is something that scares you that you want to do. Something new you want to try or an area you want to grow in. Life is short. Try it.
We often imagine the consequences of failure to be worse than they are and diminish what succeeding would be like.
Blogging has challenged me to do things that are uncomfortable often. Initially, it was hard for me to write about my story. I didn’t know how much I wanted to share with the world.
It’s hard to know if people will listen or care about what you have to say. Writing is a way of sharing your thoughts and your heart. It’s vulnerable. There is no way to know how you’ll be received or what response you’ll get.
There is a reason approximately one million people have started blogs and 99% of them quit. (in full disclosure, I completely made up those statistics).
It’s hard work. It may just appear to be random ramblings of an online journal, but the business of blogging has changed dramatically in recent years. There were so many things to learn.
This isn’t about blogging though. I’m sharing my challenges and experience in how I’ve learned to be brave and persistent in the hope that it will inspire you.
This is about how you want to show up in your life.
What about you?
- What are your goals and dreams?
- Who do you want to be?
- Where do you want to grow?
- What kind of example do you want to set?
- What are your gifts and how do you want to use them?
The exciting thing is, you can change and learn how to be brave and persistent starting today. By taking one step and then the next.
When you learn anything new it requires work, focus, and getting uncomfortable. That is how you grow. You can’t grow if you won’t stretch. If you get too comfortable, you become stagnant.
As you continually step outside your comfort zone and learn, you will grow in your confidence. Things get easier as you practice them. That thing that seemed so scary at first will get easier and easier as you continue to do it.
What’s one small step you can make today?
Who do you have in your life that will help keep you accountable?
You may surprise yourself and end up inspiring others.
I never would have thought that shy little girl would now be challenging you to be brave and persistent too. You just never know.
Is fear holding you back in your life? Learn more about how fear is impacting you by taking the free fear assessment. If you’d like some additional resources on these topics, I recommend these books:
If you enjoy listening to podcasts, this episode where Ruth interviews Hal is incredibly inspiring.
I want to see you show up and be brave and persistent in your own life.
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