Whenever we hear of someone being brave, we think of them taking action — standing up for themselves, doing that scary thing, or actively helping another person.
But sometimes being brave means not doing anything at all. Being brave could mean sitting back and letting things be. And as a person who loves to take action and control everything, being brave and letting things be is extremely hard for me.
When I have a “negative” feeling, I want to make it go away. So I manipulate it, talk about it to whomever will listen, allow my thoughts to spiral down into a rabbit hole, and continue to obsess over it hours later.
But actually feeling the feeling and not trying to take action to overcome it is the bravest thing I could do. And guess what? When I’m brave and feel my feelings rather than think my feelings, that feeling has no fuel to live on and it goes away on its own much more quickly than when I “do” something about it.
Another way my love for taking action shows up is through giving advice. I love being there for someone when they need me. But sometimes being there means not actively doing anything at all — not giving advice and not trying to fix the situation for them.
Oftentimes the bravest thing I could do for them is be a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen, and a voice that acknowledges them and lets them know that they are loved. And if they do want advice? I’ll allow them to be brave and ask for what they need from me.
Be unconventionally brave today, whatever that means for you.