Rough Week, Staying Brave

*deep breath in*

This past week has been a major whirlwind, but a great teacher when it came down to learning more about myself.

Within the past couple of days, I have had many situations that really tested my bravery.  Interestingly enough, I managed to step up to the challenges.  To be blunt about one of my challenges, I had to have a serious conversation with someone about the way they were making me feel – something I wasn’t looking forward to.  When the first opportunity came to have the conversation, I actually surprised myself by not running away.  Meaning, I didn’t put it off for another hour, day, week, or month.  I didn’t give any excuses.  The situation presented itself when it did, and while I could have given an excuse to buy more time, I didn’t.  I knew that I had to ‘step up to the plate’.

I went into the conversation holding my head up high and just voiced my honest concerns.  Why must we hold things back from others and continue to carry the ‘pain’?  If you really want something to change, it’s important to be upfront about it, but always in a calm and non-accusatory fashion.  And that’s what I did.  In the end, I felt better that things were out in the open; we came to a mutual agreement and was happy we did.  But, if another conversation decides to come up, then I will welcome it with open arms, because it’s another chance to be even more confident and clear with how you want to live your life.

And that’s the thing about life, there are many obstacles; some are smaller than others, but they are of a kind that you can overcome.

One of the biggest obstacles? Overcoming onself.  Because think about it, when situations like the one above come up, we tend to freak out, not think clearly, and anticipate only non-pleasant things. We start to come up with a thousand and one different scenarios and start to scare ourselves; we start to build fear into our own minds.  In the end, we freak out and think we cannot handle what was just served to us.

I’m not a professional on ‘life’ by any means, but I have been learning a lot about bravery and building my confidence.  I want to share something I do that works for me when it comes to unforeseen circumstances and, who knows, it may help someone out there, too:

If you are faced with an unforeseen, perhaps uncomfortable, situation:
(1) stop, pause, or halt
(2) take a deep breath in (from the belly!)
(3) say “OKAY.” and keep your cool (maybe throw in the tiniest of smiles)
(4) know that things will be figured out, an outcome does exist and
(5) start to calmly take it step by step

Because truth of the matter is, we start to build fear within ourselves and we become our own worst enemy.  Thinking of how something will happen and the possible outcomes would drive anyone crazy.  And if you keep buying yourself time, putting it off again and again, chances are that it will start to consume your attention more and more.  By taking it easy, though, and taking the initial time to remain calm, we can overcome more situations with a bigger sense of confidence and clearer sense of direction.  Being brave again and again will, ultimately, make you stronger- again and again.

Personally, I am really starting to see how I am growing and I absolutely love it.  Life isn’t easy, and if it weren’t for these challenges, I wouldn’t really know what a struggle may be.  I wouldn’t have the opportunity to push myself and grow.  And that’s something we should accept when it arrives and see it as an opportunity to build upon.

So I invite you to be brave and build more confidence.  Continue to look at the world around you and focus on how you would like your future to be.  If it can come out of me, one of the most [back ‘then’] sensitive, afraid, and unconfident of people, and build myself up for a better today and tomorrow, I know for certain it can come out from anyone else!

Enjoy your life, be happy, and smile.  Remember, you define your life and letting those around you know where you see yourself and what you want to do is a-okay. 🙂

Loren.