What's the bravest thing you've ever done?
I love this question. It makes me think about times in my life when I've done something significant, something that stretched me... that made me feel good. Something that irrevocably, changed me.
What comes to mind for you? Is it something physical you did like run a marathon, ski down a steep mountain, bungee jump into deep waters, save a drowning person, or walk over to someone and ask them for a date? I recently wrote a blog about how I was brave enough to hitch-hike overland from London to Australia when I was nineteen. Sure, there was a certain amount of naivety in me, but there had to have also been some bravery going on within me.
But THE BRAVEST THING I'VE EVER DONE; what really took guts for me, what really surpassed any physical challenge I've ever had to endure, has been without a doubt, having the courage to TELL THE TRUTH about my life.
There was the truth that I was in the wrong relationship... I had to tell my decent and kind partner that that I didn't love him, and that I couldn't live with him anymore.
There was the truth about my uninspiring career. I had to admit it was all wrong for me even though I had made a hefty investment in time and money in graduate school.
I had to tell the truth that I was terrified of feeling bored... to admit that I wanted out of my mediocre life. I had to tell the truth that I can't pretend happiness when I wasn't feeling it.
And there was the painful truth that even though I was terrified of change, that was precisely the thing I needed most.
It took me years to get around to telling the truth. All of those years of holding back, stuffing down emotions, pretending that my OK life was the best it was going to get. And the saddest irony that I discovered is that the TRUTH that I feared telling was the very thing that would set me on my right path. It was the thing that would bring me JOY.
What I didn't know back then is that there was this whole new life on the other side waiting for me to step into.
Consider these questions:
- If you were to really LISTEN to your life, what is it saying to you?
- What feels-off or skewed in your life?
- What areas of your life are you afraid to question and listen to?
- What are you putting up with and tolerating?
Telling the truth about my life was brave because it involved taking a risk and stepping into the unknown. And there were a lot of unknowns when I faced my truths. Would I find love again?... would I ever find my right work?... am I being greedy?... shouldn't I just make the best of what I had?
Ultimately, I didn't know how things would work out. Some would call it a leap of faith. And it was. But there was also an inner knowing and trust that the path of truth was the right direction. How could I go wrong? And indeed, it proved to be right.
What area of your life are you wanting to listen to? What needs to change for you? Why? You can leave a comment below.