7 Ways To Be Brave When Your Knees Are Shaking

Hurricane Sandy just hit the East Coast. Horrifically, some lost their lives. Some lost everything they ever worked for. Some lost their homes for the short-term and some simply lost some sleep.

Manhattan was literally blacked out and taking on water in the subway systems. The David Letterman audience wasn’t there for the monologue and the Good Morning America Extreme Weather team was reporting from all over the East Coast.

Sometimes life can feel like a hurricane, things swirling about us threatening to destroy our sanity and our safe places. But what if some of those places we believe to be our refuge really aren’t that safe? What if our sanity needed shaking up a bit. What if it’s time for us to start over in a new place, in a new life, in a new destiny.

Maybe you’re a little too comfortable.

Maybe life is a little too easy.

Maybe it’s time to s-t-r-e-t-c-h.

Bravery is mostly taught to be a guy thing. You know, Gladiator and Braveheart. The Wild West. Warriors and weapons. Women seldom hear the words “Be brave.” So I’m going to tell you.

Be brave.

I even want you to join a club. It’s free and it will teach you how to be braver than you ever knew how. It’s called the Brave Girls Club. You can check it out by going to http://www.BraveGirlsClub.com.

But how can you be really brave when your knees are shaking? How can you be brave when you want to run away and hide? That’s a girl thing. Wanting to be taken care of. Wanting to be comforted and shielded from harm. A girl thing. NOT a woman thing.

A woman has to be brave. A woman who wants to control her own destiny MUST be brave.

Bravery is learned. You get braver every time you take a step toward making your own decisions without relying on what everyone else thinks. You get braver when you speak up in your own defense, even if it’s simply to tell a waitress she brought the wrong order. You get braver when you decide that your life is your own, and that it’s magical and spiritual and that it really, really matters.

Be brave.

Here’s 7 ways to be brave when your knees are literally shaking:
#1: Breathe. B-R-E-A-T-H-E. When emotion overwhelms you, breathing can center you. Take a deep breathe and start again.

#2: Make eye contact. Don’t look down or around or at your feet. When you’ve got something to take care of, let your eyes make the statement.

#3: Wear an amazing bra and underwear. There’s something about feminine power that’s unleashed when you look good underneath.

#4: Pray. God is on your side. He wants you to be brave. He made you strong and confident. Own it.

#5: Call a friend. Tell her to tell you to ‘be brave’. Have her kick you in the butt if you need it. Sometimes knowing you have an ally in your corner makes all the difference. (This isn’t about asking her opinion…this is to say I’m going to do this and I need you in my corner.)

#6: Don’t overthink. Women get paralyzed in their own heads. Don’t retreat…attack. Move forward. Be brave.

#7: Pretend. No one can tell the difference. They don’t know your blood pressure is on the rise or that your palms are sweating. Pretending (faking it) is sometimes the best way to getting what you want.

I was a 23-year old ad agency exec (aka grunt) who knew I was severely underpaid. I was also privey to what others were making. My boss called me in at review time to give me a $3,000 raise. I told him “I was more valuable to the firm.” That’s all I said. I am more valuable. His response…”you’re right”. Your raise is $7,000. I was brave. (Oh alright, young and maybe a bit arrogant and stupid too.)

If I hadn’t been brave, I’d have been $4,000 poorer.

I would’ve resented the staff I knew was making more than me, while I was doing better work.

I probably would’ve quit soon thereafter to go to a better job.

But I didn’t have to because even though my knees were shaking and I thought I was going to cry, I said my peace. I was brave.

In spite of what’s going on in your life, be it a hurricane or a thunderstorm or a broken relationship or a broken heart, you can be brave. It’s in you.

Art image by Mae Chevrette (she’s got really, really cool art…check out her Etsy shop at http://maechevrette.etsy.com )
Thousands of brave women subscribe to The Brave Girls Club (www.BraveGirlsClub.com) created by Kathy Wilkins & Melody Ross. Join them.