Bravery Is Taking One Step, Then Another, And Another
“Running away from your problems is a race that you will never win” – Unknown
What is the difference between
leaving something that doesn’t serve you
and running away?
I think it is several things. The realization that there is nothing that you can do to change the situation. You can only change yourself. If the situation doesn’t change after that, then it is time to ask yourself “why am I still here?”.
Years ago I have interviewed for a new job and was hired. The first hour of my first day at the new job, I knew that I had made a mistake. The owner of the company had a lot of anger issues in how he treated his employees. He wasn’t the person I had interviewed with and when I was shown around the office he wasn’t there. If he had been, and I saw how he treated his employees I never would have accepted the position. As an example he would walk around the office and open the paper drawers for the fax machines. If they were down even a few sheets of paper, and even if the receptionist had filled them 5 minutes ago he would start yelling and cursing at her.
The Saturday of my first week there, I went into the office to set up my desk with the various underwriting guidelines they used for several different companies. While I was there, the owner of the company came in and we started talking. I had already worked for an owner like him, and I had sworn I would never allow someone to treat me like that again. So I told him very clearly that the first time he yelled and swore at me, like I had seen him do to others, would be the day I quit.
“Be Brave. Remember that bravery is not the lack of fear, but the ability to move forward in spite of fear” – Unknown
The day eventually came when it happened. I went into the storage area and grabbed a box, and started putting my personal things in the box. Shocked, he asked me what I was doing. I reminded him of that conversation and said I was quitting. As far as I know, I was the first person that he ever apologized to for his bad behavior, and he never yelled or swore at me again.
Now I needed that job to support my family. But I had made a promise to myself to never let anyone demean me again. It took a tremendous amount of courage to go and grab that box. I was determined to be true to my word to myself. I chose to love myself, over fear of losing the job and income needed to support my family. Does thinking about that scare you, as much as it scared me?
“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think” – A. A. Milne
- your employment
- your family
- your spouse
- your friends
have you stayed in instead of leaving? You tell yourself that you have no choice but to stay. But you always have choices. Your happiness starts with you. Not only how you treat yourself, but how you give permission to others to treat you. I could only make that choice because I loved myself, and trusted that doing the right thing would work out in the end.
“With courage you will dare to take risks, have the strength to be compassionate, and the wisdom to be humble. Courage is the foundation of integrity” – Mark Twain
The job, the relationships with friends and family, this is not what makes you happy or unhappy. It is how you treat yourself with the inner voice inside your head. The way you talk to and about yourself, is how you give unconscious permission for others to treat you. You cannot leave the key to your happiness in the pocket of someone else. If you do, then you have given away your power by crushing your ability to experience true happiness.
How does our inner voice talk to you? Words like, “you are so sensitive, can’t you take a joke?”, or “how stupid can I be?” or, “how naive and gullible you are”, or “You are making things worse, this is all your fault”. “I am always that last choice, never good enough.” “I should walk around with a capital L on my forehead I’m such a loser”.
“If you’re brave to say “good bye”. life will reward you with a new “hello”. He also said, “You are what you believe yourself to be” – Paulo Coelho
The only way to discover what you are truly capable of, is to take leaps of faith across the chasms. To leap up into the heights of trees. It is what is necessary to push out the boundaries of your comfort zone, or to decrease the size of your tolerance zone, whichever the case may be.
“Note to self: You don’t have to be brave every single minute. Sometimes, you rest. You say, “I’m not brave enough for that . . . right now”. But you will be. Soon” – Nanea Hoffman
Refuse to be confined by accepting a mere existence for life. Existence isn’t real security, it’s a cage. May your heart be brave, your mind be fierce, and your spirit be free.
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are” – e.e. cummings