You can be brave

I took a speech class when I was in college to help me when speaking in front of crowds of people. It did help, but not how you might think. I never gained the confidence to fearlessly address people, I simply learned how to do it afraid.

To this day I still tremble inside when I have to speak before a large group of people, but my stomach being full of butterflies is something only I notice. Others can’t see that my palms are sweaty, my mind is racing and my knees are knocking. To them, I’m confident and brave.

The thing I noticed about bravery is that it feels like fear, but looks like courage. To everyone else, you appear confident, fearless and heroic, but on the inside you feel nauseous, shaky, and hesitant. You feel as if you are going to faint or melt into a puddle on the floor. I’m so glad that even though I feel as if I’m about to fall apart, I don’t.

Think back at the times you wanted to quit because you were scared. Maybe it was jumping off the high dive at the swimming pool or starting a new school. Maybe it was a new job or learning to ride a bike. Maybe it was becoming a new parent or trying to get a giant bug out of your house.

You kept going even though you were unsure of how things would work out. You were brave. You chose to do the very thing that scared you regardless of how much your heart was racing or the fact that you wanted to give up. You chose to do it afraid.

Everything we do in life has some risk involved. Life itself is full of risks. The moment you get out of bed you are stepping into the unknown, and that can be scary. Some days more so than others, but scary nonetheless.

When I think about what it means to be brave, I think about being afraid but doing it anyway. I think about the times I wanted to quit, but chose to keep going.

Each day you venture out into the unknown, afraid…afraid of what the day may hold or of what tomorrow may bring; your knees are knocking, your palms are sweaty, your heart is trembling, fearful and uncertain, but you do it anyway…that’s being brave.

Bravery isn’t a pill you can take along with your handful of vitamins and meds each day. It’s not a matter of never being afraid. It means pushing past your fears and choosing courage instead.

You are brave whether you feel like it or not if you simply keep going. Remember all the things you’ve overcome, the challenges you’ve faced, the decisions you’ve pushed through…you were brave then, you can be brave again.

When life gives you something that makes you feel afraid, that’s when life gives you a chance to be brave. Be brave my fellow warriors!

MS Gets on My NervesMS WarriorMS Superhero  

About the Author

Penelope Conway

Penelope Conway
Penelope started Positive Living with MS as a way to help others with MS stay positive in the midst of a terrible disease. She believes that staying positive and holding onto hope is the key to waking up each morning with the strength to get through the day. Multiple Sclerosis may never go away, but neither will her determination and her drive to help others through the journey.

11 replies
  1. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    Hi from Queenstown. I have spent last night on a boat parked up in the Douteful Sounds and it was amazing. I used the boat as an exercise machine and worked out how to walk up and down stairs and step over raised ridges on the door entries. Tomorrow we are boating out in the Milford Sounds and I will have a lot of photos to share. I will put them on my Facebook site and you can view them there, That will be done early next week.

  2. Krista
    Krista says:

    Thank you so much for that❤️I’ve been struggling with this. I so want to be the person I was 5yrs ago… and I know it’s not possible, but I keep trying 🙂 it’s comforting because nobody knows,by looking at me, that every step I take is a struggle most days. I am brave✨

  3. Jo Ann Maxwell
    Jo Ann Maxwell says:

    I love what you said—The thing I noticed about bravery is that it feels like fear, but looks like courage. That is so profound!!

  4. Leslie Beaver
    Leslie Beaver says:

    That is the definition of bravery. Knowing all the negative possibilities but chosing to go forward regardless. The brave in war are not the unafraid. Rather, they are the terrified who still do their job.

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