What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
I asked this question last week and was flooded with hundreds of great responses.
Here are many of them, with links to the people who were brave enough to share. (All of these comments were shared publicly, and there are also 80+ responses on our Facebook page.)
ferolea: Quitting my job go around the world was easy. Coming back… that’s the bravest I’ve been.
coffeeshopchat: I saved a drowning boy when I wasn’t much older than he. Was I brave? No, but others thought otherwise. I just did.
abbysname: Moved to Saudi Arabia as a woman.
avalonmel: Agreed to teach uni computer science course to 130+ students when I was 22… and afraid of public speaking.
ourborder: Brave is a funny word. I was more afraid of becoming a father than driving into Haiti post-earthquake.
LMBGoodwin: Cold-called the father I had never met (I was 17).
jenlouden: Fell in love after a divorce and blended our familes
adam_mayfield: Buying my ticket to Thailand and leaving for overseas for the first time
HiroBoga: Moved halfway across the world. Birthed my sons. Three months in silent retreat.
lindaeatsworld: Quit a career job in 2009 without anything lined up
thinkc: Admitted I couldn’t ‘power through’ my bad situation and got help
moonslark: The bravest thing I have ever done is leave an abusive (but financially secure) marriage to become a healthy mother
ctovarez: The bravest thing I have ever done is get married and have children.
Karl_Staib: 3 way tie. Moved away from my family, fought off cancer, and learning to just relax in the moment.
PhotosRmyStry: The bravest thing I’ve ever (so far) done was jump out of a plane… it helped me face my fears of heights and flying.
heidirettig: Write to someone I hadn’t spoken with for 20 years and offer them an apology for the hurt I caused. Turned out well.
intuitivebridge: Faced my kid’s neurodevelopmental disabilities.
AlexisNeely: Decided to take the plunge and rebuild a team again.
kyeli: The bravest thing I’ve ever done was to become a mother. Runner up: becoming myself.
robferriol: Quit a six-figure job at the height of a recession and 10% unemployment
hovlandphoto: The first time was joining Peace Corps.
SaiChoo: Tell a female friend that I liked her.
Brandon101: My decision to pursue Spirit of the Gulf Coast despite not having financial resources or a plan to pull it off
LilyIatridis: First thing that comes to mind is standing up to my father.
jalaine: Deciding to become a stay-at-home dad. Today was my last day at work.
cherrypop94: I’m not sure if it’s brave, but I tried to climb down a cliff to the sea wearing sandals and a dress. Got in trouble, too.
TaraEAnderson: Became a parent.
GennaMcWhinnie: Wrote an open letter to the management [cc’d to all staff] to tell them they treated their staff like shit. Then I quit.
TylerLClark: I moved halfway across the country for an unpaid internship. At the end, they offered me a job. Glad I took the risk!
erdoland: Quit my teaching job to write full time. It sounds silly now, on this side of it, but I was terrified.
lbhuston: Learned to take a stand when something meaningful is at stake. Taken a personal hit to help others less fortunate.
Lorraine_TLA: Bravest thing: adopting a child. Everyone had horror stories to tell me. It was a leap of faith and has worked out beautifully.
FrancescaMaz: At 17, took off for college to a school where I knew no one. 1st time away from family. Built foundation of self-confidence
thisKat: Grew a company x3 and a baby at the same time.
unbjames: coming out of the closet. one by one, we are destroying stereotypes by showing we come from different walks of life
ShimmerGeek: Going along to Roller Derby on my own (Despite massive social anxiety and a life of sucking at anything atheletic)
opheliaswebb: Called off my wedding. And killed a spider in the shower. Equally terrifying.
My belief about fear and courage is that all of us are scared of all kinds of things, so the wrong approach is to pretend to be fearless. Instead, acknowledge your fears, but proceed anyway.
I also think there is a link between what we are afraid of and what we really want to do. The choice to bridge this gap is where bravery comes from.
So how about you—what’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?