Writer’s Blog

When We Are Brave.

And how bravery helps us discover what we are capable of.

Yesterday I was brave.

Braver than I can remember being for a long time.

My bravery didn’t start on Friday.

Decide to learn.

I had a shopping trip planned with my mother-in-law for black Friday. I was excited and nervous and scared. Not for the reasons that you may be thinking of.

My mother-in-law and I don’t share a common language. She has done an incredible job of bridging that gap with English, while I’ve been struggling even to start speaking Dutch.

Last time we went shopping, she carried the whole day. She spoke English and was an excellent communicator. I couldn’t help but feel both guilty and jealous. I felt guilty that I couldn’t speak Dutch yet, and I felt jealous that she had managed to excel at English so quickly!

Last time we went shopping I got the kick in the butt that I needed to start speaking Dutch. I was inspired by her bravery to start really throwing myself into learning this new language.

So I buckled down and did at least an hour of Dutch every weekday. I did online programs and watched Dutch movies, listened to music. I forced my husband to speak to me in Dutch by pretending that I didn’t understand what he was saying in English and essentially took learning a new language seriously for once.

Yesterday something incredible happened.

Decide to try.

I spoke Dutch (badly) in a public place and tried to talk with someone (badly) in Dutch.

I spoke more Dutch yesterday than ever, and it was wonderful.

Not only did I get to surprise my mother-in-law with my speaking ability, but I felt like I finally was beginning to fit in the Netherlands.

I could see myself belonging here.

I tried my best at using the language, and sure, I was probably tough to understand. My sentences were most likely more scrambled than an egg at breakfast time, and my pronunciation definitely left something to be desired.

But I decided to speak Dutch despite my inability.

How does this apply to you?

I don’t know what the thing you’re trying to conquer looks like.

It could be learning a new skill, trying to reach a milestone or just sharing something that you don’t know if you’re ready to share.

It could be something that I would never guess.

What I do know is that unless you rip off the band-aid and build up your bravery you’ll never do the thing you’re attempting to do.

I can only speak for writing and languages, but if I didn’t start hitting the publish button a few months ago, I wouldn’t be where I am.

If I didn’t take steps to start speaking before I was ‘ready’ I’d still be at level one.

If you don’t start working towards and preparing for the things that you want to accomplish in life, you’re not going to make it there. Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to roll out of bed and be great at what you’re passionate about.

The good news is that humans are excellent learners. We are always developing and growing! I can’t wait to see what you do with your bravery. As always, I cannot wait to see you on the bookshelf!

Author, writer and general young unprofessional!

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