Living Bravely, Asserting Yourself

July 9, 2019

Think about your life thus far...In what situations where you a lion and which were you a lamb. When faced with a challenge or a difficult situation do you stand your ground and defend your point of view or do you find comfort in retreating and avoiding it altogether?

I would like to insert another alternative, a wise owl - one who neither roars nor hides but one who has patience and is mindful about their approach. Sometimes we associate being brave and assertive with being hard and confrontational but that isn’t true.  Let’s look at them all and when you can find power in each one.

Living your life like a lion means knowing your own strength. What if a lion thought it was weaker than antelope, wildebeests, and zebras? It would starve! Instead, lions are so confident in their strength that they will even attempt to take down elephants (if other food is scarce)! Are you thinking about a lion you attempted to or accomplished in taking down? 

One of the saddest ways to live your life is being blind to your own strength(s). Here’s the tricky thing: the world won’t tell you your strength.

It’s something you must learn on your own… in the wild. You have to figure out what you CAN do and basically force it upon the world. Think about your own self-discovery….have you uncovered a hidden strength? Maybe it took a tough situation to call attention to it. Well, now you know….let’s think about how you can leverage it. 

Maybe the thought of roaring like a lion is terrifying …..maybe you identify more with the calmness of a lamb?

We tend to think of a lamb as weak and vulnerable but there is power in these characteristics. Sheep is a meek animal. They are usually very quiet and gentle, holding themselves aloof from the world. In a herd, all the sheep tend to listen to their leaders and show esteem to them. Because of the obedient character, sheep are among the most popular animals beloved by mankind.

Having a joyful, playful and even vulnerable side is living brave. Showing the true authentic you is one of the bravest things you can do. In a world of false reality and sharing the edited version of your life….honesty and authenticity is rare or quite possibly, extinct. 

“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage,” affirms research professor and author Brené Brown in Rising Strong.

Different seasons of life call for different personas. As you are evolving and committed to learning and growing it’s easier to adopt new ideas and points of view. As a wise ol’owl you’ve learned a thing or two. Usually through trials and tribulations...sometimes you’ve been overly confident and ROARED without justification and other times you’ve cowered and retreated when you had every reason to stand your ground. These are all learning opportunities that made you who you are today. Then you enter a season of enlightenment and are once again open to new ideas and revelations about life and who you are. The wise Ol’Owl takes his time and reflects - weighing out all options. Relying on his past attempts and learnings and understanding where modifications need to be made. 

You can live brave by taking a moment to evaluate your challenges, look at it from all angles to find the best solution to the problem. Being a problem solver means taking time to understand the challenge and evaluate all the possible solutions. Being assertive can be taking ownership and responsibility for the role you played in your own life and making the necessary changes to grow and to move on. We only learn from our own mistakes if we first own and claim responsibility.

Challenge: Draw on your lion moments and infuse the wise old owl. Be mindful about what causes you to be brave and when you feel the need to cower. Knowing yourself  - your strengths and your weaknesses means you can be brave and assert yourself with confidence and knowledge.

I Know YOU Can Do It!