Don’t be brave, just be braver
What does it take to re-write a better story for yourself?
If you’re looking for something more, if you want to re-imagine yourself, where do you start?
Do you need to begin with a blank piece of paper?
Short answer: No, you don’t.
I recently went on a tropical vacation with a good friend. Usually I prefer “travel” to “vacation” but sometimes a girl just needs some sun, stat.
On our first morning there, a storm had passed through. The weather had improved but it made for a windy morning. The ocean was rough. The sun was battling with the clouds, and the clouds were winning.
But we were curious, and eager, and decided to check out the beach.
Nobody else was there.
Except for the pelicans diving for fish, the beach was completely quiet.
Despite the clouds and the wind, the ocean water was remarkably warm. We weren’t allowed to swim, but I waded in.
I looked around and realized in this big, beautiful beach that spanned for miles, I was the only person in the ocean.
Just me, and the pelicans.
I thought about all the other vacationers who had naturally chosen to hang by the pool, where it was less windy. They just assumed it was better there. That the beach would be unpleasant.
But they were wrong. The beach was beautiful.
And I realized something.
Sometimes you don’t have to be all that brave to get the really good, juicy experiences of life. You just have to be a little braver than most people.
You don’t have to do things radically different. You just have to take an extra few steps. Be a little bit curious. Enough to poke your head around the sand dunes and feel the water on your feet.
It reminded me of the old joke (and analogy):
“How do you outrun a bear?”
“You don’t have to outrun the bear, you just have to outrun the slowest person running from him.”
Obviously, the point is to be just a little better than your competition. Or, if it’s self-improvement you’re after, you don’t have to be the best, you just have to be a little better than before.
I’ve heard that story before but it didn’t really click. Probably because I wasn’t ready to hear it.
Because “a little bit more” isn’t sexy. Isn't it more appealing to imagine this scenario: I'll outrun everybody, go for help, rescue the humans, get the bear into some kind of environmental protection, and receive a medal from the mayor.
But that story’s kind of bull shit (bear shit?).
Because you don’t have to be the hero to get the prize.
You don’t have to outrun everybody. Chances are, you just need a step or two more. Just the willingness, the curiosity, or the courage to wander a little further.
So here is my message, fellow storytellers (and re-tellers): if you’re working on re-constructing the story of who you are, test the theory of your limitations – just a little bit.
Think you’re not brave? Then don’t try to be brave. Just be a little braver.
Go a step or two further.
You might be surprised by what you find.
Do you have a story to tell?
Storytelling is for everyone: even if you're scared of writing or don't know where to start! My book can help. Express who YOU are with more confidence, clarity and courage. My digital workbook, Share Your Story, will guide you through the storytelling process.
Learn more here: www.camilledeputter.com/shareyourstory