A few weeks ago I sat down with my friend–we’ll call her Sam–who wanted to share a major life decision. Sam has dreamt her entire life of living in Nashville and working in the entertainment industry. She is incredibly talented, driven, and creative. I fully believe she will find success pursuing what she loves.
But Sam has come to the point where she has decided to move away from Nashville, back to her home state.
To a lot of people, this is going to look like failure. It’s going to look like Sam has given up on her dream, or worse– that she is a fool for moving back home. But it doesn’t stop with other people’s judgement. It will be easy for Sam to give other people’s opinion a voice in her own head. Fear will breed off of those voices, and before she knows it, Sam will be hearing lies played over and over in her head. You’re a quitter. You’re not good enough. You’re walking away from your dream. You’ll move back home and fade into oblivion.
That is the risk she is taking. She has made a decision that in her gut, heart, and mind, she knows is right. And she’s going for it. Despite what other people may think.
Far too often, we cower from making a difficult decision because we fear how others may perceive it. We shrink back from doing what we know is right, because we’re afraid people around us will judge it as wrong.
I’ve noticed this more and more in my own life. Most of the time, for me, being brave means making the right decision in the face of judgement from others.
I put way too much stock in what other people think. And that, my friends, is bondage. When I care about the judgement of others, I enslave myself to them.
I love the Sara Barielles video above. Those people are recklessly dancing and enjoying themselves in a public space, where everyone around them is laughing, pointing, perceiving them as strange, weird, and worse. I bet when they recorded themselves dancing only 1 or 2 people, walked by and thought, “That is awesome.” But if those dancers had let how others may perceive them influence their decision to dance in public, they never would have done it. And they would have missed out on an incredibly exhilarating, fun, and freeing afternoon.
So what decision are you cowering away from because you’re worried about what others may think? Be brave, my friend. Be brave.