What a Little Dog Can Teach You About Being Brave

Earlier this year, I’d been feeling pretty stuck. I’d been wanting to offer new services for quite some time, and I had lots of ideas, but nothing I came up with felt right.

I know for sure that more than anything, I want to help women build a business that supports them emotionally and financially, in a way that is authentic and brings them and me joy. That, in a nutshell, is my whole reason for being in business.

That is so clear to me, and at the same time I was feeling really stuck. Why couldn’t I figure this out?

I spent a lot of time mulling this over, going back to my purpose, my values, my perfect customer… but I wasn’t finding the answers I wanted. I started to doubt myself, my work, and my value.

Was it not the right time? Is it not the right work? I didn’t believe that, either. Being stuck is a really crappy place to be, and something had to give.

So I turned within, looking even deeper, searching for answers. Then I realized that what I was experiencing was classic resistance. The question then, was what (and why) was I resisting?

Resistance always is related to fear — always.

Sure, there’s always fear when it comes to starting something new, to putting yourself out there — you’re fully exposed and completely vulnerable. But I’ve been down this road with fear before, and I thought I knew how to handle it. Fear, however, is a crafty beast, and never fails to keep me on my toes.

And then early one morning, as I was sitting out on my front step, enjoying the fresh air of spring, Theo came over and dropped his tennis ball at my feet. (If you don’t know Theo, he’s my constant companion. When he’s not wrapped up in a blanket napping, he’s dropping a ball at your feet, begging for a game of fetch.)

I tossed the ball for him. It bounced to the edge of the yard, down over a bank, and rested next to a tree at the edge of the woods. This was a place where Theo doesn’t go. Ever.

He stopped, not sure what to do next. I could tell that he wanted his ball more than anything, but he was afraid to go get it. 

As he stood there, I could see his little mind working, trying to figure out what to do next. I whispered under my breath, “be brave, buddy, be brave”. At that moment, he cautiously took a step forward. He slowly crept down the bank, to the tree, snatched his ball and ran back to me, joyfully, with his head held high.

And then I realized that those words were actually for me. I needed to be brave. What had been holding me back was fear, and without realizing it, I let that fear paralyze me. Suddenly it was all clear.

If you don’t try, you can never succeed.

The thing is, fear will never go away completely. It will always be with you. So if we can’t make it go away forever, we need to learn to walk with it.

The funny thing about fear is that when you face it head on, you take away its power. This frees up your energy to move forward. And the more you keep moving forward, the more confident you feel. It’s quite empowering, actually. I’m even practicing what I preach by sharing this story with you, and for sharing new offerings.

So my very simple message to you today, is to be brave. You’re not alone in this. Hold your head up high and know that you can do anything that you really set your mind to.

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