By nature, I'm not a very brave person in all areas of my life. I hover somewhere between being a firecracker who wants to live life out loud and having crippling anxiety over the thought of confrontation.
In 2014, my word for the year was brave. All year long, I worked on living life more bravely. And it was fantastic.
You don't have to constantly be throwing things you're afraid of in your face to be brave. Just try new things--order something new at your favorite restaurant or do something new to your hair or read something you normally wouldn't. Say yes to new things.
2. Plan out your dream. Sometimes, you know what you're dream is. But you're afraid to make a plan to follow it, much less tell someone about it, because you don't know if you'll succeed or not.
But who cares? You definitely won't succeed if you don't ever start, so start. Make a plan. Make a plan that includes your biggest, wildest dreams. Write it down, talk about it, and follow it.
3. Go somewhere new. A new coffee shop, a new city, a new country...just explore.
4. Say what you want out loud. Saying what you want doesn't make you rude.
5. Learn something new. What's something you want to know how to do, but think you wouldn't be very good at? Try to learn. So what if you're not good at it?
6. Don't be afraid to disagree. This is so hard for me, because I hate confrontation. I'll make reservations somewhere and ask for a booth, and then not bring it up when they give us a table instead. Or I'll order a drink with no ice, and then just drink it when they put ice in it anyway, because I hate confronting people, no matter how small.
This doesn't get any easier for me, but the more I speak up, the more confident I feel. Even if it's over something as stupid as ice.
Bravery is something I'll probably have to work on for the rest of my life. I just don't want to one day look back and think that my life could have been so different had I spoken up more, or it could have been better had I not been afraid to say yes more often.
So cheers to bravery in 2015.