HOW I Do Scary

Last week I did a scary thing. With an open, courageous, vulnerable heart, I shared my #metoo story. I shared a private piece of my life that was unknown to all but a few souls. I did it because I no longer felt like it was mine to keep, to keep in a locked up space of shame and confusion. It felt like a story that was ready to be released in the hopes that I could feel a smidgen of liberation and along the way, possibly help others feel understood and validated.

I received hundreds of messages. Mostly supportive, mostly kind. And many with the question of, “How did you get so brave?”

It’s simple. Brave is how I do life. It’s how I choose to live. If I’m not living in brave then I can only be living in fear. And to me, that’s just not living. That’s surviving, at best.

Here’s the thing. Living life is scary. It just is. There’s no way around it. Outside of our comfort zone, that sacred and fertile ground for growth, is riddled with land mines of fear. Countless reasons not to do something, say something, be something. Growth happens when we are willing to risk the uncomfortable and the unknown and the downright terrifying… growth happens when we dare to expand. As I see it, our greatest triumphs, the moments that transform us, that shape our character and that remind us of how amazing we are, how unlimited we are, are so often rooted in an undercurrent of fear.

But to answer the question more directly, I live from my values. I let my values chart my course. When it came to sharing my story, the motivation to push post was rooted in my core values of truthspeaking, transparency, connection and vulnerability. These values course through my blood so much more powerfully than do the limitations of fear, anxiety and doubt. I choose to live from my values, not from my limitations.

Here’s the thing, our voice is our most potent gift… our voice can literally get us anything we want in life. Our words, both the words we speak to ourselves and to others, hold immense and magical power. At birth, our voice is what gets us what we need. It starts off strong, mighty, unrelenting and without apology, demanding to be heard! And then, life happens… and our voice gets diminished, gets dialed down, becomes a whisper. Our voice rides in the backseat while fear, shame, anxiety and doubt drive.

But here’s what I know… If you stay quiet to avoid conflict or discomfort, you create a war within yourself. A war which dampens the spirit and darkens the soul. But when ignite our voice, when we return to our infant self who believes wholeheartedly that she deserves to be heard, to speak her needs, her feelings, her truth, we create a space for healing, connecting, self-loving freedom. And from there, anything is possible.


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tristan coopersmith