The Heart Of It | Thoughts on Being Brave


I have been reading and discussing a lot about bravery in my classes lately, and its been on my mind a lot. Exactly what bravery is, and what it looks like. How to know when your being brave and what it feels like. I might have shared a few moments when I was brave or felt like I was stepping out of my comfort zone and being courageous, but I've never shared my view of what I think the word brave actually means. And deep conversations like this are my favorite.

I know people who believe bravery is based upon actions that are done for others, and fight for honor such as, police officers/firemen, or military service. Yet I hear other people say that bravery is an act that takes courage no matter how big or how small, as long as you take that first step and overcome your fear in someway. I believe it is both. Both are acts of bravery, and courage, but I believe one is no greater than the other. Who is to say who is brave, or what actions are to be called brave? Something that take an enormous amount of courage for one person, could be very simple and easy for another. Of course certain tasks take more bravery than others, but that does not mean other people are limited to what we call having "bravery".

I remember my freshman year in high school I went to summer camp with my church, and stayed on a house boat all week. It was my first time being away from home, and going to summer camp. So throughout the week everyone thought the greatest things about living off a house boat is that you could sleep on top of the roof and jump off of it into the water. Well, I am deathly afraid of heights! There was no way I was going to jump off the boat, nor could I even stand or sit on the edge because I felt as though I could fall in. Being that close to the edge was just too scary for me, and my stomach would feel all funny. But by the end of the week (my last night) I finally jumped off the boat, into the water! It was a huge accomplishment for me. Even though it was small I finally gathered enough courage to step on the edge of the boat, and even jump!

So even though I became courageous and brave through this little moment, I remember my friends doing flips in the air while jumping, and doing many other crazy things. And I felt like my accomplishment wasn't that big or even important anymore. But it was! I overcame my fear of heights, and jumped off the boat...while having to much fun doing it. In the end it was worth the risk.

So my point is, whether you take those first steps like I did at the edge of the boat, or performing those crazy backflips in the air, you are still being brave. I might have had to take more courage of overcoming my fear of heights, then my friends who were adventurous and bold who flipped in the air, but no matter what level of bravery you take, its still bravery! Some things require a lot of courage while some take smaller amounts of courage. My amount of bravery will be a different from yours.

The most important thing is not to get caught up in saying who is and who isn't brave. Who has the courage to be bold and to do courageous things, and who doesn't. Being brave is something internal, and very personal. It's more important to show grace and compassion for others in certain circumstances because you never know what they are going through, or what fears and concerns they might have. One of my favorite quotes is by Ian MacLaren..."Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."


  1. Love it, Jenna!! Great post, wonderful thoughts :) <3

  2. Hi Jenna,

    I love what you had to say about bravery! There was a time when thinking of the possibility of working at some shop or store was completely distasteful to me. But over the course of last Spring, I was actually invited to work with a friend at our local nursery, and boy did I have to be brave to get through the first few days of that job! But I learned many valuable things, and became a completely different young lady from the one that sheepishly walked into the nursery for her informal interview with the owner. From that point to this, I have done many more things that would never have been on my radar, and I am only so glad I made that first "jump" into the outside world.

    Your thoughts are beautiful.


    The eldest sister & singer

    1. wow that's awesome. I know many things seem scary at first and then once you do it a few times, it becomes easy! :)

  3. Your thoughts on bravery are wonderful. Makes me think...

    Love the last picture!

    ~Hannah <3

  4. Very good topic, i enjoyed it a lot! And i love the quote too.

  5. This is a beautiful post that really made me think. I love that quote as well! I just found your blog and I think it's super cute!
    Brooke Jordan

  6. Hi! love your post and cookies :-)

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  7. That's my sweet Jenna very insightful as well as thoughtful of others ♥

  8. I love this post - it's certainly uplifting and very very true xx

  9. This was such a beautiful post Jenna! :)
    I definitely agree with what you have said in this post! Being brave is not only measurable in the big actions, but those can be small things as well! :) Thank you for sharing your thoughts, it was a pleasure to read!

  10. I agree with you, bravery is doing something that takes guts, something you would never do normally, something that scares you out of your mind. It can be a little jump, or a little bump in the air 10,000 feet above the earth! (aka turbulence). As long as you do it, it does not matter what it is, or how small it is. Just. Do. It!

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  12. Thanks so much for your comment, it means a lot!
    So true - only when you've considered the risks and still do it, that's brave! Otherwise it's simple light-headedness..

    Have a great day,

  13. Wonderful post! Bravery is different for everyone I think. For me, bravery is speaking in front of people, but for another it's going to the top of the ferris wheel, and that's what I think is amazing about courage and taking that leap!
    Sincerely, Sara

  14. Thank you for the comment you left in my blog! Expecially because it allowed me to discover this beauty. :) I have been reading it for a while, but never commented before.
    I think I will stop by more often! :)

  15. I loved reading through this post! I've sometimes struggled with bravery too, but I feel like the times I've felt scared (going to art college, starting a new career, starting my blog, starting a weight-loss journey, or whatever) led me to the best moments/times in my life!

  16. I love the you said being brave is something internal and very personal- it's so easy to encourage people to be brave, but the real growth comes when the person themselves decide they're ready. I love the Eleanor Roosevelt quote "do something you're scared of at least once a day" because I feel that it doesn't only encourage bravery but growth. Staying inside of your comfort zone ensures you'll never be able to see your full potential, so I really love the reminder that I should try and toe the line, no matter how uncomfy it can get!

    xo marlen

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