Some of the most incredibly useful essays about being brave you’ll ever* read…quote from Steve Maraboli about being brave

*May or may not be hyperbole for effect!

I write a lot about being brave, and what it’s like to say and (sometimes) do brave things. Mostly it’s about speaking up when it’s easier and safer and more comfortable to stay quiet. I’m definitely not a hero—I don’t cure cancer or save kittens from burning buildings—but the life I’ve saved is my own, so that has to count for something.

Being brave is not easy mind you, because I’m not a particularly brave person. And I’m not a huge risk taker. I certainly wasn’t brave as a child. Living with a violent parent will ensure survival mode kicks in and in my case, silence was my saviour. Fear is a powerful motivator for conformity.

Fear is also powerful motivator for not doing things, like travelling on your own, or writing about hard topics.

As an adult, though, I am able to choose. And choosing to live bravely means I get to choose a life that’s fabulous, fearless and ultimately free, unlike the life I endured as a child. It means being unafraid to reject unsuitable partners because I’m too scared to be on my own, or to speak up at work when it’s (probably) safer to keep quiet because my job’s at risk, or to travel solo to fascinating destinations when it’s easier to stay home, glued to the Travel Channel.

Being brave means being uncomfortable

Living bravely means being uncomfortable, among other things. At least, it does in the beginning when you take those first tentative steps on your journey toward fearless and fabulous—an ultimately free—living.

Brene Brown is an expert on this subject, and you can see what she has to say in the video below:

My first overseas trip ever was in my late 40s, when I went to Vietnam on my own. You’re so brave, people (mostly women) would say. Not really, I said. If I waited for people to travel with, the next thing you know, I’d still be sitting on my couch and I’d be 80 and would never have been anywhere and how sad would that be…

The same with my writing, and it’s often other writers who tell me how brave I am with what I write. I take that as a compliment that I’m doing my job as a writer: making people feel. Something. Anything.

Write what scares you, said Cheryl Strayed. She also advises writers to “write like a motherfucker”.

I try to do both.

Being brave in love and relationships

Below you’ll find links to (what I think are) my best essays about being brave. I write raw and authentic and honest and hopefully, what I write makes you feel something. Apart from How The Italian Broke My Heart, these are more or less in date order, from oldest to newest.


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