i’m terrified of being brave


How different would things be if I approached each situation, each person, with bravery?

That’s the question that’s been bumping around my head since last autumn. It’s gnawed at me — challenging me to make hard choices, nudging me to open my mouth, inspiring me to move past the constraints others have placed on me. So as this new year began (six weeks ago already — woah!), I knew there was only one thing I could do. My OneWord365 simply had to be…

B • R • A • V • E

I wrestled with it at first. After all, risk was my original OneWord365 that began this whole incredible now-global movement. And brave is basically the same as risk, right?

The more I mulled it over, the more I came to discover that, at least for me, in this season, brave looks very different from risk. My year of risk led me to do so many things I would likely never have been willing to attempt on my own without that extra nudge. Taking brave to heart isn’t so much about doing adventurous and challenging things — although I’m sure those elements will still come into play.

Choosing to be brave is more a choice to embrace who I am, value my own voice, and walk in confidence. 

Last year, my OneWord365 was enough, and I worked hard for my heart to start grasping more than ever before that I am enough because He is enough. And I know now that being brave can only come from that fuller sense of enoughness.

(I am always amazed to see, when looking back, how God weaves the tapestry of my journey. What seems random and messy while I’m in the middle of it, ends up being purposefully beautiful when He’s done with it. But I digress…)

If I truly believe I am enough, I will approach every situation, every person, with bravery.

And that will change everything

I have to be honest. I’m terrified of being brave.

It feels vulnerable and exposing. It stirs up hard questions with even harder answers. It challenges the very foundation of who I am and the breed of Christianity I was raised in. It flies in the face of some deep-seated beliefs that have been instilled in me (and at times forced on me). How can I be brave while also being quiet… supportive… humble… modest… gentle… submissive… selfless…? Now, before you start soapboxing to me about each of those, please know that I can soapbox with the best of you. But if I’m being Velveteenly vulnerable, the voices of my past still plague me at times, and knowing the truth isn’t the same as knowing the truth…

It takes a healthy dose of bravery to choose to be brave.

But I’m choosing it. Or at least I’m choosing to choose it, which is really how anything truly starts. And I’m already seeing that choice play out in significant ways…

I’m leaning into the joys of my new life.
I’m putting myself in uncomfortable situations to find and foster community.
I’m facing the question marks of health concerns head on.
I’m letting go of my need to belong in circles where I used to fit but no longer do.
I’m extending grace to others and to myself.
I’m planning for the future in ways I’d never imagined.
I’m speaking up.
I’m getting to know who I really am now, rather than simply pining for who I used to be.
I’m leaning away from toxic relationships and environments.
I’m tackling things I’ve always said I didn’t have the skill set to do.
I’m living more open-handedly and open-heartedly.
I’m giving myself permission to embrace my now, even when I don’t have all the answers.


I’m still terrified, but that’s okay.

I know that being brave doesn’t mean there’s no fear… It simply means doing it afraid. 

So that’s what I’m doing.

Right here… right now… with everything and everyone I face today… I will approach it all with bravery.

And it will make all the difference in the world.


18 Responses to “i’m terrified of being brave”
  1. My prayer for you, Alece, is that at the beginning of 2015 you can look back on 2014 and think, Now, THAT was fun. Through all the fear and the steps taken and the emotions of community, I think you’re going to have a blast, even through the hard parts of it all.

  2. Mark Allman


    You have always looked pretty brave to me!!

    I do think it is a choice. I think by definition if you are being brave you are facing something that raises fear in you. You choose to face that fear and in doing so does not make the fear go away; sometimes it increases. I think that sometimes that is the hardest part and that is deciding to do whatever it is in the face of fear. Sometimes the fear will drag you down and exhaust you but there are times when you are brave that the fear drives excitement in your soul…. You realize again you are enough and you are letting the fear go for ride as you do that which you have chosen to do. To live through fear helps you to know you can leverage your fear into doing things you never thought you could.

    I wish you well Alece as you choose to be brave a choice at a time.

  3. Terri Poss says:

    Oh my goodness! This makes my heart swell with joy! I cannot tell you how beautiful you are in your velveteeny vulnerability! Praying this year brings you all kinds of discoveries that you will relish. Love you friend!

  4. Mark Allman

    Everyone should go over and read the Velveteenly Vulnerable from the link Alece put in this post. It is awesome.

  5. leith mchugh says:

    yes yes yes-this is beautiful…
    calling all brave beauties to consider attending an event this spring in CO…see link!

  6. Laraine Corneilson says:

    Wow. That is exactly what I needed to hear. I may have an open door in front of me. That is gonna require me to be brave. To tackle things I have always said i don’t have the skill set for. I was thinking about backing down because I’m afraid. But if that door stays open I’m walking through! Thanks for posting!

  7. Sue Roberts says:

    Alece, we have shared many of the same struggles in life, and “bravery” is no exception. The biggest think that helped me in this journey was reminding myself, “The Spirit of the Living God resides in me.” Say that again!!! If we believe that — and that is what the Scriptures tell us — wow, everything changes. (But sometimes we forget) But no more for me. I daily remind myself “The Spirit of the LIVING GOD resides in ME!!” Love your posts!

  8. Melissa says:

    I’m learning over and over again that being brave is hard because it also requires being vulnerable. Courage was my first ever Word. I’m stealing this from Brene Brown, but it isn’t really about being courageous, as though once I become courageous, I’ll never fear again, but rather I practice courage. Go for this Alece!

  9. In the words of Mother Theresa, “I know God will never give me more than I can handle, I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.”


  10. Pierre says:

    This is bit of a long post, so I do apologize for that. I agree with you assessment “And brave is basically the same as risk, right?”. I want to start with a quote by William A. Ward:
    “To laugh is to risk appearing the fool. To weep is to risk appearing sentimental. To reach for another is to risk involvement. To expose your feelings is to risk exposing your true self. To place your ideas, your dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss. To love is to risk not being loved in return. To live is to risk dying. To believe is to risk despair. To try is to risk failure. But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing, is nothing. They may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live. Chained by their attitudes they are slaves; they have forfeited their freedom. Only a person who risks is free.”

    When I was at university, I saw a movie called “Ski Patrol”. One of the characters, before going down a big slope said something like “Live Life, Taste Death”. I made that my motto. You can always live life, but it is when you take risks, tasting death, that you are can expand. And when you expand enough, then what seemed like the death part, now becomes part of you Live Life part.

    I am not saying dive of a 50 foot cliff. No, the taste death part is anything that scares you. Since doing it, feels like the proverbial “valley of the shadow of death”, but we know that in that valley “I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”

    There are foolish risks and wise risks. We are foolish if we take risks we know are contrary to God’s will. We are foolish if we risk doing something that we think might please God without first praying and seeking His wisdom and guidance. We are foolish if we are always seeking to please people and not God. We are wise if we risk giving everything to do God’s will. Think of Abraham who, while living a very comfortable life in the city of Ur, is called by God: “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

    There are many other examples, even Jesus. He knew exactly what He was going to endure before and on the cross, but He still did it. So, step out, take that risk, be brave. Life will not end, but your new life will have a fresh beginning!


Check out what others are saying about this post...
  1. […] Finally, I know this is from last week, but it really resonated with me.  Yesterday, I knew I was not going to sleep well and sure enough, I was awake at four a.m., brain reeling with some kind of anxiety.  And so much of anxiety is about anticipating what will happen to me, rather than how I will live my life.  That’s why Alece Ronzino’s words really impacted me.  I’m Terrified of Being Brave. […]

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