LEARNING TO BE COURAGEOUS

Do you ever wonder who you would be if you'd been courageous from the start?

BEING INSPIRED

I'm not sure if other people get inspired by something they read. For me it can be something quite random that jumps out and catches my eye, my mind gets engaged and extrapolates away merrily. It can be a quote I read on Pinterest, it can be something in the Sunday paper, it can be a sentence in another blogger's post, it can come from anywhere at any time.

The most recent inspiration came from a quote I read on my friend Mary Lou's blog  and it goes like this:

“I wish I had known from the beginning that I was born a strong woman. 

What a difference it would have made! 
I wish I’d known that I was born a courageous woman. 
How many conversations would I not only have started but finished 
if I had known I possessed a warrior’s heart? 
I wish I’d known that I’d been born to take on the world; 
I wouldn’t have run from it for so long, but to it with open arms.”

~ Sarah Ban Breathnach ~


READING AND RE-READING

I kept reading these words over and over and thinking about what sort of person I could have become if I'd been born at a time when girls were encouraged to be brave and adventurous. I wondered if the author of those words grew up in a time where women were kept quietly in the background.

I did some research, and sure enough - Sarah was born in 1947. She well and truly precedes me in age but things hadn't changed much from the 1940's to the 1960's when I grew up. Children were not the centre of attention, they had a very small voice and certainly weren't told they were brave and capable of whatever they set their hearts and minds on.

THE 1960's

Childhood in the 1960's was about been seen and not heard, it was about keeping your thoughts to yourself and staying in the background. I don't know any children who were told they could be anything they wanted to be. There was no "Me Generation" where children had a voice and asked questions and were listened to.

We were just kids who got on with life - playing outside, reading books, going to school, and generally not amounting to as much as we might have reached if we'd been courageous and brave enough to say - "What about me? Why can't I do that, or be that, or achieve that?" I'm sure some bucked the trend, but most of us just went along with the way things were.

“I wish I had known from the beginning that I was born a strong woman.   What a difference it would have made!   I wish I’d known that I was born a courageous woman.   How many conversations would I not only have started but finished if I had known I possessed a warrior’s heart?   I wish I’d known that I’d been born to take on the world;   I wouldn’t have run from it for so long, but to it with open arms.”  ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach ~♥

IT'S NEVER TOO LATE

One of the many things Midlife has taught me is that it's never too late to become the person you have the capacity to be. That small girl who felt she didn't have anything worthwhile to say became the 53 year old woman who started a blog that she thought nobody would be interested in reading.

That 53 year old woman wrote anyway, she wrote post after post and was too scared to tell her friends and family that she wrote - because she thought they'd just laugh and dismiss it. That 53 year old woman became 54, then 55 and now she's 56 and still writing. She found women all over the world who encouraged her to speak her truth and to share her thoughts. She got braver and held her ground when things she wrote were misinterpreted - she knew what the intention of her heart was and didn't back down.

SPEAK YOUR TRUTH

With Midlife has come the realization that it's now or never when it comes to being brave. I may not have been a brave child, or a particularly courageous young woman, but I don't have to stay that way, I'm stepping up and owning my right to have my say now. I'm tired of leading a life where I've been running away from things and hiding my capabilities. Now I'm choosing to follow Sarah's lead and run towards life with my arms open - I know I'll be taking a hit now and then, but I'm getting back up and trying again. And it feels great!

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Are you brave? Are you a little like me and still discovering how brave you can be? Are you using your God-given voice to speak your truth? If not, why not?


Do you ever wonder who you would be if you'd been courageous from the start?

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79 comments

  1. Great thoughts Leanne! I was a brave little soul early on -- I remember facing off with my best friend who was a boy twice my size, and threatening to hurt him when we'd get in an argument. He would simply laugh as others held me back. But somewhere along the way I lost it for a while. Since my first midlife crisis at 30, I've had moments of incredible courage -- and worked very hard to find my voice and own my truth. But it takes constant effort as I try to build both a client-based business (my current work) and an author platform (hopefully my next reinvention in the coming years). I think maybe at our more vulnerable moments it takes more effort to be brave. Thanks for introducing me to Mary Lou's blog and to Sarah!

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    1. I don't think I've ever been truly brave Janet - you sound like you have that inner courage that I seem to lack. Maybe you need to get a handle on it when you're young, but I'm not giving up. I'm going to keep tackling the things that come my way and maybe when I stop and look back, I'll see that I was braver than I gave myself credit for.

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  2. I'm not a little like you, Leanne. I'm a LOT like you. Learning to be brave, learning to speak my truth. And being inspired by reading you and others who model both so very well.

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    1. It's reassuring to know that I'm not alone in my desire to gain some inner warrior traits Karen. I feel like I could have done so much more if I'd been braver, but maybe starting this blog and connecting with inspiring women is one of the ways I'll gain that strength of soul that I'm working towards.

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  3. It's never too late to start. It's funny, I was always told what I should be, yet believed that I could be something different. Somewhere along the way I went back to the shoulds...and am now working again on the coulds.

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    1. I don't think I had that inner conviction of the "could" possibilities Jo, but I'm determined to not reach old age without looking to what is important to me and embracing it. I just have to take the time to look deep enough to discover some of my "coulds" and recognizing it is a good start.

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  4. Hi, Leanne - I completely agree. It is NEVER too late to become the person that we have the capacity to be. Great post!

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    1. I'm hoping we're right Donna - it would be a shame to think we were irredeemable! I think there's a bit still left in me to discover and that hidden part contains a lot of my potential - and the courage to chase what I discover.

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  5. This post really really resonates with me Leanne. As a child I was told children should be seen and not heard. It wasn't until u turned 50 that I started to come out of that box. I do believe e now that we can do anything we put our mind to. You are proving it with your writing. I love reading the words you write.

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    1. Thanks Jennifer - I see the young people of today who are all confidently declaring who they are and what they want - I seem to have missed that age and stage, but you're right - 50 might just be the turning point for a lot of us as we look at ourselves and see that we still have more to offer than what we've settled for.

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  6. Leanne I was born in 1950 but was seen as being strong by most. I was the oldest and very outspoken. I really came into my strength since I have turned 60. I do wish I had known my strength and value when I was younger.

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    1. I was the oldest too Victoria but I don't think I knew I had a voice of my own - I was always being responsible and fitting into the box and not rocking the boat. Now I am a bit more open about what I want and putting my needs first - but even writing that sounds selfish to me - so I still have a long way to go!

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  7. Hi Leanne you know my thoughts on feeling that it is never too late. I actually matriculated to go to University and wanted to be a teacher, however, my parents asked 'why did I want to go when I would be getting married and having children'. Now I was brought up in a house full of love but unfortunately, limiting and I never was brave enough to do what I wanted to do. Now at almost 61 like you I started a blog 3 years ago and never thought anyone would read it. Now I've even had a speaking engagement and receive comments about how inspiring my posts are. Who would have thought? Imagine where we both would have been if we had had the courage earlier in life? But then, I wouldn't have had my beautiful children and my gorgeous grandsons, would I? It is never too late and we are never too old, my friend. xx

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    1. Sue I think your parents went to the same parent school as mine did - what they said about education was verbatim to what my parents said when I got an acceptance into Teachers College. I didn't argue, I just quietly found something else to study that paid a wage while training. It wasn't what I wanted and it defined the next 15 years of my life. I wonder what having the courage to say "No - this is what I want" would have achieved?
      I don't think we would have sacrificed our chance of having a family and maybe we'd have discovered so much more about ourselves earlier if we'd been able to follow our first career choice? Mind you, being a teacher these days would be an extremely challenging role! And we do have our blogs and our blogging buddies - what more could we ask for?

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  8. Hari OM
    While there are general trends in parenting, mine broke the mold; as a late 1950s girl child, my folks were happy that I asked questions and challenged notions, that I wanted to strip engines and do woodwork... mum fought the school on 'streaming' of subjects according to gender and I finally got to do technical drawing. I am naturally shy, but learned early techniques for overcoming that - thanks to an amazing mother. Did this mean I was brave and could speak up for myself? Not really. That natural shyness ensured continually being overlooked and underestimated. That all changed when I made my own decision to emigrate Down Under. Clean slate, no expectations of those who think they know who you are and what you 'should' be... I think we can all look back and wonder if we had known then what has been learned since. I don't believe I would change anything. YAM xx

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    1. Ah yes Yam - maybe you wouldn't change anything because you actually had those opportunities offered to you - maybe you didn't take them all up because you were shy, but they were still there. I think for a lot of us born in the 1950s and 60s, the opportunities to stretch our wings just weren't on offer. Your mum should have shouted even louder and maybe more would have taken up her cause!
      I don't have any huge regrets but I do wonder what I could have become if I'd had the self-confidence and encouragement to reach my potential?

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  9. This post resonated a lot with me. So true that kids back then were taught to be seen not heard and yes it is never too late to do the things we want to. I always wanted to learn martial arts so at the age of 48 I took up karate and stayed with it for 2 years until my back packed up and I had to stop. So yes, it's never too late. Nice post.

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    1. I'm all for trying new things Suzy - and it's great that you had the chance to fulfil a dream. I'm trying to tick off a few things myself as the opportunities come my way. I don't think I'd ever go back and study for four years though - with only a decade of working life ahead of me it would be a bit crazy. I've decided I need to be brave enough to try things that appeal to me though - a bit of study online, a Tai Chi course, blogging - who knows what else might come my way and I'm planning on saying Yes to things more often and being braver.

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  10. This is inspiring thanks Leanne. It's never too late to push ourselves out of our comfort zone :)

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    1. I wonder if it's been an easier journey for blokes Peter? Did you get encouraged more to reach goals in your youth. I know my parents were disappointed that it was their daughter who had the brains in the family and not the boys - what a waste it was in my father's opinion.

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  11. I don't think I'm brave. I mean, I'm brave in big things, just like I handle big change well.
    Move overseas? No problem.
    Take on a huge job or new task? I'm on it.
    But I'm not brave in the little things - talking to strangers, changing my clothing style ... anything people might see and judge. Well, I guess people judge me for a lot of the big stuff too, but I am not brave where the risk means opening myself to potential face-to-face ridicule. I'm a terrible chicken about that.

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    1. It's funny how we all have our own versions of bravery isn't it Red? I read your blog and I'm blown away with all the interesting and exciting life changes you've made - even how you met your husband! My life has been so conventional and always lived inside the box of other people's expectations - sometimes I just want to jump outside the lines and see where it takes me!

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  12. It is never to late to become who you were always meant to be. Here’s to being over 50 and fearless! Rock on!

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    1. I'm hoping that the last half of my life involves a lot of "Rock On!" Margot - it would be so much more exciting and brave to live a life outside the conventional "Middle aged woman" role and now seems to be the perfect time to stretch the boundaries a little :)

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  13. Great post Leanne. It takes courage to be courageous for sure. Mid life and beyond we realize what are the consequences for not living who we are; jail, prison, no Christmas, no birthday cake? We can take ridicule or embarrassment for what? For being our authentic selves? Bring it on sister!

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    1. I think we start to realize what is important and what isn't - and whose opinions we value and who we can ignore Haralee. We get braver because we are taking responsibility for being our authentic selves - because we like that person!

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  14. Although raised in the 60s, my experience was different than yours Leanne. I was encouraged to be anything I wanted to be. I was quite brave as a small child. I lost a lot of that bravery during abusive relationships later on in life, but I am happy to be rebounding back to my childhood badass self, where I intend to stay. Here's to getting and staying brave!
    Thanks - great post!

    Deb

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    1. With a blog name like yours, you couldn't be anything other than brave and game to claim your place in the world Deb (I'm a bit envious of your url!) I think you belong in the minority if you had parents who encouraged you to step up - but it's strange how life can still try to suck the courage out of us isn't it? I'm glad you've reclaimed yours :)

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  15. I think you are braver than you think you are..we all are. Us women have had to be brave. My Mother was a brave woman and she taught me to be one too...and I was born in 1949. I was different and didn't follow the leader...I chose my own paths and right or wrong made mistakes along the way...but I survived because I was brave!

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    1. I envy women who found bravery early in life Renee - you can stand proud that you did all you set out to do much earlier than those of us who didn't get their courage until their 50s - but it's never too late and I am braver than I assumed :)

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  16. What a powerful quote. I was born in '61 and I know that feeling of being seen not heard. When my parents had parties, we would have to come out, parade around, get told we were cute and then we were sent back to bed. And like you it wasn't until I was in my 40's/50's that I started to find my voice. I even blogged for several years without telling friends and family, only spilling the beans in 2016 after 3 years of blogging.

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    1. It's interesting how many of us walked similar paths Jennifer - and how timid we were over admitting to having a voice (blog) It took my more than a year to talk about my blog - and a lot of people would still not know about it - and obviously don't care enough to ask! I'm learning to move onward and upward and have my time in the sun - it might have taken me 50 years, but I still have lots of time to enjoy being braver!

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  17. I've never been particularly courageous. I've always been more of a mediator. You encourage me to find that spark within myself!

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    1. I think we can all have our own version of what brave looks like Diane - I think it's about being seen and heard (not from shouting, but from having a voice that's valued and an opinion that others listen to).

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  18. Excellent, Leanne! I grew up during the same time period and was told to be "seen and not heard", told "no college for you" and when I was ambitious about a career, "why do you want to compete in a man's world?" "You'll never live on your own", but I did. I finally gained confidence and vision when I was 32 years old. I wanted to sell Mary Kay and I had to stand up in front of a table full of women to do that, excellent training and encouragement made that happen and helped me from then on. We all need encouragement and times change!

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    1. It's amazing how different things are today isn't it Lori? Only a few decades and yet young women today would never stand for being put in a neat little box and told they couldn't achieve their dreams. I didn't even know I had dreams back then!
      I sold Tupperware for a while when my kids were really small and we needed the extra funds - it's amazing what you can do once you step out of your comfort zone. I see my 50s as the next stage in the journey towards becoming the woman I have the potential to be - it's never too late!

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  19. and brave you now Leanne with a warriors heart of stepping into the love of life - I recall similar childhood and although I spent most of it afraid I was outspoken and wanted to go my own way.leaving home at 16 wearing a lot of guilt I kept forging into a life and feeling like the outsider again and again and again...What I think midlife has given me is the notion that the outside is really the inside and it is ok totally ok to be me to be of the mind and heart that cries for peace and loving kindness for fairness and gratitude - I now find I am one of many and not the lonely voice I was as a child...I
    do acknowledge that I missed many opportunities thru fear and lack of support for myself but today is a new moment and it is a truly great time to be alive..thanks leanne for this reflection..

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    1. I'd like to think I was growing a warrior's heart - to replace my worrier's heart Sandra. And I left home at 19 to escape the control and tight reins - it was so freeing to live by myself, make new friends and discover a whole new world. Now I want to expand on that and to discover the other layers that are a part of me - there are so many aspects to being well rounded and I want to become my "best version" possible.

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  20. I think of myself as someone who prefers safety over risk.
    And still I'm the only one among my group of friends who left my country to pursue my dreams, and people call me brave for doing so.
    I like to follow a saying that goes like this "probieren geht über^s Studieren", it's in German and means one should rather go for it and try instead of being stuck reflecting. Makes sense, right?

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    1. Tamara you have travelled and lived all over the world - your life experience far outweighs mine and you are much braver and more adventurous than I'll ever be (let alone at your age with a young child in tow!)

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  21. Off and running with another week of #MLSTL, Leanne. I'm sharing on Social Media my friend. xx

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    1. Thanks Sue - it looks like it's going to be another great week x

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  22. I agree Leanne it's never too late to make changes and go for what we think we're capable of. Thanks for hosting MLSTL.

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    1. That's what I love about your blog Natalie - you catalogue all the new things you're getting up to and all the challenges you are lining up for yourself - all signs that you are living large.

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  23. It's so true that we were not told we could be whatever we wanted to be like the kids of today are. When I was at school there were three choices presented to me. I could be a teacher, a nurse, or a Secretary. I didn't want to be a teacher or nurse and I was good at typing and shorthand so I became a Secretary. I always believed I was not smart and that I had to do what I was told and what was expected of me. It was motherhood that revealed to me who I really was. Suddenly I had three humans I was responsible for. I was their advocate. I had to be brave and courageous and speak and act on their behalf. I discovered there was more to me. Eventually I realised I actually WAS smart and capable of more than I had been lead to believe. I got braver with my career and moved into project work, policy work, strategic planning and project management. I'm so glad that my kids had far more opportunity and a much much more supportive and encouraging support system telling them they could do or be whatever they wanted! xo

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    1. Those three choices were the same for me Min - and I was going to be a Kindy teacher - I even had an early acceptance offer from the teachers' college but had to turn it down because my parents weren't prepared to support me for another few years of being a student. It seems hard to believe now days, but it was pretty standard for girls a few of decades ago. I certainly wasn't brave enough to stand up and expect to be given the opportunity.
      I'm really glad things have changed and both of our kids had the opportunity to go to uni and become what they love - it's nice to think we played a small part in that coming to fruition.

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  24. Also from the 1947 era, this post really speaks to me. When I graduated high school, you either went to college, got a job or got married. If you went to college, many only did it to find a husband. I got married, had 2 kids and then got divorced. Second marriage, I stumbled into what would be my career. A mostly male occupied one but I did well, even without college (other than courses taken as needed).

    Now almost 71, I know how strong I am - surviving childhood incest, two abusive husbands and then losing my third husband/soulmate to cancer after twenty years. I took an around country solo motorcycle journey the next year, and two years later, sold the house and everything in it to become a full-time RVer (caravaner).

    Yes, I am woman - I am strong!

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    1. Donna that motorcycle journey inspires me beyond words and then to do the full-time RV lifestyle is fantastic too. You are very courageous - I'd probably have curled up in a little ball and shut myself away if I'd been in your shoes, but you did the opposite and that is just amazing to me.

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  25. Great reminder Leanne that it's never too late. I wouldn't say "Boo" to a goose until I was about 40, and rarely ever offered an opinion at a dinner party even. I'm so much braver now and boldness is something I think you are either born with or otherwise have to learn irrespective of the time or age you were born.

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    1. It's hard to imagine you being a shy little wallflower Jo - you are so confident and open now - and game to try new things and go to courses to grow your blog. You inspire me all the time when I see what you've achieved.

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  26. Now or never, indeed! I find courage to be such a practice so I'm confident you'll get where you want to go with this. Just keep on choosing courage as often as you can. Good luck!

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    1. Perfectly said Melissa - I'm really trying to say Yes to things more often that will stretch me and make me grow. It's so easy to take the safe route and I need to step out of my comfort zone more often than I do atm!

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  27. This is a most courageous and moving post in which I can read how much having the blog and connecting with many more people than you may have ever thought you would know is happening NOW. No it is never too late. I was a teen of the 1960s and must thank (and I have actually) my father for his encouragement and insistence I finish school at HSC level and following training or Uni in a career I wanted. I was never told you can't be this or that but I was never quite understood by my mother. Mum had worked before kids but once we came along she became a housewife and stayed at home. Mind you, she did a lot of volunteer work for the schools and scouts and guides. I can honestly say I was fortunate to do what I did. Mind you, my father STILL thinks he can tell me what to do but I no longer take notice...he is 94 and around 4 years ago I told him it was time to stop!!!!
    Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek. Next week's optional prompt is Share Your Snaps 5. A 'show off your photos' post! Denyse

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    1. You were so fortunate to have a Dad who encouraged you to be your best Denyse. Mine never considered that - he was more interested in not having to financially support me for another few years of education. So many missed opportunities to have developed the sort of relationship with me that you and your dad share - his loss!
      What I've learned is that life will take you where you're prepared to go - so every time I try something new, every time I've changed jobs, I've been led towards the life I have now where I'm really content - so all was not lost :)

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  28. What beautiful and wonderful words that are said. Things have changed so much in the world and they have changed for the better. #MLSTL

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    1. They have indeed Patrick - I look at my son and daughter and they had the same opportunities to chase their dreams - their gender made no difference. They put in the hard work and we encouraged them all the way.....so different to my student days.

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  29. I was not a brave little girl. I was stubborn and determined, but was typical of girls in the 60s - told to be quiet and not make waves. And then one day I woke up after having had a major setback and realized that I'd survived the setback and come out the other side. That made me braver because I finally realized what I could overcome. My motto became "They can't kill me!" There's something liberating about realizing that you've come through serious stuff and lived to tell about it. But how nice it would have been to have known it all sooner. At least my daughter has been raised to be fearless (and boy, is she!).

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    1. My daughter is fearless too Shelley - she runs circles around me in her self confidence and in what she has achieved in her career. I've come a long way, but it's taken 50+ years to get here and it would have been nice to have started the journey a lot sooner - or to not even realize there was anything other than being self-confident and having an opinion that was heard and valued.

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  30. I'm not sure how a relatively short post could resonate so strongly but it does. I'm a child of the 50s and the 60s - a late-in-life Oops! who was expected to be greater than the siblings who went before without the encouragement or guidance to step into my greatness. I call myself a 'work in progress' as I know I can do this!

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    1. I think it resonates with a lot of women our age Agnes because we look back and compare our young lives with what our children have today and see how much we missed out on. Parent didn't deliberately ignore their kids back in the 50s, 60s and 70s - but the result was still the same. You achieved despite their parenting rather than because of it. Such a shame really but it makes us works in progress who are becoming braver every day - Go Us!!

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  31. Thanks for another great post, Leanne. I am introverted by nature, but also passionate about life and my beliefs, so that makes for an interesting combination of competing personality traits. I think of myself as being timid, but I have accomplished some pretty courageous things--like applying for an executive-level job, asking for a divorce, bearing and raising children, zip lining, starting a blog. I believe I am courageous, but now I need to own it and embrace it. Who knows where that could take me. Thanks for the inspiration.

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    1. Hi Christie - it's funny how we have a picture in our heads or who we are and then when we start to list all that we've accomplished, we can see that we are so much more than that! It has to make us braver knowing what we're capable of and where that can take us doesn't it?

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  32. Courageous is not a term I would use to describe myself - yet. But I'm working on it, one small step at a time.

    Like you, my blog is where I am stepping out - timidly for now but I hope to grow more bold as time goes on. I think what I'm discovering is that I first write and share for myself. And if others laugh and scoff at my feeble attempts, they don't have to read my scribblings :)

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    1. I'm definitely not a brave person - but I'm working on it too - I want to be able to become fearless. I'm not sure that's even remotely possible, but it's something I can aim for and be proud of each little step along the way.

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  33. Nice post, Leanne. I am not hesitant to take decisions, only that I have to be convinced about it. I stay clear of conflicts. I am more of a cautious person. I think many times before I speak or do something.

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    1. I completely understand caution Pradeep - but I want to throw a little of that caution to the winds these days and try to step out in faith and trust my abilities more - who knows what I'm capable of if I believe in myself?

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  34. Hi Leanne that is brilliant advice, it seems fitting to hear that even in midlife we can change to become the person we want to be - when I’m visiting from the Midlife Share the Love link up

    Something to keep in mind in tight times

    Sonia - Losing the Plot

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    1. Hi Sonia - I think Midlife is our time to take a shot at the things we weren't brave enough to tackle when we were younger - so many more opportunities now to take a punt and see what comes of it. I'm game for a change now, when before I would have stood back and hesitated.

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  35. I am learning to be more courageous now than I have ever been. I wish I had been more courageous when I was younger, I know I held myself back through fear.

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    1. I was the same Michele - overthinking, worrying, not giving myself the benefit of the doubt, and not believing in myself has held me back from so many things. I will never become all that I was capable of being, but there's still a lot in between to discover.

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  36. I'm so inspired by what you wrote Leanne! And especially grateful that the quote of Sarah's was the prompt behind this wonderful post! You're a blessing to all of us through your gift of writing. I still have Sarah's 1995 book 'Simple Abundance' by my bedside and it's filled with lessons about life. Sharing on Social Media!
    www.meinthemiddlewrites.com

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    1. Hi Mary Lou - thanks so much for sharing that quote in the first place - it really touched my heart and made me think of all I could have been if I'd had the opportunities our children have today!

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    1. Oh Deb so do I! Wouldn't it be lovely to have that innate inner confidence that so many of the next generation take for granted?

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  38. I could have written this - so very much my own story. Divorce, single motherhood, and other things in life have forced some degree of courage on my end, but I never really feel brave. After losing my mother in 2011 and then my father in 2016, I realized there are many times I have been brave, but never realized it until after the fact. My first intentionally brave act was to gift myself with a tattoo; I had wanted one for years. It states simply "Be Brave" as a reminder of all that I can do/be if I make the choice.

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    1. It's funny how the little things can mean so much isn't it? I have a tattoo too - it says "Blessed" and it reminds me daily how great my life is and to go out into the world with a smile. I think it's never too late to claim our inner warrior and start to be braver - and often we don't give ourselves enough credit for the courage we've shown to get to where we are today. Thanks so much for visiting and I hope you'll be back for more xx

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  39. This goes along so well with stepping outside my comfort zone. That quote from Sarah Ban Breathnach is beautiful and so wise. If only we all realized the little warrior within us at an earlier age!

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