Day 1 of my journey in discovering whether a woman can be both strong and beautiful… In order to study the subject matter I decided to get certified in sword fighting. I enrolled in a class where I would learn how to use a sword while also learning choreography as an actor for stage combat. Note I said we are learning choreography as actors… so that means the first time I held the sword in my hand I knew the moves my opponent was about to make.  I was semi-confident and semi-not! I knew what to expect, but I did not know how I would react when my opponent advanced and made his first attack. Truth be told I screamed like a girl when it happened.  No offense ladies but I thought to myself, “How embarrassing I am such a girl.” I assured the guys they had my permission to laugh. I could see it was painful for them to restrain themselves any longer.
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The lesson I learned from this embarrassing moment was the humility of admitting my weaknesses. For me my weakness is fear. I tried to act as if I wasn’t afraid but let’s be honest if a sharp object was being pointed at your head what would you do?  I felt the need to pretend I was strong and unafraid because I was the only one in the room who had no idea what I was doing.

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This is where most of us make the biggest mistake when it comes to walking in authentic strength and beauty.  We put pressure on ourselves to appear stronger than what we feel.  In our minds we consider it a weakness to admit we are afraid.  In order to cover up what we perceive as weakness we begin to hide behind what I call “false strength”. Humility is the opposite of this mask we put on.  It is the ability to be honest with yourself and others which takes great courage and great strength. In humility I had to admit my fears in order to face my fears and then conquer them.

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In admitting my fear in this moment I then opened myself up to recognizing how fear has crippled my entire life.  I remember riding in the car with a guy once who stayed back from the ski slopes with me while all of our friends were out snow boarding. He asked why I wanted to skip the slopes? My answer was of course ‘fear’.  I admitted to him I was afraid to do anything that had the potential to cause pain.  I was unaware of the depths of what I was saying until he chuckled underneath his breath and took a snarky jab at me.  His sarcasm made me realize I had just revealed much more of my fears to him than I had intended.  He said, “Yeah…I think that applies to every area of your life not just the slopes.” His words have stuck with me for many years leaving me determined to remove fear from my life, but I didn’t know how until it became time  for me to pick up the sword again. I realized sometimes in order to conquer a fear I just have to be humble enough to admit I had the fear in the first place.  There is no shame in admitting your fears as long as they do not limit your actions.  Fear is actually a very normal feeling and can often indicate you are heading in the right direction.

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When I grabbed the sword and began advancing for my first attack I was able to laugh at myself, shake off my fears, and continue to fight courage rather than fear. It is often in the ‘getting back up and trying again’ that we find the pain was worth it and fear was nothing more than a waste of our time.  True strength comes from within and it can usually be counted on when you need it the most.  Don’t let fear keep you from learning to fight.  This can apply to fighting for your family, your relationships, your career, your dreams, your kids, etc.  We were made to fight not give up when the moment gets tough. Search your heart and determine what you need to do to prevent fear from taking over your life? Is there anything in your life that will require you to get back up and try again?

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WHAT LIMITATIONS HAS FEAR PUT ON YOUR LIFE?

Choose to be a woman of strength and courage. Never be afraid to admit your weaknesses.  There is always room to grow and become the beauty you were made to be.