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Rachel Weaver

Writer, Marketer, Student.

Say What You Need to Say

Fear is a funny thing. Sometimes it’s rational. Like if there is a bear standing in front of you in the wilderness, fear would be pretty appropriate. But more often than not, fear is irrational, and irrational fear keeps from doing a lot of rational things. One of the rational things that irrational fear deters us from doing is saying what we need to say. Why is it so scary to be honest? Well, in relationships, we are usually afraid of how someone might react. We go through all the scenarios in our head and try to figure out if that person will be angry, sad, annoyed, emotional, confused.

I get it. Confrontation is not pleasant. It can be hard and sometimes painful. But it’s worse to let things go on how they are and push your thoughts and feelings under the rug. I’m all too familiar with this process. I don’t want to deal with stuff so I’ll just pretend it’s not there and usually distract myself with the busyness of life. Spoiler alert: It shoves its way out from under the rug eventually and I WILL have to deal with it. UGH! So annoying, but so true. In a relationship, it will surface again if you don’t deal with it now.

Every stage of dating comes with a decision to be completely honest and up-front, or to alter your behavior and dialogue to keep someone interested. From the first date forward, you either decide to be yourself or who someone else wants you to be. It’s so easy to do this when you like the person sitting across from you. But the problem is that neither of you will know if you’re actually a good fit unless you say what you think. I have struggled with this time and time again. My dating experiences have historically been full of trying to impress a guy instead of being the woman God created me to be and being OK with it. Not everyone is going to want what you have to offer, but that’s a good thing.

Know what you stand for, speak up for what you want, and if your S.O. breaks up with you because of it, they weren’t right for you in the first place. Do what is right for you, and the right person will love you even more for it. Be brave, ladies! Stop letting fear of a negative reaction deter you from saying what you need to say.

(net)WORK IT, girl!

Networking. For the social butterflies among us, it’s like a walk in the park. But for others, it’s quite daunting…more like a walk in the desert. If you identify with the latter, keep reading.

I grew up somewhat socially awkward. I like to think I hid it well. If you ask people who have known me a long time, I bet they’d say I always seemed comfortable and nice. The truth is, I’ve spent most of my life being uncomfortable in social situations, and I don’t think this is very unique. I made a habit of not being myself or failing to speak my mind because I was afraid people wouldn’t like me. I was also deathly afraid of looking stupid or saying the wrong thing.

In short, I cared way too much about what people thought of me, so much so that I found it difficult to make great connections. Meeting people was more of an anxiety-filled experience than a transformative and interesting opportunity. Making connections is a crucial part of personal and professional success, and the fear I was experiencing is extremely detrimental.

The problem with my previous mode of operating in social situations is that it was very inward focused. I put more emphasis on protecting myself from embarrassment instead of the conversation itself. This resulted in a lot of shallow acquaintances and my hardly remembering what was said. Conversing AND analyzing someone’s opinion of you simultaneously is like invisibly texting while they are talking. Which we can all agree is #rude.

 

Speaking to another human being is not the time to multitask. They deserve your brain’s full attention, so put your focus off yourself and onto what they are saying.

Without fear, you don’t have to worry about someone having a negative opinion of you. Imagine meeting someone and having no question in your mind whether or not they will like you. Imagine focusing 100% of your attention on what is being said and having your mind freed up to be fully engaged. Imagine your goal being this: to make that person feel heard, important, and interesting.

Maya Angelou has a great way of describing this: “At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”

So today, decide to stop being afraid of what people think of you. Be brave enough to reach out and boldly approach people you meet, without fear of judgement. Know that your opinions are worth sharing and give up the fearful mentality that gets in the way of powerful networking. No matter your goals, adopt this mentality and (net)work it, girl!

Don’t Settle for Pigs

Dating is hard. If you’re single, you know what I’m talking about, and if you’re not, you still have experienced some rocky times on the road to a relationship. Bad dates, awkward encounters, the list goes on and on. Why does it feel so hard to find that special someone? I don’t know about you, but one of my biggest issues is having patience. Ugh–that word. It’s not too sexy. Patience seems blah and boring. It sounds like the opposite of taking charge and being “brave” according to the common perception of the word. Most associate the word brave with “YES.” Saying yes to an opportunity or yes to taking a chance.

My dating experiences have taught me that often the bravest thing you can do is not to say “yes,” but to say “no.” Saying “no” to going farther than you’re comfortable in physical terms takes bravery too, but for this post, I’m talking specifically about saying “no” to a relationship that’s not what you want. I have known dating couples who aren’t truly happy in a relationship, yet they continue to put up with their partner for a variety of reasons. One of the most common reasons is that they are afraid they won’t find anyone else. I’ve certainly felt this way and it’s contributed to my staying in relationships longer than I should have.

This idea that you won’t find anyone else to love you is a straight up lie. It’s a big fat lie that breeds fear and insecurity.

If you’re with someone who is not treating you how you want to be treated or something just feels “off,” it’s time to say buh-bye.

Realizing this does not mean you’re high maintenance or your expectations are too high. It is being confident enough to know you can have what you want. Maybe not this second, but it’s out there. The saying “there are other fish in the sea” is 100% true. If you caught the wrong fish, say no. Say no to that “off” feeling inside.

Don’t settle for pigs when you deserve pearls.

Be brave enough to realize what you want, be okay with it, and do not settle for less. It might feel like a gamble. But staying with someone you aren’t compatible with is even more of a gamble. I don’t know about you, but that’s not a bet I’m willing to make. Stop believing the lie that no one else will love you. You ARE lovable, and you deserve pearls. God says so, and that’s not a gamble.

 

Ending the FOMO

I’ve had several opportunities to be brave in my life. We all have, haven’t we? Speaking your mind, taking chances, and even talking to a stranger can be exercises in bravery. Recently, my biggest opportunity to be brave involved my post-graduation plans. After studying abroad and interning in New York within a year, all I wanted to be was home. New York was stressful and scary and hectic—and it terrified me. I wanted to spend time with friends and family, and be in a cozy little apartment where I had full control of my life and my environment.

After a summer off, my priority was finding a job. Unfortunately, opportunities seemed plentiful in the place from which I had come RUNNING back to Texas at the end of my internship—New York City. I decided to do one of the things that scared me most and move back. I had some contacts and went in hopes of getting a job within a month or so. The interviews were intimidating. Walking into the corporate offices of companies like Ralph Lauren and Estee Lauder was unnerving to me, but I went anyway. Believe it or not, I was even making my peace with the city. Six weeks and a dozen interviews later, nothing was working out.

Frustrated with the NYC job market, I began to toy with searching in Dallas. Going home might seem like a no-brainer, but I worried what people would think. I didn’t want to be that girl who went to New York with a big dream only to give up. I was embarrassed. I was also afraid of missing an opportunity. In millennial terms, the FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) was real.

The flaw in my thought process? FOMO is irrational. No matter where we are, we’re always “missing out” on something else. We can’t be everywhere at once, and that’s okay. It was time to let it go and be honest with myself about my real goal: to find a job. As soon as I deemed FOMO for what it is—(silly)—God opened a door. Within a week of applying for jobs in Texas, I got something.

Stop being crippled by the fear of missing out. Fear-based mentalities won’t help you achieve your goals. (Tweet it!) Instead, channel bravery in your everyday life. You will find the possibilities are endless!”

You can follow Rachel’s adventures

If you would like to share a brave story along your journey, fill out a contact form here!

I stepped through the door and did a quick scan. There was one guy sitting at an elevated table with papers strewn about. He introduced himself and I did the same. We shook hands. I stepped back from the the table and took a deep breath. Here we go, you got this, I told myself.

I had never auditioned for anything before, and I was a little bit terrified. It’s scary to be put on the spot and have to perform. Sure, I got to prepare something in advance, but my hands were still shaking. I could feel the nerves work their way into my brain, almost causing the disappearance of a 1-minute monologue I had so faithfully rehearsed for the last few days.

To my surprise, I remembered all the words, the pauses, and the expressions. After the audition, I didn’t care if I got a callback or not. I was just so proud of myself for getting in front of someone and delivering lines that I felt I had already succeeded.

You might be wondering why someone who is terrified by auditioning in front of people would seek this out willingly. The truth is, sometimes the things we want are a little outside our comfort zones. We have to step out in order to reach them, even though the path might be daunting.

My experience in acting is somewhat limited. Although I did play several roles in my older brother’s amateur films, I’ve never acted for real, “because that would be too scary.” Then one day I had a surge of bravery and asked myself, Why am I letting fear hold me back from doing something I’ve always wanted to try? I couldn’t come up with a good enough answer, so I decided to take action.

Lights! Camera! Action! These three words are all too familiar in filmmaking. This is the cue for the actors to perform the scene–to portray the emotion and words envisioned by the screenwriter. The word “Action” is like a starting gun. It’s a green light. Without it, the scene wouldn’t get shot and the film wouldn’t get finished. It’s a no-brainer in the film world, and it should be a no brainer in the real world, too.

Action is a key ingredient to accomplishing your goals and overcoming your fears. It’s easy to be all talk and no walk, but the walk is what gets stuff done. Think of your own life like a movie. Each day is a scene, and in order to make a great movie, you have to take action. Don’t be afraid of a plot twist–they make things interesting. Make each scene count and commit to your role, no matter what.

Take a deep breath. Say it with me, “Lights, Camera, Action.No matter what your screenplay holds, go out and put your bravery in action today!

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