Over the weekend, my hubs and I took a mini getaway to celebrate one of our anniversaries (because, why just celebrate one day a year?). What we did differently this time is we thought it would be fun to bring along our cat, Smokey.
Enter: Smokey. Hates cat carriers, hates cars, rarely gets out aside from the occasional vet visit.
Naturally, we knew she might hate the idea. But we also figured it could be good for her to get a change of scenery and get used to road trips if there’s a need for more trips with cats in the future.
So, whether that sounds awesome or crazy to you, we made it happen!
Here’s what Smokey thought of the situation…
She stayed this way for several minutes.
Then, you know how hotel beds generally have a wooden border so you don’t lose things underneath? Ours had that, but Smokey found the world’s tiniest hole to hide under the bed anyway.
She stayed there for hours.
Only to finally feel a bit more like herself in the wee evening hours.
Then as morning came, she went back to the safety of her under-bed hole. She’d come out here and there, relax on the bed, then if the hotel room door opened, she’d hide again. Finally by the afternoon, she was herself again. Playing and pouncing, and running with fearless parkour moves against the bed.
Why am I sharing this story with you?
Because for the most part, Smokey is most definitely fearless. She play fights with those much bigger than her (like me!). She jumps into boxes and drawers to explore her curiosities. She’ll attack flies without hesitation. And she’s been known to leap from my dresser to the top of the closet door and perch on the hinged door.
I’d call those things pretty brave.
But then she has her moments – like her severe caution in an unfamiliar hotel room. (Or how she’ll bolt away from me if I’m wearing a wide brimmed hat.)
The parallel to humans is, we have these two sides of scared and fearless, too.
So I ask you, when are you a scaredy cat? Not willing to come out from under the bed? And when are you willing to be be fearless?
Which do you want to be?
We’re all dynamic humans, so we experience both. Just because there’s something in your life that’s keeping you in fear doesn’t mean you’re not brave in other areas of your life.
Think about when you’ve been brave?
If that’s hard, think about your timeline. Have you ever moved somewhere new without knowing anyone? Have you ever taken on a new position at work that you weren’t sure you could handle, but you took it on anyway? Ever asked someone out on a date?
We all have fears, we all have moments of bravery. But you decide which of these you want at the helm of your life.
Don’t label yourself as too timid just because there’s something that freaks you out that is holding you back.
But do try to lean into your fears. When you challenge yourself to face even the tiniest of fears, the more you achieve bravery.
The more brave you are doesn’t mean you won’t have fear creep in now and then. Fear and caution is part of our nature no matter who you are.
But what’s important is knowing just how brave you are, giving yourself credit for it, and continuing to challenge your fear resilience.