Sometimes someone thanks me for having the courage to go on social networks. When I started my journey on social networks 8 years ago, I never thought about it that way. But at the time, there were not many women who promoted themselves or their martial arts or allowed a personal view of their lives due to the possibility of unnecessary criticism.
I think it is even strange to use the words ‘potential’ and ‘criticism’ in the same sentence. After all, potential is positive (like opportunity and growth), while unnecessary criticism is negative. Being on social media sometimes works, but other times it seems like a burden. As in life, it is crucial to find balance before you find the courage.
Bravery is a big word. It almost rolls out of your tongue as easily as thunder rolls from creamy gray summer storm clouds. It’s the presence of shouting, “Boom!” Bravery will come out of you suddenly and unpredictably.
It’s not something you plan for, nor is it something you really say to yourself. Bravery is about what others see in you. If they see it, rest assured that you deserve that powerful label. Your bravery shines brightly whenever you make decisions that are solely yours.
You don’t have to be on social media to be brave. These days, there is room for everyone to find their place and their own tribe. Rather, being brave means acknowledging your passions and beliefs and then incorporating them into your life. Bravery is the ability to acknowledge what is right for you in the midst of opposing minds, and to announce, “This is not for me … but this is it.”
Bravery makes decisions that work for you. Being on social media is not exactly the kind of “courage” we all have in mind when we hear the word “bravery,” and it’s not for me either. I can assure you that the curves of life have paved the way for what people consider my bravery long before social media even mattered. Bravery is built on your fears and failures. It is cultivated in your lowest moments. It catches you when you can’t stand it anymore, when someone tells you that you’re not good enough or that you’ll never succeed.
Suddenly you stand upright and remind yourself that none of this matters. You realize that today is the only chance to change something. Time cannot be returned. You must decide to step forward and take the opportunity to stand up for the unfortunate, misguided opponents who stand in your way.
I don’t have the courage to be on social networks. If I’m brave, it’s for women to perform martial arts at a time when no one even knew their stories. That was 8 years ago. Today I have to find a new, bold way, just like you. You see, bravery coexists with actions and courage and the ability to adapt.
Like me, you already have the tools for bravery. In fact, you are more courageous than you realize at the moment.
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