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10 Things I've Learned Since Launching my 100 Brave Things Project

It's a bucket list of sorts but so much more than that too.

After a lifetime of being consumed by doubt and fear I was suddenly more afraid of dying without ever really living. Or even trying.

Grief can do that. It holds up a mirror and forces you to take inventory of your own life and how you’re living it. If I’m being honest, I lived most of my life up to that point on the

sidelines so afraid of failing or being judged by others that I’d rather not try at all than risk even the possibility of it.

Then my world was suddenly turned upside down when I saw my teenage son Breadon go from being a regular healthy kid (as far as we knew) with his entire life ahead of him to being gone in just 150 days.

His passing took me to some pretty dark places but it also made me more aware of my own mortality too. And now his absence is a constant reminder of life’s true fragile nature. We all know we're going to die but in many ways most of us are so disconnected from our inevitable reality that we act as though we have forever.

That was overtly true for me but after losing Braedon I decided I wasn't going to live like that anymore. I didn’t want to waste what had been taken from him. So in the worst moments of my life I decided that I was going to honour him by honouring my own life and keeping my promise to live #BRAVElikeBraedon .

After finding his bucket list in a guided journal he had from school I vowed to complete

it and I launched my 100 BRAVE Things Project in his memory. I know it's the best way I can honour him and the best way I can serve the world too.

I’ve completed 18 things off my list since I got started; two of which were off Braedon’s list and have no plans to stop any time soon.

Most of the time I have no idea what I’m doing but I've seen first hand how fast life can be taken. So I've let go of my ego and committed to showing up. I’m just figuring things out as I go and often hanging on to my own belief by a thread.

I’m no guru by any means and I won't pretend to have it all figured out. I'm just a mom learning to navigate this world without my son, figuring out how to carry grief and pain while making room for happiness and joy too. And unapologetically healing while simultaneously giving myself permission to live with more intention than I ever have before.

I’ve learned some valuable lessons along the way and I hope they’ll inspire you to turn off the snooze button and wake up to your life.

10 Things I’ve learned since launching my 100 BRAVE Things Project
  1. MY VISION IS MINE ALONE: Nobody else can see or truly understand my vision. They don’t feel the pull on my heart or the calling on my soul. It’s my job to talk about it and share it in a way that inspires others to buy in.

  2. BELIEF IS MY RESPONSIBILITY: I used to take it really personally when friends or family members didn’t believe in me or my big dreams but I’ve learned that it’s my job to believe in myself. I have to be my own cheerleader.

  3. NOBODY GETS TO DECIDE HOW BIG I CAN DREAM: What someone else believes is possible for me says more about them and their beliefs or lack thereof. It has nothing to do with my capabilities. Nobody in my life gets to decide how big my dreams can be or what’s entirely possible for my life.

  4. EVERYONE HAS SELF DOUBT: Ok, almost everybody. About 85% of people are impacted by self doubt. It’s completely normal so I continuously remind myself that it’s not a sign that I don’t have what it takes or that I should quit.

  5. LIFE DOESN'T DEMAND FEARLESSNESS: Life does not require us to be constantly fearless. We can just simply show up even when we’re afraid.

  6. SOMEDAY ISN’T A DAY OF THE WEEK: The best time to act is today. Life isn’t magically going to slow down so I have to prioritize the things I want most over what I want in the moment day to day.

  7. PERFECTIONISM IS A DEFENCE MECHANISM: Dig deep and get to the root of it because striving for perfectionism is just another fear response. Trying to be perfect is just another attempt at avoiding the possibility of failing, looking bad or being judged by others.

  8. BRAVERY IS A MUSCLE: Some people are naturally more brave than others but there is still hope for the rest of us to practice and build up our bravery muscles. Every time we embrace bravery we expand our capacity and build resilience too.

  9. FAILING IS ESSENTIAL TO SUCCESS: Most of us aren't actually afraid of failing we're afraid of other people seeing us fail but the reality is nobody is thinking about us as much as we think they are. They're too busy worrying about themselves. More importantly, failing is necessary. It's a way for us to learn, reflect, grow and make adjustments.

  10. CHASING YOUR DREAMS IS HARD: It’s not something we talk about but it’s hard and it can be lonely too. Going against the grain, calling your shot and doing what most people don’t isn't easy. Think about it, how many people do you know who are in pursuit of the kind of goals the BRAVEST, BOLDEST, & most AUDACIOUS version of them would dare to envision for their lives? I’m betting not many. The reality is the vast majority of people pursue what most of society deems realistic and just settle for a life of default.