Can I Be Brave When Deep Down I’m Afraid? [Episode 61 With Annie F. Downs]

Can you be brave even when deep down you feel like a fraidy-cat?

You sure can!

And, sister, you may be surprised to learn that if you want to live a truly brave life, you don’t need to get a brand new life. You can be brave in the life you already have.

If you want to live a brave life, you don’t need to get a brand new life. You can be brave in the life you already have. [Click to Tweet]

Today, author Annie F. Downs is on the 4:13 Podcast, and she’s helping you to learn your life so you can love your life. Because when you do, you can be courageous.

Annie is the author of best-selling books, 100 Days to Brave and Remember God. She’s a great speaker and the host and founder of That Sounds Fun podcast. Plus, she’s the co-host of the Relevant Podcast. She is one cool lady!

And, when I asked her what the F. in her name stood for, she told me “Fun,” and that’s exactly how I would characterize our conversation. It was fun, practical, and wise!

So, 4:13ers, it’s time to get honest and be brave together. You are going to love Annie and learn so much today!

5 Ways to Be Brave When You Feel Afraid

  1. Step out of your comfort zone. Annie says she’s not naturally brave. While things like public speaking don’t scare her anymore, she still needs courage in other areas. This includes going to certain classes at the gym where she’s not sure she’s going to feel comfortable or know what to do. But, she says she’s discovering that she has to learn her life and love her life so she can be brave in the life she already has.The same is true for you. If you want to live a brave life, you don’t have to get a brand new life. Annie says that’s not what God is asking of you. Instead, He wants you to look at the life He’s given you and consider what kind of conversations, movements, and opportunities you need to pursue that will be out of your comfort zone.
  2. Don’t do courage alone. Annie shares that she hasn’t met a lot of people who are their bravest alone. For her, being brave means talking about what she’s afraid of with others. She says, “There’s just something about inviting other people into your pain and into your fears and into what’s uncomfortable that makes for a braver life altogether.”
    Brave people choose not to listen to the whispers of fear. [Click to Tweet]
    You may believe that your fears and insecurities are unique to you and that no one else will understand. But, as Annie talks about, that’s not true. Usually, the person you feel safe enough to share with is going to agree with you. She may say, “Of course, you’re afraid of that. It is scary,” or “I’ve always thought you should do that.” Annie says, “You can’t know if you’re a weirdo until you ask someone else if you’re a weirdo. And, nine times out of ten, they say no.”
  3. Understand that fear and bravery are compatible. Fear and courage can go together, Annie shares. When it comes to this concept, she often thinks of Philippians 2:12, where Paul writes, “…work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” Annie talks about how when you go to the gym to work your arms, you have to work them both. You need to have weights in both of them. It’s the same way with fear and courage. You can carry them both.
  4. You don’t have to feel unafraid to be brave. Annie says that she doesn’t know anybody who’s done anything brave who didn’t hear the whispers of fear. What brave people do is stop listening to these voices. You can do the same. You may hold fear in one hand, but in the other, you can hold the courage to do the same thing that you’re scared to do.
  5. Be okay with messing up. Why are many of us so afraid of failure? Annie shares that she believes we aren’t afraid of mistakes; we’re afraid of what our mistakes will cost us. We think if we mess up, we aren’t going to be loved.If you are afraid that failing will leave you unloved, you can be confident that this isn’t true. Annie reminds you that the reality is that as a woman of faith, you’re always loved by God and always safe with Him.
  6. Believe who God says you are. “To see yourself the way God sees you,” Annie states, “is the first step to being brave.” She shares that it takes courage to believe that you are who God says you are. Annie talks about the song, “Mistakes” by Influence Music, and how a line in it says, “God doesn’t make mistakes, and He didn’t start with me.” You are not a mistake. No matter what your relational status is, what your pant size is, who your friends are, or what your bank account says, the way God made you is on purpose and is right. Annie encourages you to look at yourself today and say, “Yeah, actually, this is really good.” One practical way to do this is to think of someone you love. Remember what you would say to them is true, it is true for you too. It takes courage to choose to believe you are not a mistake, even when you don’t feel like it’s true.

Friend, you can be brave even when you feel afraid. Because remember, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!

Related Resources

Books and Bible Studies by Jennifer Rothschild

More from Annie F. Downs

Links Mentioned in the Episode

Stay Connected

What’s one practical way you will choose to be brave this week?

Go deeper into this week's question in my Bible Study Bistro Facebook group. There's a community of 4:13ers waiting for you!