What We Can Learn From Sara Bareilles’ Hit Song “Brave”?

I don’t know about you, but I find inspiration and insight comes to me in many different forms if I am open to it. From books and music, to something someone says, to a random thought that pops into my head while I am in the shower - inspiration is everywhere.

Last summer a friend shared a music video on Facebook for Sara Bareilles’ song “Brave,” and it had a profound impact on me. If you have not seen or heard it yet, click here to listen to it now.

Sara tells us:

You can be amazing
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love
Or you can start speaking up

Think about that. How often do we turn something that someone says into a weapon or drug against ourselves? How often do we internalize people’s words and think that they are truth when they could just be the backlash from a lack of love in their own life? And how often do we suffer in silence?

Sara goes on to say:

Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
When they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes the shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out

Honestly I wanna see you be brave
With what you want to say and let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

When I heard these words I thought about what stopped me from speaking my truth in the past. Was it because I was too concerned with being liked or was I afraid that I would be perceived in a negative way? Did I think people would think I was stupid or, God forbid, wrong?

Sara says:

Everybody’s been there,
Everybody’s been stared down by the enemy
Fallen for the fear
And done some disappearing,
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, just stop holding your tongue

Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is

And since your history of silence
Won’t do you any good,
Did you think it would?
Let your words be anything but empty
Why don’t you tell them the truth?

Wow, even as I write them now I continue to be moved.

What if we all spoke our truth? What good has the silence been to us? Would the world be a better place if we all spoke meaningful truths to each other? What if we could stand our ground and be the people that we were put on this earth to be, whether others like it or not?

I think of all the people who have inspired me over the years and the truths that they spoke in the face of others disagreeing with them: Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Malala Yousafzai and so many others. Doesn’t standing in and speaking your truth feel like a better way to live in the world?

My challenge for myself this week (and for you!) is to be as brave as possible. Some days I am braver than others, but Sara really inspires me to stretch this goal. How about you?