By Nichole Burke

Don’t waste your time looking at the closed door instead of exploring the open door.

This thought has been my focus for the last couple of weeks. This premise was what I sat down and wrote about yesterday because it hit me hard when I heard it. And then this morning’s run happened. 

When I run I listen to various TED talks and podcasts, often I only listen to a few minutes then I turn off the noise and let my mind go. Today I started my run listening to a section of a TED talk by Reshma Saujani; Teach girls bravery, not perfection.  After a few short minutes I turned off the noise and let my mind go with one powerful statement: Brave, not perfect.

I have spent the last few weeks honing in on the importance of exploring open doors, but what happens when we are too scared to explore those doors? What happens when we live a safe life that limits our doors, our possibilities?

I am not perfect, but I can strive to be brave every single day. 

I want my kids to explore the open doors with an air of bravery. As a mom that means encouraging my children to try new things, even if it means failing a few times. It means stepping back and letting them find the answer through trial and error, letting my kids get a bit messy in the process, because life is messy. When my middle school step daughter comes to me  looking at what classes to sign up for I simply ask “what sounds interesting?” and let her find the answer. When my younger daughter wants to try cheer, even though I am definitely not a cheer mom and it terrifies me, I sign her up and encourage her to try her hardest.

As a woman it means continuously learning, even though it is horrifying to fail as an adult, especially in front of your children. It means trying new things knowing full well I will look ridiculous. It also means living an authentic-filter-free life. Because that is who I am. I am not perfect, but I can strive to be brave every single day. 

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