What would you do today if you were brave? Here’s my answer.

I’ve discovered a song that I’ve fallen in love with.  Really.

This uplifting and inspiring song (the only kind of song I like:) ) is ‘If I Were Brave’, by Jana Stanfield.  In this song she asks the question, “What step would I take today if I were brave?”

This is a powerful question and there are different answers for every person, and different answers even for me on different days.  I want to share my recent leap of courage with you.

Actually, sharing with you is brave, too, because I’m going outside of my preference to keep things to myself until there’s a successful resolution.  I’m willing to share about this now because the victory isn’t in the having but in the doing, in being willing to stretch outside of my comfort zone.

Having said that, here’s my action….




I’m applying for a TED Fellowship.

In case that doesn’t mean anything to you, I’ll very briefly explain.  There is an annual TED conference held each year in the US; twenty Fellows are chosen to present at the conference.

How did I decide to do this?  Well, it wasn’t exactly because I wanted to, since my voice of fear was strong enough to drown out any other voice.  But the divine timing made it clear I needed to recognize a serious nudge from the universe for what it was.

So about that divine timing.

Recently I was watching several TED talks on parenting, and commented that it’s a shame that none of those presenters had much experience as parents.  My nineteen year old daughter asked me, “How do people apply to speak there?”, and I told her, “I don’t think they apply, they’re probably chosen based on being well-known in some way already.”

Early the next morning I woke up to a Facebook message by an organizer of one of my recent talks, sent less than thirty minutes after the exchange between my daughter and I.

On my screen was a link to apply to TED, followed by the comment, “Avivah – I think you should really apply for becoming a TED Fellow.”   I could almost hear the Twighlight Zone music playing in the background.

Even though I love speaking and I love inspiring people, my first thought was, “Absolutely not.”  Followed by, “I can’t.”  Followed by, “They’ll never choose me anyway so why should I bother?”

courageI’ve had growing awareness of some of my subtle strategies to keep myself in my comfort zone, along with the sometimes uncomfortable clarity that I need to start letting go of these habits.  Those knee jerk responses I just shared with you?  Yep, my way of staying right where I am!  Have you ever done something similar?

The timing combined with the internal work I’m doing was sending me a pretty clear message.  I bounced the idea off of some people for their perspective, and far from telling me it was too much of a reach for me, they all thought it was obvious I needed to apply!  (Garumph, why are these things so blindingly obvious to other people??)

You can not imagine how much courage I had to continually summon up during this application process.   I am seriously proud of myself for getting that application in!

My focus isn’t on the end result. Of course I would be honored to be chosen and would love to present on the TED stage.  But I already won the invisible battle with myself – well, this round, anyway.


14 thoughts on “What would you do today if you were brave? Here’s my answer.

  1. I really hope you are chosen to speak!

    what you did to enter took so much courage!

    gmar chatima tova, brachos, and much hatzlocha!

  2. Wow Avivah! Some powerful things are lining up for you. It’s beautiful to know you are taking your steps. Thanks for sharing this song!

  3. Hope you will attain your dream. You might want to find out about the TedX talks in Jerusalem…maybe that would be a good place to start.

  4. Oh my gosh, that video gave me so many chills! I had to listen to it three times just to soak it all in.

    I just made Aliyah at age 50, in order to get better schooling and support for my special needs daughter. I’ve had to go way out of my comfort zone and reach out to people, because I am a natural introvert – yet I know I need to make friends here in order for me to be truly happy. B’H I’ve met lots of wonderful, brave people already, (Oh, and I only know about 10 words of Hebrew, ulpan hasn’t started yet. I’m learning a whole new language at my age, too!)

    Hatzlocha on your ventures, wherever they lead you!

    1. I know, the song is really powerful. There’s a particular point where everytime I feel a tightness in my throat when I hear it.

      Thank you for sharing your journey with us – how amazing and how brave in so many ways for you to move to Israel at this stage. I wish you lots of overflowing revealed good as you move along this path.

  5. Can I quote you on this one: “Garumph, why are these things so blindingly obvious to other people??”

    Ain’t that the truth!

    And in fact, it does seem like a natural next step. I’m a big fan of both TED talks and TEDx talks and your voice would really be welcome.

    About these steps we need to sometimes take – I think that a lot of the inner resistance and fear has to do with what Harriet Lerner talks about becoming more ourselves. The more true the step is to who we really are, the more courage it takes. You know that because of the inner work you do, of getting to know who you really are. Only you can do that work, just as only I can get to know who I really am in the ways that count – only I take the steps to lead my life.

    I want to thank you for sharing how scary this process felt for you, including the choice to share the process vs. the result, to share the vulnerable, uncertain side of things and to publicly value them. It is very important, in general, and personally, I really needed to read your words and witness this.

    Gmar chatima tova to you and your entire family…

  6. How wonderful you recognized Divine Inspiration! As your website says: You are Courageous, Honest and Inspiring!
    You go girl! The application is the first step and ALL first steps to change are scarey

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