The Secret Connection Between Passion And Bravery

6:22 AM

People often say follow your passion, but this isn't as easy as it sounds. 
Before you can say I created my own path, you have to decide I want to be brave.

nanea hoffman my own path

Follow Your Passion

At one point or another, every woman is told that the key to happiness is to "simply" follow your passion. But this isn't as easy as it sounds. For many of us, it takes years of growth and change and learning to not only be able to listen to the passions that nag us, but to follow them. On VProud there's a stunningly inspiring video and conversation about this very topic. The framing is do you give yourself permission to do things your own way. We think this underlying concept is spot on. We do, indeed, need to give ourselves the go ahead to dig deep and decide to carve out our own passion-based paths and this requires a certain amount of bravery. Nanea Hoffman, founder of Sweatpants & Coffee, reflected on this video and topic. In her essay, Nanea explains how her path to living a brave, passionate life included first relearning the lessons from her youth on how to maneuver life. Take a look at what Nanea explains is the connection between passion and bravery.

—The VProud Team

I Want To Be Brave

By Nanea Hoffman for VProud

I was raised in a culture of group oriented decision making and in a religion that stressed selflessness, so I was well into adulthood, marriage, and parenthood before I figured out that doing things my way was actually a good thing. 

I learned that living in a way that fulfilled my own needs, wants, and expectations was not only the key to a resentment-free life, but it was also the only way to be genuinely compassionate and generous. 

My younger self would marvel to hear me say this but: I only ever do what I want. I might choose a path that is hard and painful, but I completely own my choices, even on the days they make me want to have beer and chocolate ice cream for dinner (also a choice). 

The result is that I have found my passion, and in following it, my tribe. The smaller, whinier, timid me who worried constantly about the expectations of others would never have attracted the opportunities and amazing people who now surround me. 

What I know now is this: doing things your way means being the most honest, authentic version of yourself you can possibly be. It means finding your light and letting its flame consume you, in the best way.

About the author: Nanea Hoffman is the founder of Sweatpants & Coffee. She writes, she makes things, and she drinks an inordinate amount of coffee. She is also extremely fond of sweatpants. She believes in love, peace, joy, comfort, and caffeinated beverages. Her work has appeared in Role/Reboot, The Washington Post, and Modern Loss. Join Nanea's honest conversations on VProud.

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