It is impossible to be courageous without first being afraid.

It is impossible to be courageous without first deciding that you are willing to fail.

It is impossible to be courageous without first accepting the possibility that your very best efforts might truly prove you to be inadequate and out of your league.

– – – – – – – –

But it is also impossible to fulfill your potential without being courageous.

And should your fears be confirmed with nothing short of a swan dive into glorious failure, then you gain the freedom and liberation of knowing that it’s okay to be insufficient on your own – for the strength of One much larger than yourself is made perfect in your weakness.

So take a chance. I know that I’m about to.



  1. Annie Parsons on September 26, 2008 at 8:48 AM

    The graffiti is on the wall of a drum store called Forks on 12 South. It’s one of the first things I saw when I came to Nashville, so I finally went and took a picture. My favorite wall art ever.

    Except for maybe the “WALL OF DEATH” right off the Burke Gilman, underneath I-5 in Seattle. What is THAT about, anyway?

  2. Greta on September 26, 2008 at 7:50 AM


    And I LOVE that wall painting/graffiti! It always makes me happy when strangers show that they really just want to help other strangers feel good about the world. Seattle is terrific for encouraging graffiti. :)

    Love you!

  3. Anonymous on September 26, 2008 at 8:37 AM

    Did you actually write this?
    SO ELOQUENT – you should be a speech writer for Barak O.
    And, where IS that wall?
    I need details!

  4. erin on September 26, 2008 at 9:09 AM

    Annie, this spoke to my heart deeply. It’s such a good reminder, such a good encouragement, something i NEEDED to hear. Thank you for being you. Thank you for living the life that so many are scared to live.

  5. Marijke on September 26, 2008 at 10:08 AM

    Thanks Annie. An encouraging push into trust, as well as courage.
    Also: I’m dying to know what your courageous adventure will be.

  6. Tad on September 26, 2008 at 2:06 PM

    The “Wall of Death” has been around for a while now, and I can’t figure it out either.

  7. Shannon on September 26, 2008 at 2:39 PM

    I LOVE this! I almost want to replicate in on my wall at home…how inspiring to wake up to the saying “be brave.”

    may we all see fear as a chance to be brave…

  8. wrecklessgirl on September 26, 2008 at 2:45 PM

    i love this. it’s so forwardblog-worthy. you have no idea how much this touched me…i so need it right now. not only this month, this week, but *specifically* today. for real.

  9. derek.gillette on September 26, 2008 at 4:02 PM

    It’s almost a paradigm shift rather than a lifestyle change.

    The difference between pursuing success and avoiding failure.

    In cliche attempts to appear wise some have coined the phrase ‘you will never know until you try’

    But in reality shouldn’t it be, “regardless of the outcome you try” or “knowing full well the outcome could be bad you try”

    Because here are two truths:
    1. True love and self-worth isn’t based on achieving


    2. When we hide our tenderness, goodwill, original thoughts, our capacity for being moved, we separate from the most spiritual and beautiful part of ourselves–and prevent others from seeing it, essentially robing the world of this unique part of you. (Point two summarized from “The Power of Kindness” by Pierro Ferrucci)

  10. Philip Letizia on September 28, 2008 at 8:01 AM

    I love this. The best way I’ve been able to share with people what it means to embrace the thought of redemption or the gospel, has been the point of looking outside ourselves for safety, hope, freedom.

    When you get others to start thinking about that, then it feels like life just begins to open up… this is what it’s about.

  11. Rebecca on September 29, 2008 at 10:17 AM

    Annie, you are truly one of the bravest women I know…and we both know a lot of women!! ;) I love you forever.

    Talk to you soon! xo

  12. hootenannie » Blog Archive » M is for Magic on June 22, 2009 at 11:55 PM

    […] this mysterious, ambiguous […]

  13. hootenannie » Blog Archive » Welcome mat on June 4, 2010 at 12:07 PM

    […] We might not be fearless, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t be brave. […]

Leave a Comment