What Brazen REALLY Means
In the early days of building my company, I was working with a friend and marketer (oh hey Rachel Charlesworth) to build its identity. After a creative session, we came up with Brazen – and it immediately felt right.
Before knowing the precise definition, the word made me feel bold, powerful, unapologetic.
Then I looked it up…
“brazen: marked by shameless or disrespectful boldness.”
“...showing no shame; bold; impudent.”
Example: ‘a brazen hussy’.”
The definition and associations with the word “brazen” obviously state that we (specifically women) should feel sorry for our boldness. That our Brazen behavior is being closely watched and judged by those who have the high ground.
Growing up in Alabama as a woman who speaks her mind and has been labeled “too much” (too loud, outgoing, fierce, emotional) by many (mostly men), these definitions smack of sexism and feel intimately familiar to my experience.
I have felt guilt and shame for being Brazen many times, especially in my love life.
I am sensitive, over the top, curvy, sometimes insecure, need a lot of emotional attention and laugh at a volume most deem inappropriate. From a young age, I believed that for a fantastic relationship, I would need to make myself smaller. And for a while, I did.
A few years ago, I was in a relationship with someone who never really wanted commitment or partnership, but who tried to convince me (and himself) that he was ready. I spent months begging this man to love me. It was exhausting and destructive.
Meanwhile, I was coaching and matchmaking, on the phone with clients who were anxious that they would never find love, trying to convince them that they were worthy, ready and that great love would find them.
I was living in stark contrast to what I told my clients they deserved.
When my relationship met its fiery end, I decided that making myself smaller wasn’t an option. My heart sank at this realization. I didn’t know if it was possible to be my whole self and find a man who loved me for it.
Settling for a mediocre relationship or loneliness seemed like my fate.
I see this pattern repeated hundreds of times over as a dating coach and matchmaker. There is hesitance and shame around owning our desires, asking for what we want, and trying to love ourselves along the way. This is coupled with a lack of hope that what we want is even possible.
About a month ago, I had an Oprah-level ah-ha moment while listening to writer, Ashley Ford –there, I was reminded of the essence of being Brazen.
At an event called “Friends Read Feelings,” Ashley stood on an empty stage, facing a sold out audience, and, in a voice I could listen to for hours on end, shared a story of love, heartbreak, loss and, in the midst of it all, redemption. Her last words struck me hard and reverberated in my chest days later.
She said: “I am worthy of extraordinary.”
This statement was such a reflection her confidence, knowing and power. It was also obvious that shame had no place to grow in that light and truth.
After working with hundreds of women and rising up from my own experiences with heartbreak and accepting too little, I now know that Ashley’s words are at the core of feeling satisfaction and hope in our dating lives.
Believing that we are worthy of extraordinary opens us up to asking for what we want, and receiving it. I know this completely changed my life.
My clients who go through the hard work of realizing and owning their worthiness come out the other end feeling freedom, power, potential and peace that their extraordinary love is deserved and will come. So it does.
Brazen ladies everywhere (and the people at Merriam Webster) here’s a new definition for you:
Brazen: a woman standing in her power, asking for what she needs and wants, not accepting less, showing up with her whole self, knowing she is worthy of extraordinary.
So gorgeous friends, let’s move forward and be Brazen together. We got this.
What does being Brazen look like in your dating life? I’d love to hear! Comment below to continue the conversation. Please share this message with a woman in your life who needs to hear this today.
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Talk to you soon Brazen babes.