Inspiration can sometimes be found in the unlikeliest places. I happened to find my inspiration for the New Year while enjoying a little guilty pleasure—the latest animated film from Disney/Pixar, Brave .
You see, almost every little girl has dreamt of being a little princess. Our imaginations run wild and we picture futures full of endless possibilities. But why a princess? Probably because princesses live in big castles, wear beautiful dresses and are always rescued by the handsome prince. What delighted me the most about this movie was that the princess was unlike any other. She was tough-as-nails, didn’t care about her appearance, and wasn’t waiting to be rescued.
She was brave.
If you haven’t already seen the movie, here’s the general storyline: Princess Merida is of the age when her parents need to start planning an engagement to one of the wealthy Lord’s sons. And, of course, this is not well-received. She wants to remain an arrow-firing, horse-riding, wild and free young princess. Who wouldn’t? Sure, life has its ups and downs. Merida must keep true to herself, but also honor to her title.
So, as I found myself watching an animated film about a little red-haired Scottish princess, it occurred to me that we can all learn a thing or two from Merida. What exactly happens to that feisty little princess in all of us and how can we find her again? It starts with three simple steps:
Stand up for yourself. This is probably one of the hardest things for women to do. We’ve gotten better at it, but I’m sure there are still times in your life when you look back and think you should have said or done more. But you didn’t. You settled or felt other people knew what was best. Don’t you think it’s about time you used your voice and feelings to guide your decisions?
Own it. Once you’ve made some of those decisions—big or small—own them. This next part of your life is about you. Yes, you still have responsibility to family, work, and other obligations, but you can begin to carve out time to make these changes a reality. Try not to listen to the naysayers who want to know all the what, whys, and whens. All in good time.
Let your light shine. You’re putting yourself out there and guess what? It feels good. People may or may not recognize the changes you’ve made, but you’ll know they’re there. Continue to add to them and, before you know it, your inner princess will be staring back in the mirror at you. Corny, I know, but sometimes you just need a nudge in another direction.
If you find yourself frazzled and worn out after the last few weeks—the holidays can have that effect on us— take some to watch Brave. You might just discover that your inner princess is waiting to take on her own adventures and that we are all a lot braver than we think.