Some people just seem to embody bravery – nothing seems to phase them and they always say ‘why not?’ For those of us who life has tripped up a few times, bravery can be harder to come by. As you realise what can be at stake by taking a risk, it can sometimes seem too much.
However, bravery is a skill that can be developed, step by step. It involves shifting your mindset, and seeing opportunity in change, rather than always danger. It means modelling behaviour that you would like to encourage with others.
Children really are born brave. As an infant, we arrive unable to walk, talk or care for ourselves. We see such behaviour modelled around us, and decide it’s safe to try. The funny thing is, we fail constantly, until one day, evolution backs us up and lo! – there we are, finally on two feet! Talk about bravery!
Here are some small steps you can take, if bravery is proving a challenge:
– Imagine what life would look like if you weren’t scared – would you have more friends? Would you see more of the world? What could you achieve? Dare to dream!
– Decide on your non-negotiable limits – what is the bottom line for you? It’s fine to have personal boundaries. They may become more fluid as you progress.
– Give yourself permission to be wrong sometimes – you may just have been scared of something that, when faced, isn’t all that bad. If that is the case for you, don’t feel silly or worry about having wasted time, just get on with your new life. You may also try something new and fail. Remember Thomas Edison, “I have not failed, I have found 10,000 things that don’t work…”
– Be open to people. Trust can be a challenge, and that’s just fine, but try to avoid shutting the whole world out, based on one bad experience.
– Give yourself a boost – write down or recollect times when you did feel strong and brave. We all have them. Stand, move and act with purpose – sometimes a little bit of ‘fake it ’til you make it’ will give you the push you need.
– Trust your ideas. Be kind to yourself. If you think something is a great idea, then it may well be – give yourself the benefit of the doubt and try your best.
– Surround yourself with the believers, the doers, the encouragers and the brave. Enthusiasm is infectious – if you are looking to make a change, join others of a similar mindset.