Bravery is a funny thing. Sometimes it feels like it should only be used for fighting medieval battles or for something heroic, and don’t get me wrong, it’s totally appropriate for both of those, but sometimes it can be much simpler than that. Booking an appointment that you would rather just not deal with or doing something out of your comfort zone are also times where you need to be brave. It’s the big things and the little things.
Being brave doesn’t always come easy. It can look like some people find it much easier than others, but maybe they are just used to having to put on their invisible superhero capes and making things happen. The older I get, the more I feel like bravery is a muscle that we need to use so that it gets stronger. (But like all muscles, it needs some recovery time too).
This year, my word of the year is Geronimo! and with it has come many times where I needed to just be brave and get things done. I thought it would mostly be in my business, but it’s turned out that my life has required it even more. Here are my tips for being brave when you’re just not feeling it:
Prepare as much as you can.
If you know you need some info before you make the scary phone call or apply for the job, do your research. If you’re taking on a new challenge like hiking or running a race or travelling to somewhere that makes you a little nervous, look up what information is available to you and have that knowledge as part of your armoury.
Call for Backup.
Know you’re doing something that scares you? Ask someone who always has your back to be there for you. Let them in on why you need to be brave and give them the chance to help. Maybe they can’t do what ever it is for you, but they can be on call or waiting with ice cream if you let them. You don’t have to tell everyone though, just someone who’s got your back.
Write a best case scenario.
Some people will say “what’s the worst that could happen” but often that just makes us want to be brave even less, so instead, focus on the best case scenario and write it down. What’s the best that could happen?
Plan a treat.
Sometimes you need an incentive to be brave. Plan what you will have or buy when you’ve been brave. It could be coffee and lunch at a coffee shop. A trip to the movies, or maybe it’s some clothes that are on your wishlist. Depending on what you’re being brave about, you might need to alter your incentive to work with that.
Be kind to yourself.
Sometimes putting that invisible superhero cape on and being brave leaves us feeling pretty vulnerable afterwards. Make sure that you’re taking care of yourself both before and after, especially if there’s waiting involved. Make time for that treat you planned and know that you’re not the only one who feels a little out of sorts after putting yourself out there.
What’s your number 1 tip for when you need to be brave?