“To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, making you everybody else–means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” — E.E. Cummings
If you had told me a couple years ago I would be writing a blog post about how I access and harness bravery I would have laughed, timidly, in your face.
Bravery and I have had an ebb and flow relationship. I was an opinionated child, a loudly opinionated teen, a squashed into submission sorority girl, a rebel without a cause post grad and then part of the corporate world petrified of making the wrong move.
In my early adult life I went through periods of authenticity and rekindled my bravery only to let that light slowly go back out because I hadn’t truly identified who I was or what I wanted. But over the last year I rediscovered what it meant to be me and how to use my authentic self, my inner truth, to harness the courage to be myself. Here’s how I did it.
Identify Who You Are and What You Want – Authenticity
It all boils down to authenticity. Authenticity requires self awareness, vulnerability and the key ingredient of bravery.
How do we get to a spot where we are brave enough to be ourselves? Well, to start, we love the shit out of ourselves. I’ve shared videos on harnessing self love and the importance it plays in being our authentic selves.
When we truly love ourselves the power other people have over us reduces significantly. But then what?
We still have to be brave.
What is Bravery?
Bravery is doing something that you know is right for you even if it scares the shit out of you. Facing myself, who I was and what I wanted forced me to muster up courage. It’s so hard to get to know ourselves if we are afraid of what we might find which is why self love is so important.
For me, bravery was identifying my fears, getting to know them and still doing the things that scared me because I knew they were authentic for me. My most recent example of bravery was making the jump to this career path full-time. Being self employed is unpredictable, we are continually told that we are in unprecedented times, and what if’s were abundant amongst my friends, family and myself. In the end, I know this is the right path for me for now, so I jumped because this is what is authentic to me.
Bravery is not being different or contrarian for the sake of being difficult. Feeling special or unique is super important to most of us but we have to do it from an honest place. Your authenticity is your power so wield it wisely and don’t use it to hurt anyone else.
Now that we have defined what bravery is and is not let’s talk about how to access it.
One of my favorite ways to call in bravery is to literally tell myself that I’m brave. I look myself in the eye in my mirror and tell myself “I am brave” or “I am courageous”.
It sounds silly but I promise the more you say it the more you will start to believe it.
If vague terms are not your jam feel free to get specific with it. For example if your fear is public speaking your affirmation can be “I am a skilled and confident orator” or “I am an excellent public speaker and I find ease in getting my point across”.
Keep saying it until you believe it. Courage is a mindset.
Get to Know and Own Your Fears
What’s stopping you from doing what you want or being who you want? What’s so scary about it?
“What if’s” are often a lot scarier than the real outcome but if it makes you feel better play out the worst case scenario and see what happens.
* Depending on the answers to this it may be time to work with a mental health professional to overcome some of these fears – especially if they are based on previous events in your life. My personal advice on this is to always work with someone who specializes in the subject you are struggling with.
Bravery is being nervous or scared and doing what resonates anyway. It’s ok to be afraid – you’re growing! You can acknowledge the fear and still keep going.
You know your fear – it’s right in your face. Now you just have to do it. If you can always try to do the hard thing first.
In my experience, once you start being brave it’s a lot easier to keep going. It’s going to be scary – do it anyway. If it will help have someone support you on your jump. Ask someone to hold you accountable to it and ask them to remind you of your why.
Celebrate Your Bravery
Once you’ve done it, even if it was awful – CELEBRATE. You made a move. You did the thing! Even if you totally stunk it up you tried something new!
This is how I went about harnessing my bravery and turning it into a tool for success. A word of warning – bravery is not a one way street. I’ve had moments of panic, loss of courage, and self doubt trickle in OFTEN but I just kept coming back to my authenticity and my truth.
If you need help identifying your wants so you can turn bravery into your super power reach out for a 1×1 session! firstname.lastname@example.org
*I am not a therapist or licensed medical professional. This does not replace the advice of a certified medical professional. Always work with a legitimate professional when it comes to your health.