Updated: Aug 23, 2021
After writing my post about 'Being Brave' the other day, I decided to give you all some great ways that you can embody the "BE BRAVE" mantra, in your every day life.
Being brave is important because it can give us the opportunity to overcome our fears, and allow us to build self-confidence from doing so.
Often we become fearful of something due to a bad experience we once had, or because of something we have been told. The things we see as fearful, may only be fearsome to us because we perceive them that way, not because they really should be feared. For example, maybe you freak out when you see a spider because you got a bad bite once. You then perceive that all spiders are bad and should be avoided at all costs.
But is that really true? Are all spiders poisonous and to be avoided all the time? Short answer; no, they are not.
So you can choose to keep avoiding all spiders for the rest of your life, or you can choose to face your fears around spiders. Perhaps, if you face your fear in this instance, you might learn more about them and come to understand spiders role in the circle of life. You might learn what ones are harmful to humans and which ones are not. You might even be radically brave, and try touching one that you have learned is completely harmless to you - thus substantially diminishing your fear of spiders. Maybe you might even be so amazed by what you have learned about the species, that you go on to become an arachnologist. Ok, it is pretty far fetched... but you never know. Being brave with small things can potentially have a massive impact on the course of our lives. If we live our lives entirely in our comfort zones, we might not get the opportunity to learn something new, gain self-confidence, or find a new passion in life.
So without further ado, here are some ways you can incorporate being brave into your week:
Try a new food. Next time you go to the supermarket find a vegetable or fruit that you haven't tried before and look up a recipe to make something with it. Not only will this introduce healthy and diverse bacteria into your gut microbiome, it will also give you the satisfaction of a adding a new recipe to your repertoire, and help build your confidence at trying new things.
Strike up a conversation. Have you seen someone in passing many times but never stopped to have a decent conversation with them? Here is a great opportunity to be brave. Maybe it's a parent you run into at a school event, or the local clerk at the grocery store, or someone you see on the bus often. It is amazing where a few questions in passing can lead you... maybe that person might become your next best friend.
Sit in a different place. When you sit down at the dinner table, do you tend to sit in the same place each time? How about at work in the board room? Or at the movies? Humans are known for our habbits. Once we create a habbit, we tend to stick with that habbit as part of our routine. If we take the time to disrupt that routine just a little, we might be pleasantly surprised with what we find... maybe even a new perspective. So next time you find yourself inclined to sit in the same place, mix it up a little. Try a new seat and notice what changes.
Say how you feel. When you get that feeling in your gut like something isn't right, TALK ABOUT IT. It isn't always easy to tell others how you are feeling, sometimes it is just plain embarrassing, but according to Dr Brene Brown, who has studied vulnerability and shame for over 12 years, "Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection." So, next time you feel uncomfortable, sad or ashamed, tell someone you trust how you are really feeling and see what happens.
Ask for help. In NZ we take pride in being able to do things ourselves. Heck, 'doing it yourself' is such a thing here, that there was a whole DIY ad campaign created around it. Now don't get me wrong, giving something a go and completing it yourself can be a really great thing, but it is also important to reach out for help when we need it. Similar to the point above, asking for help requires a certain amount of vulnerability. Sometimes asking for help can feel like a weakness. I want to challenge the assumption that asking for help is perceived by others as a weakness, because in the book 'Social Connections' by Marissa King, she talks about how asking for help can actually increase your influence with others and help develop trust in a new relationship.
In conclusion, while feeling fear is good at times - mainly to alert us to the danger of a situation - it is a important for us to learn more about our fears and why we are feeling afraid, so we can truly understand the roots of that fear, and push ourselves to be brave moving forward.
Out of the five ways to be brave, (listed above), what one will you try first?