So recently, I’ve had some excellent opportunities to see bravery operate in its full glory. As a society, there are easy stereotypes for what is brave:
But what about those that do none of these things. We may never hear a big story about them. They will never be on a billboard or come across a radio wave near you. They won’t run into a building or save a drowning baby. But they are brave and daring.
Despite the fact that they are scared sh**tless, they brave it…whatever “it” is. They choose to have hope even when times tell you that might be niavete or generous given the current circumstance. They speak up for those that fear the outcome because they feel it’s the right thing to do. There is an even smaller crowd that don’t ever show their bravery in any sort of public setting for a “public” cause and perhaps those are the bravest of them all. Those are the ones that brave life even when it sits them on their ass. When there is a great chance that the chips won’t necessarily fall as they expect and still they hold on.
I’ve learned a bunch of interesting features inherent in these people as they’ve entered my life as of late. Those that fight the sheer panic that rises in their chest that beats like a hummingbird and power on. Those that silence the thud and then feed off of the silence – I want to be them. Ok maybe not BE them, but certainly rip a page or two out of their book.
Romance doesn’t seem like it has a segway here, but it absolutely does, as perhaps in our romantic encounters is a time that many of us are the most brave and vulnerable whether we mean to be or not. We may not be John Cusak standing outside said love’s window with a boombox, but for many the feelings are just as intense. It is the time where almost anything we do here is brave – from the initial hello to the courting phase, to the place that we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and open and live in a bit of a free fall confident that someone will, in fact, catch us. But love isn’t the only place that we see and struggle with bravery.
Bravery, as simple as it is to identify for many of us, is something that alludes us in so many circumstances, but it’s really because we tie it to issues of our self worth. When we undervalue our own worth and value, the bravery is deflated and/or takes a backseat. What do I mean?
Let’s look at my driving experience. I’m scared shit less and rather than owning it, I let myself back off of it and use the excuse that I’m different and need an adaption (really the equation looks more like 80% chicken and 20 % CP) and so I don’t drive. Some part of me probably twistedly focuses on the fear and clings to that rather than the opportunity for the armor of bravery that is readily available for me to shine up and put on.
Enough is enough so they say, and I challenge you to try something with me. For AT LEAST the next 30 days, I challenge us to make bravery our newest and most prominent feature. Find ways to explore your limits and then push them – if even a millimeter. Some suggestions:
- 1. Travel to a New Place
- 2. Speak Up about an issue that you may care about but ave not felt brave enough to talk about
- 3. Try a new food
- 4. Ask a new guy and/or girl out
- 5. Change jobs or ask to be more fairly compensated for the job you do
- 6. Buy a shirt or pants in a new color
- 7. Buy a stranger lunch
- 8. Give of your time or talent in your community
- 9.Dance in your living room.
- 10. Ride the bus or train to a new place
This is a short list, but you get the drift… This should get you started for doing a great job of making bravery your best feature :)