I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if right this moment you’re facing work-life challenges that require Bravery?
Bravery doesn’t mean you never experience anxiety rather it is about rising above and stepping outside your comfort zone to do what you know is right.
And don’t imagine Bravery is a one personality size fits all as studies confirm there are few demographics—including gender—or attitudinal differences between those who speak up and those who remain silent. So, what stands between you and Bravery is nothing more than you!
How can you engage your Bravery?
- Omission or Commission? Close your eyes to review your history; then ask yourself: What do I regret most? Is it the actions I’ve taken or those I knew I should have but didn’t? Most say they stew over and lament those lost chances to be who they knew deep in their heart-of-hearts they wanted to be. Next time, engage and move into the challenge because now in retrospect you understand the cost of holding back.
- Honor Diverse Points-of-View—Particularly Your Own. It is comfortable to sit back quietly and let others speak—you just can’t. It requires courage to offer your opinion even when it may not be popular. The reverse is also true. If you are the leader, you need to remain silent until everyone in the room has had a chance to offer their opinion and process the ideas generated. Your silence demonstrates the trust you have in those you hired to come up with the right ideas—and it entails Bravery on your part.
- Practice: Try taking on these quick-hit tactics and watch your Bravery factor grow.
- Your voice is meant to be heard. So, speak up. Be smart about it. Recognize your audience and then craft your communication to reach them effectively.
- Think about the times you have found yourself shying away from the tough, confrontational situations. Before you go to sleep at night or on your drive to work, envision some mental scenarios where you choose to demonstrate Bravery through contributing and making a difference. Imagine your body language, your tone of voice and the pace of your speech. Then, when faced with a similar real-life challenge take a deep breath and be brave.
- Soak yourself in personal stories about Bravery. It is contagious. I find it fascinating as I read autobiographies of great leaders to see how often their mistakes and failures invariably led to their triumphs because he or she got back in the game, and continued onward against great odds.
In part, Bravery encompasses reasoned judgment. It is not confronting status quo just for the sake of change. Inherent in the definition of Bravery is speaking up for what makes the world a better place or defending the underdog or supporting a new idea that has merit. It is not jumping off tall buildings in a single leap without a parachute hoping someone or something will save you. Bravery causes you to tap into the truth of who you are and what you hope to achieve, so you can move powerfully through the valleys that are sure to pop up throughout your career and your life.