Bravery and Why it Matters
My 13 y.o. daughter has an appointment tomorrow to have her final four baby teeth pulled, clearly those buggers don’t want to leave! As I was putting her to bed she said “I am trying to be brave so my sister does not see that I am afraid, so she knows I will always be there for her if she is scared.” Amazing, at such a young age, we get the perception that NOT showing fear is equated with bravery and leadership?
Bravery is not the absence of fear but rather, showing up despite the fear.
We went on to have a great discussion about how bravery is not the absence of fear but rather showing up despite the fear. Having the courage to share your concerns and humanity with another. It is those moments of vulnerability that attract others not repel them. It is moments like this that connections are made and bridges are created.
If my daughter told her sister she was afraid I guarantee you the only thing that would happen is a hug, not a fall from grace, rather the opposite, a shared experience of adoration and support.
Brav-er-y: (n) courageous behavior or character, not being deterred by danger.
Leadership and bravery are tightly connected, I would argue you can be great at one without the other. As leaders you must rise first, you must show self leadership and demonstrate bravery when fear or uncertainty may be the overwhelming feeling. To stand steady and lead with a vision so strong that that in itself holds you upright. Yes, you may feel gut punched or have unanswered questions but lean into that, walk towards the fear knowing that you have what it takes to weather the storm. You are prepared, you have done the work and this is your time to stand confidently in your own shoes.
“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”- Brené Brown
Bravery is a choice, a choice to show up, a choice to believe that you have what it takes to find success, to not give up on who you know you are and what you are capable of achieving.
There are great lessons all around us, even at the dentist!
My Challenge To You:
If you are quiet and honest, what is the one thing you are holding back on because of fear? An honest conversation? A new idea to pitch? Whatever the fear, can you find five-seconds of bravery to stand tall and walk through that door? What is it costing you if you don’t?
Think about a time when another person showed bravery and vulnerability, what was your reaction to their courage? Can you grant yourself the same grace and empathy?