Not everyone experiences bravery the same way.
For some, bravery is a show of confidence and extroversion. It’s a puffing up of the chest – sometimes quite literally and being very exposed in their endeavours.
Others find bravery in those things they say no to, the occasions they show up to, the people they talk to and the moments of solitude they opt into.
Some people find their bravery by overriding their fears, a show of strength and victory, of establishing dominion over their challenges and standing tall above all others.
And there are many more expressions of bravery that speak to the diverse nature of it.
There’s no right or wrong here – we are, after all, doing the best we can. However, many of us feel driven to do brave things, sometimes to get the desired outcome and then sometimes, to avoid the outcomes we really do not want. There’s a deep conflict here and I believe it’s this doing brave rather than being brave that’s the problem. The results of doing brave vary wildly, they are unpredictable, and success feels precarious, dependent upon doing more and more brave things. No wonder we resist it, it’s exhausting when you look at it this way!
I have a different relationship with bravery, and it is fundamentally at the core of the work I do. I’ve always been brave, it’s just who I am, where I go to when I need to make decisions, how I manage feelings of fear and frustration. For some time, I was puzzled by how people talked about bravery and surprised when I heard others say they weren’t brave. I didn’t understand the relationship that some people had with being brave. I was very used to people telling me: “yes that’s all well and good Sharon you’re just so brave it’s easy for you”. Did this mean some people got more than others?
I’ve overcome a lot of self-sabotage, learned to be ok with being naturally good at something, and valued the gentle, loving, arse-kicking of mentors, coaches and friends, to feel brave enough to share my take on being brave. I had to reconnect with the value of my own bravery before I could help other people find theirs. I haven’t worked out if this is irony, or me just walking my talk. So here it is.
Bravery (for me) is a place at our centre where a number of facets congregate to support what we’re looking to create in the world. It’s a centre of knowledge, trust, love and deep intuition and instinct. We can no more use our cognitive abilities to switch it off or on than we can the beating of our hearts. We all have brave centres, we are all, fundamentally, just by being alive, brave. From your first breath as a new-born to your final breath, you are brave.
What people get stuck with is remembering why they are brave, and how they are brave. They have allowed their bravery to become devalued by fear. They have allowed that fear to be their default and now don’t know how to open the door to their brave centre again.
And of course, now more than ever, fear is sitting happily on its perch, smugly reminding us that it was right all along, we’re not really brave at all.
We are in a time of great change and nothing feeds fear more vociferously than change.
This is why it’s important to me that I share why and how to access this brave centre with those who have become stuck or lost theirs. There’s a lot of fear everywhere right now, the global change we are experiencing is triggering more and more fear at all levels of humanity. It’s the kind of fear that can start wars, drive a need for control, shut down free will and silence the brave. It’s never been more important to have good access to your brave centre for your own needs but also because all of humanity is in great need. We’re being asked to facilitate a lot of change and for that, we need to be brave rather than be doing brave things.
To be clear, I’m not suggesting that we stop doing things that others deem brave, I’m proposing that the things you do are borne of your connection with your brave centre, connecting with what, for you, represents the greatest good you can be in the world and bringing that. Make decisions from that place of deep knowing, love and wisdom. Be the dynamic leader your brave centre knows you have the potential to be.
What’s the difference? Ask anyone who has been brave from their brave centre and they’ll tell you that they weren’t thinking of being brave at all, they were just doing what felt right. Ask someone how they felt doing the brave thing they did from what some would suggest is ego, and they will speak of things like, it was hard, I was really scared, I wasn’t sure I could do it. Being brave is so aligned with who you are, you barely recognise it but others do and are inspired by it.
If you are worried that you are not brave; if you are fearful of how your bravery will expose you to risk; if you doubt whether you have enough of it, then I invite you to recognise that you are trying to do brave things, stop, and be brave instead. Because, if you let fear win, if you shut down your brave centre, who will make sure the change actually happens, if you allow fear to overwrite the wisdom of your bravery, how many people will you be letting down, if you shut down that part of who you are, how much more of your life will you also be shutting down?
There’s more bravery within you than you realise, please bring it out to play in the world, we really need it right now. And if you’re stuck, let me help you find it again.