One of the most common things I hear from my clients is this: ‘I’m just not a brave person.’
I usually hear it after we’ve brainstormed a solution to a challenge they’re having, or after we’ve come up with a plan to help them start to bring their dreams to life.
Usually, the client will be really excited by the possibilities before them, will be so deeply connected to the outcome, but when it comes to taking the first step, they baulk.
Whether it’s applying for a new uni course, or contacting someone in their industry, or booking the plane ticket for their dream round-the-world trip.
Them: ‘I can’t do that.’
Me: ‘Why not?’
Them: ‘Ummmm… I just can’t. I don’t have enough confidence. I’m just not a brave person.’
5 Power tips to help clients be brave…
The big myth about being brave
There are a few prevailing myths we have in our culture about confidence and what it means to be brave. The most destructive one is the notion that if you’re brave, you shouldn’t feel fear when you’re doing something that’s a little bit scary.
Of course, the implication is that if you DO feel fear, you’re a failure. You’re not brave, you’re not confident, and you should just give up now.
Please believe me, pumpkin pie, when I tell you that that notion is ABSOLUTE RUBBISH.
Being confident, brave and courageous isn’t about NOT feeling fear. As the saying goes, it’s about feeling the fear and doing it anyway.
Fear is something that we all feel from time to time. It can make us want to run, hide and never come out again. It can stop us dead in our tracks. And this can be a good thing – for example if you’re out for a walk in nature and see a snake – fear will stop you and help you back away quietly. Fear will teach to look both ways before we cross a busy highway. You get the idea – fear is actually serving a purpose, to keep us safe and protect us from perceived danger /hurt / harm/shame/embarrassment. BUT it can get all whacked and hyped up on the jungle juice and not recognise the difference between taking that speaking gig, putting your writing out into the world, wearing that sparkly dress, speaking your truth AND a tiger, lion or bear chasing you. (hey, it happened to Dorothy! note to self – i am not sure that referencing ‘Wizard of Oz’ is relevant or funny but maybe that is just fear talking!?!) But back on point, it gets over zealous and just ends up keeping us stuck and small.
The key to being brave is to recognise the fear you’re feeling and acknowledge its presence… Then take a deep breath and take the leap anyway.
I know it’s not always easy.
I remember last year leading up to my first ever speaking gig at the Beautiful You Coaching Academy’s Inspiration Day in Sydney, I was a nervous wreck. I remember being so scared that when i arrived i started daydreaming about a fire alarm going off – not a real one of course, just one of those practice drills. I didn’t want anyone to be in any real danger, you know just the fake kind. A fire drill would have been out of my hands – just one of those things! Hmmm *cough* hello fear based mindset. There were no tigers, men with spears or a secret assassin chasing me, i was in a room with Beautiful You Life Coaches for heavens sake, the most accepting, kind, loving and vibrant bunch of cheer leading beauties you will ever meet! The closest danger i was in was being hugged too tightly or some slight hearing loss due to dangerous decibel levels from shrieks and squeals of excitement and glee.
There was no fire alarm thank goodness and when i got up on that stage, all the fear melted away and i loved every second. I felt grounded, calm and loved that i could share my heartfelt truth with other women and life coaches. It lit me up and was such a beautiful and meaningful experience.
So you see, true bravery is not about never feeling fear
It’s about having the courage to stay with the fear and breathe through it.
It’s about sitting with your swirling stomach and thumping heart, and being okay with how your body is reacting.
It’s about not being put off by sweaty palms and a dry mouth.
It’s about tuning in to what your heart wants in the future, rather than what your monkey mind is screaming at you now.
It’s about prioritising the steady thrum of your values, dreams and desires over the shrill alarm bell of your fear.
And it’s about taking one tiny baby-step in the right direction.
This is such a big juicy topic, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, sweet one. Where is fear creeping in to your life at the moment? How do you let it hold you back and keep you small?
Yours in brave steps, leaps and bounds.