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BRAVERY

by Jonathan Bray

BRAVERY

_Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.
-Mark Twain_

Stepping out and taking risks is something we admire from the innovators that revolutionize the way we live. From the modern to the ancient, these men and women possess a seemingly otherworldly ability to go against the flow of society’s conformity to create radical innovation and fly in the face of established doctrine to make the world a better place.

PUSHING PAST FEAR
Have you ever felt physically paralyzed when looking over a high ledge?

Have you ever felt sick to your stomach stepping outside your comfort zone… finally asking for that justified raise or for the number of that attractive individual across the bar?

To be brave means to accept that fear you feel within and make a conscious choice to push past and take action. Awareness and acceptance is the first step. If you deny your fear, that denial is the fear itself; it has cunningly convinced you to remain in the safety net that it provides.

Fear stems from that deep place of survival.

We are programmed to overestimate risk and underestimate reward.

Risk your life and your brain will respond by creating impulses to make it challenging to push those limits. Even if “you know” the risk is insignificant in the big picture, the impulses created are very significant. Albeit less intense, these impulses are the same that you’d experience encountering a tiger face to face on your morning commute.

What an incredible function of evolution! Except that it’s not as important today as it was in our early development… I don’t run into tigers on a daily, even weekly basis, do you?

To be brave we must make a conscious decision to push past and take the risk.

Easier said than done right?

As with all great challenges, they are not so complex when we break down and chunk the problem. And we increase our future ability to navigate those challenges with practice.

CAN YOU PRACTICE BRAVERY?
Absolutely.

I challenge you to try one or all of the little challenges below to which you feel the most aversion.

Go to a coffee shop, ask the barista for a discount.
Email or call a friend and ask them for a dollar, made payable to your paypal account.
Ask for the number of the most attractive person you run into today.
These little wins will increase myelin across the neural pathways of risk taking and will help you deal with larger challenges down the road.

However, being truly bold and living authentically means being fearless, not brave. Bravery only allows you to conquer fear.

BRAVERY IS JUST THE BEGINNING.
Knowing that you are fearful, accepting it, and proceeding into the unknown is bravery.

That is of the mind.

Cultivating the ability to still the mind will create and absence of all… including fear.

Especially regarding the challenges executives and entrepreneurs face, bravery is not enough. True fearlessness is required to progress with adamant fervor to realize your radical vision especially in the absence of popular opinion.

In part 2 we’ll discover how to be truly bold and live authentically; working towards becoming fearless.

Fear Challenge: Share what scares you to paralysis of action. What helps you overcome that?