Close your eyes and imagine someone who is brave. What is she or he doing? Probably some courageous act of self-denial, saving people from bombs, while risking their own lives. But is that all there is to bravery?
In fact, bravery has many forms. What is essential to all its forms is that it involves facing, rather than avoiding, fears. There is the physical type of bravery, when you risk your body or life (like soldiers of firefighters) in order to help or save someone or in order to stand up to a challenge (like mountain climbers). But there is also the emotional bravery to face your mental or emotional problems, or to be open and vulnerable in communication with others (for example when admitting that you made a mistake or that you feel sad). Last but not least there is the moral bravery – to stand up for what you think is right in the face of opposition (like advocating the rights of minorities in front of radicalized individuals).
To be brave, does not mean to not be afraid. On the contrary, some say there is no bravery without fear. To be brave means to acknowledge all the risks and implications of the situation and yet to be ready to act and take the risk. Bravery can be found in spectacular heroic acts like saving people from a burning building, but also in small, everyday personal acts like resisting peer pressure to drink. For a person, who has fear of heights, taking the plane is an act of bravery.
Brave people are more resilient, because they have more tolerance for change, ambiguity and insecurity. They are also more open to connect to other people, because they are not afraid to open up and be vulnerable. Because brave people are more willing to act in the interest of others they also elicit more trust. Since bravery involves being able to take risks and to take action, it contributes to personal achievement and growth.
Interesting about bravery is that it is infectious. Brave acts provoke emotional response from other people, which makes them more inclined to act bravely, too. Just by being brave, you can help other people act more bravely too. Isn’t it wonderful.
If you think that bravery is something you are either born with or not, you are wrong. Bravery, like all other character traits can be developed – like a muscle – the more you flex it, the stronger it gets. Whatever you practice, it grows stronger.
This month Happiness Accelerator is going to offer you daily activities for flexing your Bravery muscle. We shall also provide motivation with our daily inspirational quotes and some additional resources, like films, songs, stories and other related to bravery.
Be brave and enjoy :)