How to Be Braver In Your Everyday Life

…Which is especially important if your everyday life is the writing life. Cuz nothing we can think of takes as much raw courage as facing that terrifying foe the blank page.

Well, almost nothing. Anyway:

courageby Patrick Allan

We all wish we could be a little braver, but fear can still permeate into our day to day activities. It keeps us from taking action, progressing at work, and even causes us to procrastinate. Here are a few ways to boost your bravery and take every day on with courage.

Bravery is mental toughness, knowledge, and confidence all wrapped up into one trait. With bravery you can make tough decisions, take action without wasting time, and approach uncomfortable situations comfortably. You need bravery when you take on new tasks at work, confront others who rub you the wrong way, and even when your work suffers because you’re afraid of doing something less than perfect. When you become braver, you become more capable of taking action and handling the things that come your way.

Bravery is not something you’re born with, though, and it’s not something you can acquire overnight. Like all desirable traits, it’s something you work at developing. Joel Runyon at Impossible HQ breaks the development process down plainly. If you want to be braver, you need to:

  1. Be terrified of something.
  2. Do it anyways.
  3. Be moderately less scared than the first time you do it.
  4. Repeat

Otherwise there’s only one alternative:

  1. Be terrified of something.
  2. Do nothing
  3. Still be terrified

Of course, there’s more to it than “doing it anyways.” It’s important to note that bravery is just as much about understanding risks as it is about taking them on. Jumping into something blindly isn’t necessarily brave; it can actually be quite foolish. What bravery really comes down to is learning how to repeatedly turn uncertainty—which is what drives most of our fear—into approachable, calculated risk.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to be brave with something if you’ve never been exposed to it. By doing what you fear, little by little, you slowly, but surely take away the uncertainty of it all.

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