Every single day we are presented with opportunities to be brave.
These opportunities present themselves in different ways.
It could be the decision of whether or not to bring up a difficult conversation with a friend.
It could be the decision of whether or not to tell someone you have feelings for them.
It could be the decision of whether or not to disagree with an idea that the rest of the group agrees on.
Choosing the easy route is always a tempting option because it allows you to avoid a potentially challenging or painful situation.
Our minds look for reasons to avoid situations that might bring discomfort because our brains are hardwired to seek pleasure and avoid plain.
For the first 20 years of my life I was scared to express my feelings. Particularly as it relates to romance. I wasn’t comfortable being vulnerable, and so my relationships with girls tended to stay mostly surface level.
Growing up I didn’t learn the importance of expressing romantic feelings, and as a result of not being intentional about it, my behaviors followed the pain/pleasure principle. I never wanted to express my feelings because of the pain that could come from it.
To put this as clearly as possible, I was always scared to be the one to tell a girl that I liked her. Even once I was dating someone, I felt uncomfortable to express deeper feelings. I kept everything inside, which kept me from connecting with people on a deep level.
Then at some point, around the age of 23, I read Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly which opened my eyes to the value that comes from the brave act of being vulnerable when the time is right.
If we don’t ever open ourselves up to situations where we can fail, like walking up to that person who might just reject you, we stay confined to our comfortable bubbles.
If you want to push your comfort zones, grow as a human being, and develop new skills, you need to venture into the scary and uncharted territories sometimes.
Bravery isn’t a trait you’re born with. It’s something you develop and I’m not sure you ever become officially brave. It’s more of a mind state that you commit to when you wake up each day.
We all have tremendous capacity to be brave. We all have things that scare us, and we all have opportunities to lean into them. Bravery isn’t just for the soldiers and the astronauts!
My question for you is what little thing can you do today to be brave?