I’ll admit, I use bold and brave interchangeably, but that’s because I do believe they tend to be one-in-the-same. Being brave is a form of boldness, and heck it means something different for everyone. My bold move of cutting my hair short seems like an easy everyday type of task, but to some around me it seems as mythical and outrageous as climbing Everest. For me, I am fascinated by the people around me who run marathons. I know it is doable, obviously, but it seems as impossible a task to me as the Everest thing. (Read Mirna Valerio’s “A Beautiful Work in Progress” if you haven’t yet, a fascinating tale.)
My new favorite person (thanks Rhonda!) is Brené Brown. If you haven’t ready any of her work or seen her Ted talks, please do yourself a favor and take a peek. She dives into being brave, the vulnerability and shame that we have to face to do so, and manages to do it in a very approachable relatable way, with stories and everything. Trust me, you’ll laugh.
Basically, she grapples with the concept I know so many professionals do every day. Is being vulnerable a sign of weakness? Is being kind, being weak? (hint: no) How do I build trust within my team? Will it be easy or comfortable? Hell no! But that’s the point. We have to be bold from time to time to really be proud of ourselves. Face it, when’s the last time you cheered yourself on for doing something you consider perfectly normal? You probably haven’t, because you tend to reserve those for the truly uncomfortable tasks.
If you’re like me you find yourself being cheered and applauded for those mundane things that come easy to you and then when you really stretch and try something new, it goes almost unnoticed, ever wonder why that is? I would argue it’s because those easy tasks are the parts of life others around you find challenging so they cheer, and when you dive into the parts they find easy peasy, but that might challenge you to the core, it’s just not that big of a deal.
Do yourself and the rest of the world a favor (and I will, too), let’s not discredit the small things we all do every day, but let’s also find someone around us (work, home, stranger) who does something outside their comfort zone, being bold or brave, and congratulate them for it, because let’s face it. No matter what that thing is, it is scary as hell to go there!
Be bold, my friends. And support those around you who are, too.