Sometimes we get so caught up in the big acts of bravery depicted in movies, that we forget about the nobility and humility of the small equally important acts of bravery that occur in everyday life.
Some days the ultimate act of bravery can be as simple as just getting out of bed to face the day ahead. We all experience these types of experiences some time in our lives. On these days, if you get up, you have achieved success.
Bravery looks like so many things when we begin to break down the content of our days, with all that we do on this hyper-speed rollercoaster we call life. We often don’t think of our bravery much at all. Unless we are perhaps sharing a story of confronting a wild animal in nature or taking part in a daredevil stunt like jumping out of a plane, we think it simply doesn’t measure up as an act of bravery.
Bravery in everyday things is a beautiful thing to focus on in life, especially when things start to get tough, and it starts to feel like the ‘weight of the world’ is becoming heavy.
So what does the bravery of the small things look like in practice?
It begins with a focus on the small things, and this requires you to zoom in a little closer and pay attention in the present moment. It also requires you to stop and reflect on yourself, your actions and progress towards your goals. These are both tremendously powerful mindfulness techniques to practice regularly.
What better way to practice than with bravery gratitude?
When you want to create a good mindfulness practice, it can be beneficial to start your day with an intention practice, and then finish the day with a reflective practice. So where does bravery gratitude fit in you say? Well, you can instil a bravery intention in your morning practice and bravery reflection in your evening practice.
How about we look at a simple example to see how a bravery practice could work for you.
Let’s say you decide in the morning that you want to attempt something that you have never done before. Maybe you could be like a beautiful friend of mine who had a pair of Ugg boots but could never bring himself to wear them outside. His bravery practice was first to develop an intention to wear them to take the bin out.
This might seem like a small thing to some. However, for my friend, this was a big step. His social & cultural conditioning had him believe that he could not possibly consider wearing his Ugg boots outside. Yet he noticed that his position was an anomaly because many did indeed wear their Ugg boots outside. His intention was set in the morning, then later that day he followed through on his intention and took the bins out wearing his Ugg Boots.
In your evening practice, you can then reflect on your act of bravery. In many circumstances like my friend did, you realise that it wasn’t such a big deal in the end, and was, therefore, fun and was quite easy to do once you set your mind to it.
So how can you up the ante in the bravery stakes?
Set another bravery intention in your morning practice. You may do what my friend did and set an intention to walk up the street to get your morning coffee in your Ugg boots. For my friend, this was much bigger.
It was beautiful when I received the picture he sent me of him collecting his coffee at the local coffee shop with a big smile on his face.
Bravery practices like this one are delightful ways to practice discomfort to change in your environment. When we practice discomfort in smaller ways like this, gradually we can increase the level of discomfort we can comfortably experience. In my coaching practice, I like to call this ‘learning to be comfortably uncomfortable‘.
It is important to complete your bravery intention from the morning, with a bravery reflection in the evening. Remind yourself what you accomplished. Even small acts of bravery feel wonderful to experience for the mind, body and soul. They are building blocks for the bigger events coming in your life. So when the time comes when you hit a challenging patch in your life, which is highly likely as we all do, you will be more ready than you think.
So today be brave, even if only in a small way that may mean nothing to anyone else but you.
These practices are teaching you so much more than you think.
Want to know more about how mindfulness can upskill your life? Check out some of my other blogs for free. Just search for ‘the art of mindful disruption’.
Or if you want some guided support check out my free YouTube channel with the same name, where I am progressively transferring all my blogs to recordings. Here you will be able to sit back a listen anytime, anywhere.
Step forward in life one small act of bravery at a time, and just when you need to find the courage to go big, you might be surprised how easily you can step up.