We all face uncertainty and are confronted with challenges in life. The good news is we get to choose how to handle them.
Whether facing a daunting task, standing up for what we think is right or trying to get the most out of each day, life regularly presents us with opportunities to grow.
My definition of etiquette is “Being confident, brave and bold enough to align your words with your actions,” because sometimes … honestly … it’s just so hard to do. Bravery is necessary because it’s the only antidote to fear. Nothing holds us back like being afraid. It hobbles us and keeps us from doing things that would greatly enrich our lives.
Like anything we want to improve at, building up our fortitude takes practice. Here are 10 ways to be braver in our everyday lives.
1. Power through the discomfort.
In spite of the hardships, there is always a lesson to be learned. Research shows that writing down what you are grateful for each day will increase your happiness. Even when you aren’t feeling optimistic, it’s important to focus on something positive.
2. Acknowledge someone else’s accomplishments.
Compliment someone on their success. Offering another person a sincere compliment makes you feel better and improves your confidence. If you are waiting for your turn to shine, be patient, work hard and your time will come.
3. Lean on people who care about you.
Allow your trusted friends and family members to affirm you. They know you well enough to remind you of strengths you may have forgotten you possess. They can cite the many examples of times you rose to the occasion and reassure you that you can handle this (or anything else).
4. Do something scary.
Not be to confused with recklessness, take a risk and try something you would not ordinarily do. Learn how to make a speech, reach out to someone you admire, speak up at a meeting in the office or plan an adventure. You only have this life – use it.
5. Look failure in the face.
The real problem is letting fear of failure keep you from trying something you really want to do. The result of any endeavor is either success or a valuable lesson on what to do differently the next time. What do you have to lose, and what can you accomplish along the way? It’s worth it.
6. Be inspired by the bravery of others.
There’s no shortage of inspirational figures throughout history that have taken on seemingly insurmountable odds and won. We also have people in our lives who have shown their own mettle, whether it’s a friend who negotiated a fantastic salary or a relative who courageously battled an illness. There are examples of daring all around you.
7. Learn how to say no.
This magical two-letter word helps you preserve your precious time and energy for things that are important.Think of the time you did something you didn’t want to do (to avoid disappointing someone), only to feel resentful. It’s not worth the aggravation.
8. Stop worrying.
Worry doesn’t contribute anything to a situation; it only robs you of the ability to enjoy the present moment. If you have done what you reasonably can to help things turn out well, release control. Let go of the “what if” and “if only”. If it didn’t happen … it probably wasn’t meant to be.
9. Use your talents to help others.
Someone out there can greatly benefit from your skills. Can you spare some time to mentor a young person? Help someone who needs your expertise? Stretching yourself to aid someone else may seem inconvenient but is ultimately a favor you do for yourself. You both reap the rewards.
10. Be courageous.
One of my all-time favorite books is Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed. Early in the book (on page 3), she says, “Be brave enough to break your own heart.” Sometimes that’s what we have to do to get to the better part of life and reap the benefits of what we truly deserve.
You never know what’s around the corner, but I believe it will be great.