I was reading Daniel Goleman’s latest book ‘Focus – the hidden driver of excellence and as often the case, the words triggered something in me to investigate further (a mirror to myself of something to look at)…

Goleman describes bravery as both physiological and psychological. He states, “it is defined as the ability to stand up for what is right in difficult situations”.

Bravery in the physical form involves taking action in spite of the potential harm you may encounter to yourself e.g. Fireman fighting a fire / Lifeguard attempting to save a swimmer.

Bravery in the psychological or moral form involves doing what you believe is good despite any potential social disapproval. According to Goleman, this type of bravery is much more prevalent in today’s society.

the_maskWith the world ‘shrinking’ in terms of the accessibility of information; (and in some cases the bombardment of information telling us what we should look like / act like / what is / is not acceptable (based on someone’s opinion usually), it is easy to understand why Goleman refers to psychological bravery being more prevalent.

The fact that we are constantly fed information / data etc. means that information / data etc. can also be shared about you. This can give rise to an increase in the number of people sharing their opinion and potentially increase the number that do not agree with you (increased social disapproval).

If we allow this prevalence of social disapproval to impact on our physical and mental well-being, then we begin to change, and instead of being who we are /want to be, we have to pretend to be something different to feel part of the social group. We learn to wear a mask. We started to don armour to shield and protect ourselves. We learned to LIE: about what we think, how we feel, what we really want and need. All because the truth of those things was not acceptable to other people.

However, if we actually take a couple of minutes to think about bravery, what it means to you and what brave things you do, you will find that you do brave things every day!

You don’t usually acknowledge them as being brave or it being a brave act, instead you probably define it more as ‘expectation’.

Whether you feel something is expected or not, it would serve you very well to acknowledge that it is also brave for you to do that.

I was reading a blog earlier today and it was talking about vulnerability. Being vulnerable is an act of bravery.

The acknowledgement supports your own self-esteem and allows you to keep motivated to achieve and it also keeps you continuing to being brave (enapay).

A simple way to acknowledge you daily acts of bravery, (including when you have made yourself vulnerable) would be to keep a small log of your reflections. It really helps improve confidence levels.

So what are you waiting for – BE enapay today!

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