Ten per cent braver. What would it mean for you?
Fear. It’s a funny thing. Ninety-nine per cent of the time it isn’t real, and yet it still holds so much power over us. Often, fear stems from nothing more than stories, self-doubt, limiting beliefs and, at the bottom of all that is the question that haunts many of us: am I really good enough?
I’ve always accelerated towards new and traditionally dangerous experiences in my personal life. Professionally, however, I’ve allowed fear to hold me back from climbing to the top of the hill and screaming “yoo-hoo, place your bet on me ‘cause I’m a sure thing” at pinnacle moments throughout my career.
That was until six months ago, when I decided to start being just a little bit braver - 10% braver - each day. To give myself permission to really show up. This doesn’t mean that I started making any life-changing or heroic efforts, or doing anything scary or outside of my comfort zone.
Instead, I started taking small but consistent steps on a daily basis, which inched me towards the best and most powerful version of myself, such as speaking up in meetings, asking questions as soon as they popped into my head, and putting my weirdest, wackiest and downright worst ideas forward.
It was difficult at first and I needed to rely on a few different techniques to adopt a braver way of thinking, like using an alter ego or asking myself what somebody like Richard Branson might do, or if this were a film plot, what would happen next? But now it’s second nature.
Much like the way we eat or how much exercise we do, courage is a habit - and you need to practice it daily until it becomes the norm. Until you can kick your alter ego to the curb ‘cause you know you’ve got everything you need to razzle and dazzle the best of ‘em right inside of you.
What I’ve found is that being braver doesn’t mean that I’m any more committed to acting out, but it does extend the range of possibilities I’m willing to consider. And, when I start to consider these possibilities more seriously, I often find that what I originally feared about them can be mitigated, creatively addressed or avoided altogether.
Owning my worth and backing myself that little bit more has enabled me to take bigger, bolder steps over the last six months - from playing a more active role in meetings, to proactively growing my tribe, to launching Bean Creative.
It’s catapulted my professional development, but what I didn’t expect is how being that little bit braver has helped my mental health and wellbeing. I’m a stronger, more confident Lara. I’ve said adios to wallowing in self doubt, and hola to believing in myself and trusting my ability. Not forgetting, I’m on a bolder, better path towards a more fulfilling future.
Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix for becoming a braver person. It takes time, perseverance and, of course, ample amount of courage - and it goes a little something like this:
Be scared of something
Do it anyway
Be moderately less scared than the first time you do it
What’s really important is to capture that feeling you get when you do something brave.
Remember it as best you can. Celebrate it, take a picture, find a keepsake - anything that can remind you of how bloody awesome you were at that point in time, and will encourage you to be that awesome again in the future.
Join me and be just 10% braver this week - and see what happens when you show up for yourself that little bit more.