How to Be Brave

Do you want to be more courageous? Bravery isn’t something you’re born with – you acquire it over time as you gain life experiences. You can practice being brave by acting on what your heart tells you to do and challenging yourself with new experiences, even when you’re afraid.


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    Admit that you’re scared. Bravery doesn’t mean that you’re never afraid — it means that you’re afraid, but you move forward anyway. Try these tips for acknowledging your fear.

    • Say it out loud. Verbalizing what you’re afraid of can bring it out into the open and make it seem more ordinary. You don’t have to say it to anyone else, just to yourself.
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    • Accept that everything is a risk. All the things you do in a day — from getting out of bed to eating dinner — carry some level of risk. But that doesn’t stop you from living your life. Why should what you’re afraid of stop you, either?
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    • Focus on what you can control. You can’t help being afraid of something — it’s an emotional response you can’t change. However, you can control what you do about it. Keep your attention focused on your actions, not your involuntary responses.
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    Find a role model. If you’re having a hard time seeing your way out of a situation, try modeling your behavior after someone else who’s faced adversity. Not only can this give you a good dose of perspective (“Wow, at least my problem isn’t as bad as ‘that), it might inspire you to be more courageous.

    • Look for a role model among people you already know. If you feel comfortable enough, consider asking them how they dealt with situations that required bravery.
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    • Read about brave historical figures. Look up the life stories of people who are renowned for facing adversity with bravery, such as Theodore Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman or Joan of Arc, freedom fighters, rebels, etc.
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    Make a decision. If you’re facing a situation that might mean making a brave but difficult decision, take some time to think it over. If you feel strongly about what needs to be done, you can use that to help boost your courage in the moment. Ask yourself:

    • Is this the right thing to do? The right thing isn’t always the easiest, nor the most popular. Rely on your conscience to help you decide.
    • Is this the only way to resolve the situation? Consider whether there’s a way to get around your problem that’s less dramatic. Is there a workaround you haven’t thought of yet?
    • Are you prepared to face the consequences? If the action you’re about to do has huge consequences, take an extra second to think about it. If the worst-case scenario happened, would you be able to handle it?
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    Don’t think — act. After a certain point, it’s better if you stop dwelling on what you’re about to do and just do it. Take a deep breath, try to clear your mind, and go forward with what you’ve already decided on. Try not to hesitate, and focus on just getting through it.


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