In the spirit of St George’s Day, let’s talk about bravery.
When we were kids, we climbed trees, threw ourselves down hills and jumped from the highest step… But as we get older, we (or the vast majority, at least) lose that free spirit and lack of interest in consequences.
Our brains start flashing warning lights and society trains us to watch our calories and wait in line.
Add anxiety, or other mental health issues, to this natural increase in suspicion, fear and guarded self-protection and you end up with somebody ruled almost entirely by obsessional fear of consequences – both real and imagined.
Forget bungee jumping or swimming with sharks, bravery for someone with anxiety can often be leaving the house. Social interactions, unexpected events – endless, terrifying possibilities…
And yet it’s a simple thing that many take for granted. So does that make that anxious persons little act of daily bravery any less important, any less incredible when they accomplish it? Absolutely not.
Personal struggles are not comparable, achievements don’t have a hierarchy. We are all faced with our own sets of circumstances, challeges, road blocks. When we make the effort to fight to overome them – whatever they may be – that is an achievement, something to be proud of.
Praise the friend that made it to drinks, even though she cancelled the last 5 times. Her attendance now is an act of bravery.
Congratulate the colleague for presenting his report in the meeting, even though he didn’t look up and read it word for word from his notepad. His public speaking is an act of bravery.
In fact, these small acts of bravery are arguably even more important – because they go unnoticed and uncelebrated.
Let’s all make a move towards conquering a fear or taking a leap into the unknown – big or small, let’s shout about it! Either way, I’m proud.