Bravery is not just slaying dragons

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.

But sometimes bravery is about being a knight, too…
Musings Of A Tired Mummy

14 thoughts on “Bravery is not just slaying dragons

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  1. I always teach my children that real bravery isn’t doing the daring things, it’s doing the things that are hard for you.

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    1. Awesome. Kids are definitely exposed to the notion that only the biggest, brashest things are achievements – they’re set up to fail from the start.

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  2. I’m definitely the guy (or gal!) reading word for word from their note pad! Public speaking sucks, although it’s on my list of things to crack. Will have to borrow your suit of armour. Fab post. Xx

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    1. It’s definitely got to be one of the most cringe-inducing things you can do… A number of years ago, my husband was absolutely petrified of doing it. Until his work told him in no uncertain terms that it was to become a part of his job role! Since then he’s delivered training courses, run client meetings and given presentations in all kinds of venues including the National History Museum! He still gets scared, but he knows he can conquer it now.

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      1. Wow, that is fantastic! It’s all about mindset, and I guess practice. Xx

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  3. Thank you for reminding us all to be more mindful of these small acts that takes some people more time to do. My oldest has Autism and while he doesn’t have social anxiety for the most part, he does get triggered by social events sometimes and needs to take a break. He has to work harder in school and make more of an effort to socialize, especially when hes feeling overwhelmed. This is a great reminder to be more mindful about this and the struggles that people go through in their day to day lives. #GlobalBlogging

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  4. This is such a great message! Every small step we take and challenge we overcome (as tiny as they may seem) is important and should be celebrated -it takes small steps to climb a mountain.
    Karen

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