This week I have been at home creating follow up presentations for our clients, reading ‘Immunity to Change’ by Kegan and Lahey and working on developing some new material. One of our biggest clients has just finished a large piece of work with us alongside their ambition of shifting their culture to adopt more bravery. The first image that pops into mind when the word bravery is used, is a man fighting off a wild lion, I’m not quite sure why my mind elicits this specific picture but that’s bravery in a very extreme way. I don’t believe we consider bravery in the way we could on a daily basis and give credit to others and ourselves when we are brave in a less extreme way. I’m talking about having a painful conversation you’ve been dreading for months, asking for feedback, self-exploring, working on shifting parts of your mindset which have been embedded since childhood, speaking out and being more confident. These are massive alterations, which can take months and even years sometimes, but not only is achieving them brave but so is taking the first step. When I started my internship in January it became evident very quickly that I was working with brave women, with a brave vision who relished and enjoyed opportunities to showcase bravery and to help as many people as possible become braver because of the potential it can unlock. What would you do if you knew you could not fail? It’s an incredibly powerful question, which probably sparks a similar response in most of us; a lot more than we’re doing now. So the next question to ask yourself is, ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’ Very often, the worst that could happen isn’t life threatening and the risk wouldn’t hurt as much as the benefit would help.
At the start of my internship journey I didn’t set out with the goal of becoming more brave, my aim was to just absorb and learn as much as possible. I have not only done that but made some really powerful shifts myself without necessarily putting too much effort into it. That’s the great thing about the work we do here; it doesn’t require any more time, or for you to really do anything. Once you have the tools and techniques it’s a shift in the way you think altogether. It’s altering your language, looking after that precious gap between receiving a stimulus and the way you chose to respond, it’s giving feedback using clean language, it’s having ‘real’ self awareness and it’s being the best, most authentic you.
Bravery means different things to all of us, but I challenge you to become closer to what your definition of being brave looks like. A great exercise we encourage is the Mercedes Model. This promotes the exploration of all the beliefs you have which are currently preventing you from being brave in whatever way that might be. What are you lacking? What are you fearing? What else is there? The important learning from this is that the very vast majority of these things holding you back are just limiting beliefs and have no evidence supporting them that would stand up in court and therefore make them factual. When something is a belief, it’s either enabling or limiting but the great thing is that beliefs are a choice. You can 100% choose whether you want to allow them to impact your mind.
Being brave is liberating and we all have it inside us; it might not only change things for you but it can be contagious and inspire others to do the same. Be a leader of bravery and lay the foundations for others to join you.