Superhero or coward?

Photo courtesy of Tim Malabuyo (Creative Commons

Photo courtesy of Tim Malabuyo (Creative Commons

I have always thought that bravery was something that you were born with – you know, some people are brave and others, well, aren’t.  Like a superhero – you either are or you aren’t one.

Then I realized that bravery can actually be learned and practiced. A person can take conscious steps to develop courage and overcome the fear of most anything, from speaking in front of crowds to standing up for herself in uncomfortable situations.

But the hardest lesson to learn about bravery is that it is something that has to be practiced every day. You don’t just become brave and that’s it. Like developing a muscle, you must work it constantly in order for it to remain strong.

Community helps. On those days when you feel fearful and inadequate, it is important to surround yourself with others who are supportive and understanding but who will also remind you of the need to be brave.

Reflection helps. Thinking about the times when you were courageous can build you up again. And let you know that it’s possible and necessary to continue to be brave.

Costumes help. Mentally put on that superhero costume if you must – do whatever it takes to boost yourself up and step out in confidence.

What do you need to do to be brave today?