Does bravery have a particular look? What propels someone to be brave? Is it a conscious effort or an in-the-moment primal response? Bravery is a mystery of many faces, an enigma. We know it when we see it, but it’s hard to pin down.
It is situation specific, person specific and can change in an instant. It can be center stage one moment and missing in action the next.
Sometimes bravery is on grand parade, but more often it shows up in every day moments, imperceptible to the casual passerby. One is not superior to the other as bravery’s magnitude is not measured by its public stature.
Bravery might look like:
Finishing the tree-top canopy tour after discovering on the very first suspended bridge you’re afraid of heights.
Making eye contact with a stranger on the sidewalk.
Sending your child off with a kiss and a hug when you want to keep them cocooned at home, safe from the world.
Giving voice to the idea you’ve been holding tight in your throat.
A flirty hello after your heart’s been broken.
Raising your hand when you’d prefer to remain invisible.
Stepping through the doors (metaphorical and physical) in front of you.
Believing your own voice over others.
Bravery left unattended shrinks. Don’t leave it to chance. Befriend it. Practice it often. Keep it nimble and watch it blossom.
It will rarely be the easiest choice, but it will always be the right choice.