The Gift of Bravery: Unstoppable Confidence
by Sandy Travis Bildahl
As the car crept over the crumbling edge of mountain roads, with steep drops down, I planned my escape. Grab onto a tree? Lean to the left? Get out and walk? Was my quest to test my theory that bravery overrides fear and results in unstoppable confidence about to end?
Should I have stuck with the adamant NO I said when my 24-year-old son asked if I’d like to go on a 6-week camping road trip out west, sleeping in the middle of nowhere in his 3-man tent? No bathrooms, no showers, no internet, no people, just us and the bears, snakes and sounds that shriek in the night. Should I have said NO, when I had never camped in my life?
Absolutely not! I was having the adventure of my life. Now, I could wake up scared and love it. Clearly, I had changed.
I had come face to face with the fact that for most of my life fear had been enjoying a running commentary about what could go wrong. Far too often, fear had stifled my dreams, often leading me to one place: The comfort zone, where nothing happens.
Now I wanted more. I wanted to wake up every day energized by possibility and enjoy a new sense of purpose which was all about being brave no matter what I chose to do. I knew I wanted to grow and change. All that meant risk. But now? The risk was not in taking the risk. And best of all, I felt confident that I could trust myself to honor me.
I had discovered what I call: The Brave Zone. It’s a mindset that celebrates who you really are. Here, you can try ideas on for size, judgement free. Live aligned with whatever action you take. And best of all, challenge and failure are opportunities to grow. Fear is even welcome here. It’s actually a sign that you’re about to change. (It doesn’t like that.)
Like Glinda that good witch said to Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, “You had the power all along, you just had to discover it for yourself.” That’s what I found in the Brave Zone.
And now it’s your turn. What dreams are you longing to live? How do you want to grow? Who do you want to be? The answers are within you, waiting to burst into action so you can live your own Bravery Becomes You journey.
Here are some strategies I learned on my adventure. I use them all the time:
- Your inner intelligence is your most valuable and accurate resource: the voice within knows without question what’s best for you. Tuning into this “oasis” of calm wisdom is key to confident, effective, brave action. How to connect? Meditation, journaling and walking in nature activate this flow of knowing. And any time you “lose yourself,” doing what you love, you’re in! The more you connect, the easier it gets.
- The Get Brave Map
You always have access to a very reliable map. Activating your imagination lets you create the future today. And when you see/feel the future, it’s like you took an action step. Inner practice jump starts your map to the future, which can now unfold with confidence.
It works like this: Close your eyes and daydream what appeals to you. See into the future. Then experience your future like it’s really happening. Feel it with all the details you can imagine. Create whatever you like and consider if what you’re envisioning feels aligned with you. Your intuition will let you know if your daydream is a match.
- The Get Brave Compass
Every time you take a brave step, an army of NOs sent courtesy of your fears, are guaranteed to arrive. “You’re not good enough, smart enough, ready enough, unique enough,” are words you know well, and they can quickly send you and your dreams directly to the comfort zone. The truth is that many of those NOs are on auto pilot. You say NO because you always do. You’ve been conditioned not to trust yourself. The solution? The GET BRAVE COMPASS.
It works like this: Ask a question. Pause. Close your eyes. Now imagine taking the action
you’re considering. See it. Feel it like it’s happening. Then ask, “How do I feel if I do?” And then, “How do I feel if don’t?” See yourself saying YES or NO to your question. You’ll know right away which choice feels right. Learning to trust your inner navigation works every time. Now you’re ready to say YES…if you want to!
- Take a Step.
And then another. And another. Once you take any size step, the joy of being brave, pushing past fear and the discomfort of change, will bring you so much joy that you’ll want to keep going. And the more you’re brave, the more you’ll want to be brave, until eventually, bravery becomes who you are. The result? Unstoppable confidence. And nothing feels better than that.
So now it’s time. Imagine the power of YOU as you let go of fear’s interference, build unstoppable confidence that lasts, and make a passionate commitment to being true to yourself and the future you want.
Sandy Travis Bildahl is an award-winning writer, bestselling author, certified emotional intelligence and business coach, and inspirational speaker. She believes that when Bravery Becomes You, the process of releasing internal struggles that are not aligned with your true self, activates unstoppable confidence and the joy of being alive. The power of stories to create life-transforming change and deep connections with others has been the author’s passion throughout her 30-year entrepreneurial career: Advertising, television, radio, interviewer, corporate executive. Sandy is also an artist, coach, author and speaker. Bravery Becomes You: On the Road to Fearless and Free. She loves the wonder of adventure, being scared, and living brave.