On Bravery: 20 Ways to Show Bravery


Bravery means being scared to do something and finding the courage to go ahead and do it anyway. When I'm at my bravest, I'm usually doing extremely ordinary things: trying a new food, speaking to my peers during a meeting, riding a bike next to traffic. It's likely that my heart is palpating, or that sweat is rolling down my back, or that tears are streaming down my face. Sometimes my voice is shaking, or my cheeks are bright red. You don't have to complete a bucket list item for you to consider yourself brave. It can be anything. It can be ordinary. It can even be considered "boring" by others. Whatever it is, though, bravery is always, always, always worth it.

1. Have faith in something

Whether it's a religion, overcoming your fears, or something completely out there, maintaining your faith in otherwise dark, trying times is one of the bravest acts you can commit to. Especially when others don't agree with you. 

2. Ask for help

We all need it from time to time. Asking for help is tough - we don't want to admit that we can't do it on our own. Chances are though, that the person helping you was once helped by someone else. 

3. Tell someone you love him/her

Be vulnerable. Maybe he'll say it back, maybe he won't. Either way, you'll finally know. Love is never something to hold back. 

4. Stand up for someone else

When you see someone being treated unjustly, don't walk away - do something

5. Stand up for yourself

Don't let anyone speak poorly of you, hurt you physically or mentally, or be rude to you. Protect yourself as best you can and at all costs. When you can't do it alone, see #2.

6. Forgive someone

I have a tendency to hold on to things; it's a terrible habit. Put bad feelings down and walk away. Your spirit will thank you and your bravery may even save some important relationships.

7. Quit a "safe" job

Are you a big fish in a small job? Do you do the same thing over and over and over again, day in, day out? Do you dread going to work in the morning? Just because you have a steady paycheck coming in doesn't mean you should stay at your job. Quit and find out what your passion is. Decide to live to work.

8. Take full responsibility for your actions

It's super hard to own up to our wrongdoings, but do it. It's a giant weight off your shoulders.

9. Volunteer

Helping others that need assistance is one of the kindest things you can do. It's also brave when you don't know what you're getting into. Seeing people in certain situations can be scary. Work past the fear - the value you're adding to someone's life is worth the unease.

10. Be ordinary

Our society is fixed on being "different." "Ordinary" and "average" have become words we try and avoid. But with everyone trying to be different, trying to be ordinary would be the epitome of contrast. Settle in to a comfortable life. You do not need to travel, have 8K followers, or own a startup to be an asset to society. Do your own thing, even if it is ordinary.

11. Tell someone (who really deserves it) to "Fuck Off"

Whether you're screaming it at the top of your lungs or flipping someone the bird, it feels fucking great.

12. Make a scene about something that matters to you

Protest. Speak out. Make signs, comment online, start arguments if you feel passionate about what's at stake. When you feel like you or something you believe in has been wronged, make sure people know.

13. Hold Back

Sometimes not saying anything is the bravest, most difficult thing to do. As much as you want to say or do something, having the courtesy to think of others' well-being first is sometimes the most valiant act of all.

14. Commit yourself to someone and/or something

Accomplish a goal you've been telling yourself you'd get to. You don't have to wait for the new year. Do it now. Commit to someone you love. Decide to care for someone as well as you care for yourself. 

15. Give most of your worldly possessions to a charity

You don't really need most things you own. Be brave enough to get rid of anything in your home that doesn't bring joy or have a purpose. Donate goods to a charity so others can benefit from what you no longer need.

16. Eat out alone

There's something discomforting about eating out at a restaurant by yourself. What are you supposed to do while you wait? What will you do when left alone with your thoughts? There's no telling until you try it. Some even fall in love with solitary dates.

17. Take care of yourself (first)

Go to the doctor. Get a massage. Get a pedicure. Treat yourself and never feel guilty about it. 

18. Say "no" more often than "yes"

We all say "yes" too often. Maybe we're committing to doing work that we can't actually finish on time. Maybe we're telling our friends that we'll meet them for dinner when we should really be catching up on sleep. Maybe we're allowing our parents too much control in our adult lives. Whatever it is, just say "no" and own it!

19. Give someone your phone number

As cliche as it is, giving the guy or girl you're fawning over your number puts you in an extremely vulnerable position. Your'e in this awkward spot twice: once when you hand the tattered napkin with your number sprawled in blue ink to your crush, and again when you wait for their call. Whether your phone rings or stays silent for days on end until you forget the whole ordeal, the simple act of giving your number builds character.

20. Share your thoughts

Start a blog, send a letter, leave a voicemail, or have a discussion over coffee. Write a book. Leave an anonymous note. Talk in code. However you communicate your thoughts, sharing what you think is brave. Risk looking or feeling stupid! What's the worst that can happen? 


What did I forget? When do you feel most brave?