When we think of the word ‘brave’ our minds automatically switch to the endurance of pain, performing daunting tasks and facing danger without fear. Our minds go to the images of brave soldiers at the war front, selfless, daring, heroic and protecting us from intrusion at the risk of their own lives. I am not that soldier, yet, I daresay that I am brave. Yes! I am.
Not to thump my fists on my chest, belting out a war cry, I can puff up with a little sense of pride that I do stand up to daunting and unpleasant situations – often with trembling knees and trepidation. Most times, in all the places that I have worked over the years, I have been that voice that speaks out for those who don’t know how to or feel too intimidated to speak up.
On a regular basis, I am not afraid to question the status quo when my perception of rightness prompts me to do so even if it means that my voice is the only dissenting voice in a crowd of many. What that has achieved over time is not only to draw the attention of those in positions of authority to review any ‘questionable circumstance’ but has served as a catalyst for positive change and gradual inculcation of healthier work cultures.
As much as I like being comfortable, I have also grown to understand that the space of comfort stifles personal growth and as such, I endeavour to try new things – albeit sensibly – and to push my boundaries in many ways. Taking such steps brings a new sense of power and exhilaration and also takes some level of bravery as most of us are creatures of habit who find changes unsettling. Those things that we fear can keep us bound in invisible chains and as is commonly said, ‘you don’t have to be fearless, doing it afraid is just as brave.’
Personally, putting myself out there on social media through videos, baring my thoughts in writing for others to read sometimes feels as if I am exposing the inner parts of my soul to friends and strangers alike, because we live in a world where people are far more at ease to criticize and judge than to empathize and to keep an open mind. ‘
However, the sense of freedom that comes from doing so daily propels me to keep showing up, to keep being brave in my little world and I am not about to stop anytime soon.
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