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  • Susan Mann

Be Brave


The world calls on us to be courageous right now. Suffering is all around: Discrimination and injustice. Global pandemic. Economic meltdown and millions of people out of work. Pivoting and trying to keep organizations viable. The climate crisis hasn’t gone away. Politicians behaving unethically. Oh, and stepping up to take care of our loved ones. We are presented with innumerable opportunities to show up, be brave, and make a difference – in our hometowns and on the other side of the planet.


Whether our individual actions feel small or large, it DOES make a difference when we each do our bit. The evidence shows us that the foundation of courage is vulnerability – stepping into that messy feeling of risk, uncertainty, and emotional discomfort. We’ve all been doing that for the past few months and we have to keep doing it. Stay focused on what you care about. And, think about adding a new cause and digging in.


Since 2012, I’ve drawn on the work of researcher and New York Times best-selling author Dr. Brené Brown to help people build their courage muscles. Through conversations with thousands of people, I’ve learned there are some key ways we can all be brave. Look at this list of some of the most common steps we can take. Choose one or two that fit your needs and give it a try. When we’re brave enough to get uncomfortable, we discover what’s possible.


  • Ask for help.

  • Be curious.

  • Listen openly.

  • Normalize discomfort.

  • Take thoughtful risks.

  • Share your ideas.

  • Speak up when you disagree.

  • Give meaningful feedback.

  • Ask for feedback.

  • Deal with conflict.

  • Do what’s right, not easy.

  • Support others.

  • Be more confident.

  • Offer to help.

  • Pause when stressed.

  • Say a clear no.

  • Say a heartfelt yes.

  • Offer trust.

  • What “be brave” ideas would you add to this list?

  • What do you commit to doing to be braver?

Photo by Chuck Bergman - Lisbon, Portugal


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