When I think of bravery, I usually think of people who have died for their causes, like William Wallace being drawn and quartered (think Mel Gibson with a blue face in Braveheart).
I'm not capable of such bravery.
Even Zen Habits Leo Babauta's recent post on when being who you are challenges the norms made me feel quite cowardly. He's taken a real stand on some issues that really go against the grain in our capitalist society, like being a vegan and not owning a car. (We don't have a car, but that's because we live in a big city and neither of us has a UK driving license. At some point one of those things may change and we are likely to fold.)
So leaving aside big ways to be brave, are there small ways we can face our fears? Even on a daily basis?
I believe there are. For some, like those who suffer with severe depression, even getting out of bed can be brave.
Being brave means feeling the fear, but doing it anyway. Standing up for ourselves, quitting a job that's not good for us, ending a relationship honorably (this does not include being so annoying that you force them to dump you), or making conversation with the really irritating person at the party that no one else wants to speak with. There's volunteering despite being tired after a long day at work, visiting someone who's ill, choosing not to gossip, facing grief straight on, not losing it with a child who's throwing a tantrum, or doing something you don't want to do just because it makes your partner or someone else in your family happy.
It's doing the right thing – when the right thing isn't easy.
I could certainly do more of this. At some point we may have the opportunity to make a big difference, but then again, life is actually made up of small moments strung together. Making a small difference in someone's daily life could actually make a big difference.
This post is part of the Self-Discovery Word by Word series and this month's word was chosen by Dr Dana at The Body and the Brood. Click here to read her kick-off post and find out how to participate.