You Don’t Lack Self-Confidence. You Need to Be Braver.

“Scared is what you're feeling. Brave is what you're doing.” 

In her book, Playing Big, Tara Mohr explores principles to help us move past self-doubt and creating what we most desire in our career, our community, or in our work. In the chapter “Hiding”, she points out common ways brilliant women (and I add men) hide from playing bigger.

Some of the ways we do so includes, telling ourselves the story that “this has to happen before that”, which is the notion that there is a defined path of actions that must be taken prior to us initiating bold moves towards creating a life and work we love. Other ways we hide from playing bigger includes, overcomplicating and endless polishing (when nothing ever seems good enough to ship), collecting or curating what everyone else has to say about it (spending countless hours on the Internet absorbing information from other experts), omitting our own story (failing to recognize the value you bring to the table) and getting more and more and more education (just one more degree will assure me of the success I want).

Let’s be honest. We use a combination of these hiding strategies to rationalize why we continue to play small when our soul is beckoning us to play bigger. Can I get a witness?

As we enter the month of February, I thought about how 2016 is a leap year. And I wondered how these extra 24 hours will add to our ability to make the decision to own our brilliance and become shining examples of what it looks like to live with a braveheart. My personal definition of braveheart is someone who feels compelled to take action in the face of their fear because they decide they want what they want more so than they are afraid of what they fear. How much more joy, love and success and abundance would you experience if you were braver?

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” 
Nelson Mandela

Two weeks ago, I changed the name of my company from Grow Forward & Flourish Training and Consulting to Braveheart Training Group. This change came as a result of my investment in various training programs which helped me to identify where I can best use my unique experiences, skills, and strengths to serve in a greater capacity.

During various training courses, I realized that I was allowing many of the “hiding strategies” prevent me from taking actions necessary to create a life and business I love. As I began to do more mentoring, I recognized similar patterns in my clients. As a group, most of us have experienced a number of successes. We didn’t lack confidence. We needed to become braver. My equation for bravery: Fear + Courage = Bravery.

After taking a deep dive into my experiences and recognizing my “brave moments” and how easily it was for me to dismiss them, which prevented me from owning the power of each experience, I came to the understanding that confidence without bravery will keep you from stretching your capacity to play bigger.

Our willingness to be intentional towards the manifestation of breakthroughs and the achievement of our goals require bravery. Our ability to take those first steps out of our comfort zone, which Mohr identifies as “leaps” requires bravery. Saying “no” to requests and tasks that are not aligned with our intention to create a life and work we love so that we create space for more of what we want to say “yes” to in our lives requires bravery. Standing up for ourselves requires bravery. Being humble requires bravery. Connecting with others with an open mind and open heart leaves us vulnerable which requires bravery. Creating and living a life that reflects the grandest version of our best self requires bravery.

Instead of holding to the notion that only particular types of people (firemen and firewomen, police officers, soldiers etc.) are capable of brave acts let us choose to begin to nurture and develop a braveheart. Let us become the heroes and heroines of our story. Let us rise up and become the grandest version of our bravest self.

We can begin our ascension to becoming braver by taking leap actions. According to Tara Mohr, leaps are identified as the following:

1.      Gets you playing bigger now, according to what playing bigger means to you.
2.    It can be finished within one or two weeks.
3.    It’s simple: an action you could describe in a short phrase. For example, “host a workshop,” “apply to three jobs in my desired field,” “send a memo to my boss about my strategy ideas.”
4.    It gets your adrenaline flowing because it stretches you out of your comfort zone.
5.     A leap puts you in contact with the audience you want to reach or influence.
6.    You leap with an intent to learn.

It’s important to get clear about your definition of playing bigger so that you aren’t dismissing your truth to go along with what everyone else seems to be doing. Knowing what you stand for and the legacy you want to create with your life helps you to see the “bigger picture” of the actions you need to take to align with this vision and the personal values it represents.

Remember, there is a reservoir of wisdom dwelling within you. Tapping into it requires that you embrace life and yourself with an open heart and open mind. Make time to tune out the noise of the world so that you can hear the whispers of wisdom within your soul. Your wisdom coupled with initiating leap actions that inspire curiosity towards a new possibility will help you develop the ability to be comfortable with temporary feelings of discomfort as you occupy your “brave zone”.

Live, Love and Lead Bravely.

About the Author
Jackie Capers-Brown is the CEO of Braveheart Training Group and founder of the Brave New YOU Project. She is the author of three books, her latest entitled, Get Unstuck Now: Changing Your Story Unleashes Your Power to Move On and Be Happy. She is currently working on her 4th book, Be Brave Now: Everyday Acts of Courage that Empower You to Live, Love and Lead Bravely. Jackie can be reached via email at Join her online community at and receive weekly updates that empower you to train your brave.

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