By Bev James, CEO Of The Academy Group

Every successful person knows that they need to develop the courage to face up to fears or self-doubt if they are going to get ahead in business. To develop to our full potential we need to ‘get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable’ and do things that stretch our boundaries and broaden knowledge. Being brave helps us to face up to anxiety and recognise that it is a normal feeling to feel less than 100% certain when making challenging decisions. If self- doubt raises its head and starts to ask, “What if I fail?”, “Is it worth the risk?” “Am I good enough?” “Will I make it?” there is only one form of positive defence that will combat the doubt — and that is to act ‘as if’ you are brave — even if you are feeling the opposite.


B is for …

- The Benefits of taking a brave action — In order to be brave we need to be clear about the benefits of taking action. What will it look like, sound like or feel like when you get the desired outcome?

- Breaking down action into small achievable stages — Don’t jump in at the deep end or you will end up in the 'panic zone'. Take gradual steps that will take you out of your 'comfort zone' and into a place of 'stretch' — where you will grow and succeed.

- Breaking through — negative barriers to achieve success. Be aware of negative inner chatter and replace it with positive comments from your inner cheerleader.

- The Belief — that you can achieve the outcome. If you believe it — you can do it.

E is for …

- Establishing your goals. Knowing why you want to achieve your goal and where it is leading you, will drive your course of action and help you to become resilient under pressure.

- Excuses. Pay close attention to Buts, Shoulds, Coulds, and If onlys. If you can overcome the hurdles you put in your own way — then you will be more motivated to stride closer to your goal.

- Emotions. “Named must your fear be, before banish it you can.” (Yoda) You need to know your enemy before you can conquer it. You can’t just ignore your emotions and expect them to go away.

- Encouragement. Who do you know who will encourage you and fire up your enthusiasm?

Once you have the BE in place you can start you can build the BRAVE:

B is for …

- Boldness — surprise yourself by ignoring your anxieties and doing it anyway.

- Behaviour — can be chosen. Act ‘as if’ you are brave even if you are not feeling that way.

- Borrow — someone else’s positive style of behaviour until you feel comfortable enough to develop your own.

- Because - Take action and decide to stretch yourself — just because you can.

R is for …

- Realism — Be realistic and take manageable steps to success. There is no point in setting yourself up for failure.

- Review your progress — What do you need to do to adapt and improve? Testing and measuring your own progress will help to consolidate your skills.

-Rehearse — Practice new skills on a regular basis to build self-knowledge and confidence. Doing something once isn’t enough to change behaviour.

- Reinvent yourself. Adopt a ‘growth mindset’ that allows you to change and develop over time.

- Relax — and be yourself.

- Learn to deal with Rejection — because fear of being judged is the reason a lot of people aren’t brave.

- Resilience — helps you to turn setbacks into comebacks. It becomes your auto-pilot when obstacles are in your way.

- Results are important. Monitor your progress and acknowledge success along the way.

A is for …

- Treat life as an Adventure — have fun with achieving your goal.

- Anxiety — is a natural part of learning. Recognise the value of the feeling. Find ways to relax to become less anxious.

- Athletes — know all about being brave. They develop personal strength and stamina and remain focused on the goal - and are willing to go though the pain barrier to achieve it.

- Attempt — Make a list of the things you would do, if you knew you couldn’t fail. Ask yourself — which of my goals do I feel most motivated to take steps to achieve?

- Atmosphere — create an environment of success that will support you in your endeavours. Who can you count on to support and encourage you? Who can you learn from?

- Acknowledge - how far you have come.

V is for …

- Vision — keep yours clear. Brave people have a motive. They know why they are being brave. Create a vision board, to remind yourself why you are motivated.

- Vocal — Talk about your vision, to keep it alive.

- Show Valour — Bravery follows by example. If you show valour in your daily conversations, others will follow your lead.

Victory — Take time to celebrate your successes.

E — the final E is for …

- Experience — what can you put down to experience?

- Energy — drives success. It will get you past the finishing line.

- End. When one thing finishes another begins — so every ending is a new beginning, and a doorway to a new start. What ending are you ready to celebrate? Where will being brave take you next time?

“Courage is being the only one who knows you are afraid.”

BEV JAMES is CEO of The Academy Group including the Entrepreneurs’ Business Academy, a joint venture with James Caan; and The Coaching Academy — the world’s largest training organization for coaches. She is a millionaires’ mentor, a serial entrepreneur and bestselling author of DO IT! or DITCH IT: Turn ideas into action and make decisions that count — 8 steps to business success (Virgin Books). www.bevjames.com

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