8 Steps to Braving Your Way Forward
Updated: May 31
Emily Donohue states, "Fear is what we feel. Brave is what we do."
It is important for each of us to affirm themselves. Because the world isn’t always kind.
During the past thirty years, I have had the privilege and pleasure of mentoring and coaching hundreds of people from diverse backgrounds. Each of these individuals were seeking insights and strategies on how to level up their effectiveness towards the achievement of specific personal and professional goals.
These up close and personal interactions enabled me to bear witness of how one can go from struggling with showing up for yourself to rediscovering the brave you were born with to implement practices that enable you to embrace the truth of your enoughness. This shift from “I am not enough” to “I am enough” created an aliveness in their soul that inspired them to become their biggest advocate.
They started showing up for themselves in their personal and professional lives. They owned their story and voice. When they activated their personal story power they started to see themselves differently, think differently about themselves, and show up differently in their sphere of influence. They began to redefine possible in their life.
The Brave Way practices which I share in my latest book Find Your Brave: Embrace Fear As A Gift to Show Up, Shine and Succeed provide readers with a practical approach toward embracing their authentic self and boldly living out loud. Like many women, I have struggled during various periods in my life with fear, chronic doubt and procrastination. These states of BEing dimmed my light and blocked me from living and leading in ways aligned with my capacity and potential. Can you relate?
Even while I was writing Find Your Brave, I started to experience Resistance which Steven Pressfield refers to as fear in his book The War of Art. Before I could continue to complete the book, I had to get to the root of my fear. In the book, I share the process that helped me to unravel the layers of emotions in the fear based story I was telling myself about standing out. I was able to connect with the first time I felt that standing out was wrong. It was during my fifth grade musical in which I had a lead solo singing role.
This was an A-ha moment! Being able to "out" the story that I told myself at that time about the experience helped me to understand why I never felt comfortable standing up in front of my peers to receive awards during my corporate career. I began to practice the emotional interdependence skills shared in the book which enabled me to engage the process of healing this soul wound.
Women and men need to embrace the truth of their enoughness to debunk the lie of inadequacy: “I am not enough.” Women have been conditioned for hundreds of years to see themselves as less than. it's time women take responsibility for reconnecting with the brave they were born with and step fully into the power of their spiritual badassery to advance their vision, voice, and value.
When anyone becomes their biggest advocate and stop waiting on the validation of others to believe they have what it takes to achieve greatness while embracing The Brave Way Practices outlined in my book, they will show up, shine and succeed in the arenas that matter most to them.
A fundamental principle to believing in yourself is developing and honing your self trust.
In the introduction of my book Find Your Brave, I shared this quote: Scared is what you're feeling. Brave is what you're doing.~ Emma Donoghue
This quotes helps to support the foundation for the book's premise which is that we can decide and learn how to relate to our fears in a way which doesn't prevent us from taking action. Too often, we, including myself, have allowed our overactive imagination to conjure up in our mind the worst possible outcomes in life, when it has been proven by numerous studies that rarely do we experience what we dread. And even though each of us have had an experience when we thought the worst was going to happen and it didn't, we soon forget this truth when faced with another scenario in which we didn't know for sure how the situation was going to unfold.
It was this tendency, especially after leaving corporate America which is often more structured that caused me to question if I could build a successful online and brick and mortar business. As I started and stopped, again and again, I knew deep in my soul, I was losing touch with that sense of knowing about my leadership, business management and developing the human capital of those businesses in which I was able to grow and build revenues, profit and future leaders.
It was my desire to reconnect with this truth which I knew played a huge part in keeping me stedfast, trusting my faith and myself to rise above numerous life changing adversities, countless restructuring by the companies I worked for, and my insatiable hunger for learning and growth that enabled me to build sustainable leadership success for more than two decades. So, I embarked on an adventure for my soul.
My exploration of my inner world and recognizing the difference between how I refused to allow fear to deter me from going after my professional goals while working in corporate environments, but, as I began to make strides to build the side-hustle version of my business while working as a full-time commissioned sales professional, I noticed how many times I used my job as an excuse for why I couldn't go after the opportunities that I was recognizing in the marketplace.
Slowly, I began to see that I was relating to the fear of being a business owner in a way that disempowered me versus how I related to fear during my corporate career. It was as if I had dismissed all the lessons I'd learned from facing my greatest fear: the loss of my son, Blease. And that's when I began to understand that you can know what you did in a situation to make progress, but, if you don't know WHY something works, you haven't integrated into way of being that it become automatic.
Although, I became aware of the key actions that helped me to duplicate my effectiveness and success, again and again, which is what The D.R.I.V.E. Method represents, I needed to understand the difference between how I related to fear during my corporate career and how I was relating to it at that particular period in my life.
My quest led me to the following practices which helped me to brave the way forward in the face of the fears i had experienced while I worked in corporate and while I journeyed through the valley of the shadow of my son's death finally to come to a place of acceptance that renewed my zest for embracing the unknown for many years afterward. Now, I had a road map albeit imperfect, which I could refer to whenever I faced a fear that seemed to be getting the best of me. Being conscious of the actions I'd taken consistently in the face of fear, uncertainty, the unknown, and the criticism of others helped me to bear witness of the power of these practices when you are faced with fear, uncertainty and doubt.
Brave Your Way Forward
Practice 1: Dare to Desire. Imagine if every fiber in your being believed you could have life exactly as you choose it to be. What would be possible in your life - if you decided to unhook from the lie of inadequacy you’ve accepted about yourself and embrace the truth of your enoughness? Perhaps you would value your unique gifts, talents, spiritual power, intuition and creativity. You would seek opportunities to put them to use towards purposeful goals. You would accept the authority and accountability for living your best life. And you wouldn’t be intimidated by doing so.
Practice 2: Embrace Your Authentic Self. When you make being real a priority, you accept the responsibility for owning your truth and showing up in life as your authentic self. The degree of your authenticity defines whether or not your need for validation from others defines the life you live, of if you are brave enough to occupy the driver's seat in your life to chart a path that reflects your unique interests, passions, skills and strengths.
Practice 3: You Are Enough. The foundation of believing in the truth of your enoughness is built on self-trust. Trust that you will make decisions aligned with your core values and beliefs. Trust that you will take actions aligned with your core values and beliefs. When you remember to remember the strong moments in your life when you made decisions and took actions based on your core beliefs and core values, these moments help to fortify your self-trust. When you trust the truth of who you are during strong moments in your life, this practice reminds you of who you are at your best, and it inspires you to believe in the truth of your enoughness.
Practice 4: Show Up for Yourself. Instead of rationalizing why you have continued to not speak up when you felt you should, refused to raise your hand for a stretch opportunity beyond your comfort zone, or go after that business opportunity you truly desire, or allow yourself to believe in the possibility of finding an intimate partner, regardless of your age, it’s time for you to step fully into your power and get back in the arena with a fresh, bold attitude. While taking the first steps out of your comfort zone may cause you to feel anxious. The more you do it. The more comfortable you will become. You got this. You can learn how to be comfortable with temporary feelings of discomfort, especially, when you have a compelling WHY that inspires you to take action. Instead of focusing on the gap between where you are and what you desire, focus your time, attention and energy towards what you will gain from your actions. Baby steps matter. Trust me when I say they can add up over time to create something amazing.
Practice 5: Disrupt Your Limits. Consider the level of innovation and disruption occurring in all facets of our modern life compared to what was considered the “norm” just ten to twenty years ago. Women are courageously owning their voice to speak up against cultural injustices while leading social initiatives and acquiring leadership positions in corporations and politics. Disruption is a mainstay in the fabric of our lives. Rule breakers challenge long held beliefs about themselves that may have helped them survive at one point in their life, but, will not empower them to thrive at the next level. They understand the importance of keeping their finger on the pulse in the arena they are playing to continuously contribute value in extraordinary ways to those they serve. They are willing to experiment with new ideas for the purpose of disrupting themselves from resting on past successes.
Practice 6: Transcending Fear. Fear thrives on the unknown. Its paralyzing effects are often rooted more in our imagination than reality. You can learn how to embrace fear with courageous confidence and become a fear tamer. As long as we live, most of us will have the sensory ability to feel frighten, scared, anxious and apprehensive. Fear tamers do not subscribe to the notion of denying or suppressing their emotions. They know from experience that what’s in the way points the way to the freedom their soul craves. They learn how to manage their relationship with fear so that it no longer boxes their life into a small replica of what it could be. Fear tamers keep their eye on the BIG picture and their compelling WHY!
Practice 7: Be Driven by Discovery. We are born curious. When you are driven by discovery, you see the world in ways that you might otherwise miss. Curiosity challenges you to put aside your perspective of the world to see the world through the experiences of others. It requires you to move beyond what you know and embrace the unknown. To become a novice, again and again. “Curiosity, according to Brian Grazer, allows the possibility that the way we’re doing it now isn’t the only way, or even the best way.” When you adopt an inquisitive mind towards what else is possible in any area of your life, your mind and heart becomes receptive to fresh ideas that can lead to you creating better experiences.
Practice 8: Brave the Way. Bravery is built on the foundation of knowing who you are and what you stand for. Each time you decide to take an action reflective of the truth of who you are, and what you stand for, you are being brave. This decision sets in motion how you see yourself, what you believe about your ability to achieve goals, and what you feel you are worthy of experiencing in life. Braving the way forward is taking the shots, even with the knowledge that you’re not going to hit 100% of your targets. Braving the way forwards develops your self-leadership which inspires you to take action on a consistent basis to actualize your great potential.
It’s okay to be scared of the unknown. You can learn how to use this or any other fear as fuel to unleash more of your great potential.
Isn’t it time for you to find your brave to step fully into your power so that you are able to show up, shine and succeed where it matters most to you?
Wouldn’t it benefit you to learn how to relate to fear in ways in which allow you to see it as a gift of freedom your soul craves?
Find your brave. Liberate yourself from the limitations imposed upon you by others and those beliefs you have agreed with about what's possible in your life.
Implement these eight practices in your life to get out and play with the world. Your life, career and business will experience a new sense of energy which will serve as a magnet to attract more of what you desire in life.
Note: This is an excerpt from Jackie Capers-Brown’s book Find Your Brave: Embrace Fear As A Gift to Show Up, Shine & Succeed which is available on Amazon.com. You can download the introduction chapter of the book here.