Finding your bravery in unexpected places

In these uncertain times it’s so easy to get stuck. In a recent PWC report, media expert Megan Brownlow, expressed her pessimism about the Australian sector outlook where businesses are reducing both spend and campaign ambition. 

“We have to educate a raft of business leaders that behaving in the risk averse way that they are, is actually the risk.”

Similarly, I recently enjoyed a fantastic keynote by ‘think bigger’ advocate Margie Warrell, who said;

“We constantly underestimate the cost of inaction”

Whether we lead others or just ourselves, there’s never been a more important time to get or keep moving.  The only useful response to our VUCA world is to go forward – to challenge ourselves, to innovate, to experiment. Yet our innate human instinct to safety and our bias to risk-aversion is working against us. Cracking this mindset is a critical self-leadership skill.

Life is short

I was speaking with Nicki, my wife, recently and we reflected on how fickle life can be. We know this of course and yet the horrific events in Manchester and London remind us of our fragile reality. The best way we can respond positively to the heartbreaking news is to step up. As Frankie said, “CHOOSE LIFE”. We must be brave. We need to build our people, build businesses and – most importantly – build ourselves.

All work and no play ……

Getting this mix right is hard. It’s important to make our mark, to build successful businesses and to make money (whilst enjoying the process). It’s equally important to make and take the time to love, laugh, create and connect.

Let’s get braver

The trouble with bravery is that it’s scary! I believe the key is to start small and wrestle with this sucker every day. I’ve recently made a bravery pact with a former client and now friend. We’ve agreed to hold each other accountable to regularly stepping out into discomfort to grow our businesses, our lives and our influence.

Thank you for the music

Last weekend, Nicki and I went to see an ABBA Tribute band (I know!). We’d been apart all week and it came up last minute, so we just decided to pitch up. On arrival, we found the audience was 90% women, with the few men present looking decidedly uncomfortable. I could have sat at the back by the bar – in my comfort zone. Instead I made the conscious decision to be brave and actually asked Nicki and her mates to dance. My Dad-dancing moves are decidedly ordinary and I initially felt very self-conscious. Before long though this little act of courage was rewarded. From what started out as an S.O.S., I conquered my Waterloo and ended up as the Dancing Queen!

Bite size chunks

TAKE MASSIVE ACTION TODAY doesn’t work for most people. Inspiration expires. We need to rewire our brains through repeated small, yet conscious acts. Over time, this helps to switch our bias - from ‘no’ to ‘yes’, from ‘safety’ to ‘adventure’, from “I can’t” to “I can”. It’s about taking many small steps on the way to a bigger destination – our personal, financial and leadership success.

Admiral William H. McRaven headed up the US Navy Seals elite special forces. His recommendation for bravery and success? Start by making your bed everyday!

“If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.

By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the facet that little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.

And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made – that you made – and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.”


Work with Mark

Since 2010 Mark Hodgson has been successfully helping executives, coaches and consultants to build confidence, gain clarity in their message and position themselves as influential thought leaders who people want to work with.

He is the author of Time To Shine - Adapting who you are and what you know to succeed i... and a leading thinker and speaker on adapting our personal leadership to succeed in a volatile world. To book Mark as a speaker for your next event contact him here.

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