I was watching the movie “Justice League” the other night. There is a scene in which Batman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg and the Flash are about to go into battle with Steppenwolf. The Flash pulls Batman aside and says something along the lines of (I am paraphrasing) it is great that you are all ready to go into battle but I’ve never fought anyone. He goes on and lists several things he is afraid of (again I am paraphrasing) bugs, guns, drowning and grotesquely tall people. Batman tells him to just rescue one person and that he (the Flash) would know what to do after that.
I found that this scene of the movie resonated with me long after the movie ended. It is important because Batman is explaining how to get through moments of not knowing what to do or moments of fear. He is explaining how to be brave.
“In order to achieve anything you must be brave enough to fail.” -Kirk Douglas
Being brave isn’t about conquering fear. It is about recognizing it. Facing it. And yes, knowing you could fail. Being brave is going forward recognizing that failure is a possibility. The key is the still going forward.
So often we think of bravery as huge moments that confront you. That bravery can only be found in matters of life or death. I am here to tell you that being brave is definitely in those moments. You know….the moments that make people heroes.
What you don’t hear about but is just as important are the smaller more subtle moments. They may not be life or death, but being brave at these times are just as important.
For example: Being brave is daring to start a new career after being fired or let go. Cooking a holiday dinner for your in-laws for the very first time. Starting your own business. Entering your artwork in a juried show. Bravery can be found in the ending of a marriage or dating relationship that is unhealthy. Performing your first solo piano recital. Bravery is in the person who keeps going to work at a job where they are being bullied until a new job can be found, because they can’t afford to just quit. Being brave is purchasing a home for the first time. Sending your manuscript to a publisher. Getting on the bicycle after falling down. Hiking a trail that scares you because you are afraid of heights.
Being brave is knowing that you could fail but you push through the fear and go forwards. Being brave is knowing that the odds may be stacked against you but you keep on going.
I just want you to know that you are brave. Whatever it is that you are facing. However hard it may seem. Keep going. Yes, you could fail. But you can and will succeed. Keep on being brave.