Chloe Brotheridge on how to be brave
Chloe Brotheridge is a coach and hypnotherapist and author of Brave New Girl: 7 Steps to Confidence. Find her on Instagram @ChloeBrotheridge
Being scared is normal. Only psychopaths and dead people feel no fear. For the 99 per cent of us who aren’t psychopaths (and those of us who have a pulse) it’s natural that we’re going to experience fear. Being brave isn’t about not being scared, it’s about feeling it all and moving forwards anyway. You can change anything…
Fear shrinks when you walk towards it
A bit like your shadow, fear recedes you’re when you take it on and face up to it. Likewise, it only grows when you move away. Many of us avoid the things we’re scared of, but avoidance can have the effect of worsening anxiety. Instead, take small steps towards your fear and you’ll find your courage and confidence increase.
If your heart is racing, that means it’s your turn
You’re sitting in a meeting and suddenly your heart starts to race as a question comes to mind that you’d love to ask. Instead of viewing that racing heart as a sign to keep quiet because you’re too frightened, remember that it’s a sign, this is your turn, and speak up anyway.
Climb the ladder of bravery
Write down a list of all the things you’re afraid to do, but in fact would secretly love to. Start by putting the “hardest” things at the top and the “easiest” ones at the bottom. Then challenge yourself to face these fears by starting at the bottom, and working up the list until you feel you can finally hit the hardest.
By slowly challenging yourself, and facing up to your anxieties rather than avoiding them, you can start to gradually overcome your fears and grow in confidence. Remember to be kind to yourself no matter what happens during this process; if you feel yourself start to stutter or falter, just remind yourself that you’re brave just for giving it a try.
THREE TIPS FOR COPING WITH ANXIETY
Take deep belly breaths, letting your stomach expand with each in-breath and flatten with the out-breath. This calms the fight or flight response.
Put everything that you say to yourself through the friend filter. Ask yourself: “Would I speak to a friend like this?”
Float like a butterfly
Don’t fight against your anxiety, float with it instead, because what you resist, persists.
Brave New Girl: 7 Steps to Confidence by Chloe Brotheridge (Michael Joseph, £7.99) is out now