When we muse upon those who’ve conquered a tough industry and worked their way to the top of a competitive ladder, it’s easy to scroll through their LinkedIn account with curiosity, in an attempt to figure out how they got the prime spot. Even a quick search on Google will show you the major achievements of many young entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs alike who have scaled impossible boundaries to achieve their dreams. But the truth is, they probably didn’t get there by picking one lofty goal and running to the finish line. In fact, in all likelihood, they enlisted micro-bravery to get them there.
If you’ve never heard the term “micro-bravery”, it can be defined as: small, everyday risks that take us out of our personal comfort zones. And if, like us, you’re an expert at concocting long-term vision and strategy, but not as good at the follow through, micro-bravery could be for you.
Micro-bravery works by breaking down your larger goal into the smallest possible steps that you can achieve immediately. So if your ambition this year is to increase your fitness so that you can run a marathon (but those 5am wake-up times aren’t yet happening), your first step could be to go for a walk on your lunch break for the entire week instead of staying planted at your desk. By doing so, you are one step closer than you were before. Sure, it’s not as ideal as an early morning power-session, but it’s better than not getting started at all, right?
According to wellbeing podcast host Tim JP Collins, “We set ourselves these massive, insurmountable tasks to do and they sound so big and complex that we actually never start.” Instead, he encourages us to “take the first micro-step to move forward, by asking yourself, what do I need to do today?” The key to getting started? Letting go of our need for perfection. Sure, you have a pretty picture of pounding the pavement in your latest activewear get-up, while reaching a new KPI, but if it’s unrealistic for now, you’ll never even touch the surface of your goal. In his vlog, Tim talks us through some beginner steps of how to use micro-bravery to turn ideas into reality.
Ask yourself, what’s the first thing you want to change?
Once you’ve figured out the big goal you want to achieve, ask yourself the potential fears and hesitations you might have while trying to achieve it. So if sending cold emails in search of a mentor gives you shivers to even think about, before you begin, if you are already familiar with the roadblocks you may have, you can add a micro-brave step, e.g. sending one email a day, till you get a response) to challenge your fear.
Move every day
Research has consistently proven that habits run deep. So, by practising one micro-brave act every day in your career, personal relationships and general well-being, come December you will be sure to have many ticks next to your resolution list.
Bravery is transferable
If you take a leap and ask your boss for a raise, or put micro-steps in place to work your way up to a promotion, your micro-bravery and discipline is likely to seep over into other arenas of your life, allowing you to be your own Oprah Winfrey, one step at a time.