This week is Children’s Mental Health Week and the theme for this year is Find your Brave!
Fear and bravery go hand in hand. If there is nothing to fear, then there is no need to be brave.
Fear is a natural reaction when we are facing uncertainty and although fear is often painted as a foe, fear is actually our friend.
Fear signals to us when we feel unsafe, it alerts us to dangers and helps us to prepare for the difficulties which we may be facing. But sometimes fear can be so overwhelming that it can stop us from reaching our potential, and that is when we’ve got to find our brave.
Sometimes bravery is confused with being fearless but these are not the same thing. Bravery is a willingness to act inspite of fear
Nelson Mandela said ‘the brave man isn’t he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers fear’.
Bravery comes in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes it looks like a firefighter running into a burning building to save someones life. Sometimes it’s looks like a battle against a cancer diagnosis. But sometimes it looks a lot like standing up for yourself, taking a test, or trying something new. You don’t have to be running into a war zone to be brave.
So here are some top tips to help you find your brave.
Acknowledge how you feel It’s ok to feel afraid, don’t try hiding from it. It’s a natural response and doesn’t mean you are weak. Accept how you feel and then decide what you want to do with it.
Talk about your fears with a friend or a trusted adult. Sharing how you feel can help you process your thoughts, and the likelihood is you will be supported with some helpful advice.
Break it down into small steps You might not have to tackle your fears all in one go. Take one step at a time or take each day at a time. Progress is still progress!
Use positive affirmations By saying positive self talk out loud it helps overcome negative thoughts. When you repeat them, you will start to believe them and then you will start to make positive changes. Remember, I AM BRAVE!
Focus on the positive Try not to put your focus on what could go wrong and pay more attention on what could go right. It’s always good to be aware of the risks but if we put all our attention there, we might not remember the great things that are yet to come.
Don’t wait for the perfect moment Mainly because their isn’t one. Facing your fears will always feel uncomfortable and you are unlikely to ever feel fully ready, and this is exactly why it is brave. Sure, you need to be prepared but don’t end up missing out on an opportunity. Sometimes you’ve got to feel the fear and do it anyway.
Look at your history. Remind yourself when you have been brave in the past. Maybe this was your first day of school, or a time when you stood up for yourself. This is proof! You’ve done it before so you can absolutely do it again.
Celebrate your wins! And I don’t just mean your successes. Even if you didn’t achieve what you set out to, you still stepped out of your comfort zone and this is something to celebrate!
Remember your why When in doubt, remember what it was that you set out to achieve.
Look for inspiration Far too often I hear young people say, I’m just a kid, I don’t have any power to make a difference, if this sounds familiar to you, here are a few people who I’d like you to think about. Greta thunberg, Anne Frank, Malala Yousafzai, Louis Braille, Eleanor Ellie Robinson. These are all young people with a passion that overcame challenges and ended up having a global impact!
There is nothing that they have, that you haven’t. Everything you need is right inside you, hold on to your vision, believe in yourself and never give up!
You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.
-A A Milne