Sue Hardman - I recently attended a Bravery Masterclass hosted by the inspiring Penny Locaso, who I’d met three years ago at the Conscious Capitalism Conference in Sydney. We were seated together and chatted about my business and hers, BKindred, a start-up that was finding its feet after she’d resigned from a successful executive career at Shell.
I’ve kept in touch and watched from afar as her business and personal mission has grown to the current point of clarity: BKindred - A disruptive global education company, skilling organisations, schools, women and girls to thrive in the future. Pretty awesome if you ask me. And much needed in a world where in women and girls, self-doubt and lack of clarity about their roles have never been more prevalent.
Along the way to where she’s at, Penny has done many brave things. Like standing in front of a full conference room in her swimwear to teach the lesson that we all need to get comfortable with uncomfortable. Yes, very brave indeed.
I learnt a lot from the masterclass and from the women around me in that room. Here’s some of my insights. I hope you find them helpful.
Bravery as a tool. Bravery and fearing less is probably one of the most important tools we’ll need to survive in the future. If we think our world has changed a lot in recent history, just wait for the change that’s coming. Artificial intelligence and robotics, gender selection and human modification, outer space, limited natural resources and climate shifts to name a few. We need to hone the skill of getting comfortable with discomfort and then we can rationally face whatever our brave new world puts in front of us.
It’s the little things. It will be the micro acts of bravery that will make the difference and build our skills and resilience. Lots of small brave acts done often will build our strength from within.
Shift it. Did you know that our bodies release the same chemical when we feel fear as when we feel excitement. Instead of fear equalling cowardice, anxiety, lack, inaction we need to think that fear equals excitement, action and momentum.
Feelings are not facts: Use your rational mind to push your way through a fear-based roadblock. Think it out.
No is not a dirty word. I left the session with a poster called ‘100 Nos’. It’s a reminder to myself to ask the brave questions or do brave things, even when I am expecting a no. Every no you get brings you closer to a yes. (As it happens, I am not doing well on this task, because every time I chase a no, I get a yes! I need to up the ante on my asks.)
Here at HC we’re living the “face the fear” mantra. We’re trying new things, not being afraid to fail. Supporting each other and calling it when we see the fear and heads buried in the sand. We do this by talking and problem solving together, sharing ideas.