Seven year-old Lucy was on her virtual classroom “meet.” The substitute teacher was trying to get to know each first grader through an ice breaker by asking if they were afraid of anything. The majority of the class said shots. It’s unclear whether this was a “copy cat” answer or not, but one child after another had the same response. Until Lucy. Lucy said it was riding to the edge of a cliff on a horse and looking down. It wasn’t a dream she was recounting. It was an actual experience she had at Zion National Park only several months earlier. When you ask her about it, she says, “I was brave because I love horses.”
Bravery is an ageless and powerful subject as Crista Samaras, Founder and CEO of Brave Enterprises, knows. Why is it so important? I took Crista’s More Brave course in January and here’s my takeaway: we cannot become our best selves without pushing through some fear. It was easy to believe her since she had skillfully transformed her own lessons as a highly successful lacrosse player and coach to help anyone and everyone activate their own personal bravery. It’s never too early to practice overcoming fear so I (bravely) asked Crista to share how to help our young ones.
For parents and kids and in Crista’s own words
Bravery is doing something that you are scared to do. Bravery can be big and bravery can be little and both kinds are awesome.
There are a few ways you can practice your bravery:
- Being honest with yourself: It is brave to tell yourself the truth about how you feel, and really brave to tell an adult you trust those feelings, too. This may make you feel vulnerable, which is how you know you are being brave.
- Taking action outside of your comfort zone: This is a great way to practice little bravery. Think of a few things that might be slightly hard or scary to do. Maybe it’s raising your hand in class, trying a new food at dinner, or telling someone you are sorry. The key is recognizing when you feel fear – even just a little – because that is when you know you are being brave!
- Witness brave action: When you see someone do something you are scared to do – or you know they are scared to do – you get braver! You want to increase your own feelings of bravery by seeing it in others.
One of Crista’s favorite resources
One of my favorite resources for young kids, especially girls, is Bravery Magazine. They focus on brave women throughout history and provide so many activities to practice your bravery, particularly tons of opportunities to witness the brave actions of the incredible women and girls they feature.
A final word
Whether it’s riding a horse to the edge of a cliff (btw, even Crista couldn’t get me do that!) or teaching your child how to handle a bullying situation, bravery is a superpower. Take it from Crista, everyone has it in them and every individual deserves to become their best self.
As a very final word, Crista would simply say, BOOM.