October 12, 2021

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway:
The Bravery Character Strength

The VIA Character Strength of Bravery is “to face your challenges, threats, or difficulties. It involves valuing a goal or conviction and acting upon it, whether popular or not. A central element involves facing – rather than avoiding – fears.”

As VIA describes it, there are three different types of bravery:

  1. Physical bravery (e.g., firefighters, police officers, soldiers)
  2. Psychological bravery (e.g., facing painful aspects of oneself)
  3. Moral bravery (e.g., speaking up for what's right, even if it's an unfavorable opinion to a group)

For my clients, I find they can more easily recall times of physical bravery but build psychological bravery in coaching. Skydiving or running into a burning building is a sure-fire way of getting the dopamine rush our brains are always searching for. Dopamine helps us focus and take action so it’s no wonder we can find so many ADHD brains thriving in physically risky hobbies or professions.

A client once told me she couldn’t be brave because she was nervous all the time! But that’s just it, there is no bravery without nervousness, fear, or anxiety. It’s feeling those things and doing it anyway. 

Bravery looks different from one person to the next and can also change over time. Some people fear public speaking but to others, it’s really fun! Can you remember being nervous the first time you were doing something and then over time the nerves went away? 

A common theme I hear from clients is around asking for help, which involves psychological bravery. First, the client has to admit to themselves that the way they are doing things is not serving them and then admit it to another person when asking for support. In students, this can look like asking for an extension on a paper; In parents, the bravery muscle could flex when having their child tested for ADHD. Any client who has ever reached out to the Center for Living Well with ADHD has already been brave. 

A common bravery summoner we use in coaching is to ask clients to visualize what it will look like on the other side. In the asking for help scenario, clients talk about the incredible relief they will feel when they don’t have to hide anymore or the pride they will feel after advocating for their needs.

Bravery is a muscle that can be strengthened! Look for small ways to build bravery into your daily life and know that we as coaches are always here to encourage and witness your brave self.  

Riley Karbon
ADHD Coach | Center For Living Well with ADHD, LLC

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Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed or unsure of the next steps for managing ADHD? Getting ADHD diagnosed and exploring your treatment options is a great start. But what we have learned is it requires a few more vital approaches to effectively manage and navigate ADHD for the better.   

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Is ADHD a gift or a curse? The answer is, it could be both! When we leverage the traits that come with having ADHD in positive and advantageous ways, the sky is the limit with the success we can create. When we don't, those traits can get us into lots of trouble or unwelcome problems. Using your ADHD-related traits and strengths to your advantage is so important! Join us for this one-hour- class to learn about ADHD traits and how to identify, flip and leverage the positive attributes of ADHD and your personal strengths to help make your life a whole lot easier. 

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