3 Tips to Be Brave
Merida from Disney’s Brave seemed to herald a “new” type of Disney princess – her story wasn’t about finding her true love, but about her managing societal and familial expectations while staying true to her authentic nature. There is no romantic subplot (it’s a mother-daughter one, really).
Career Girls are bombarded with “let’s be woman, hear me roar” slogans yet get confusing messages that are part of a meta-narrative that yes, women should seem independent and fierce – because that will help attract a modern partner with traditional sensibilities (look to a modern day monarchy…). In the office, gender politics are still at play. Be independent, smart, bright – but don’t rock the boat too much.
Rather than showing “independence” to capture a prince(cess)’s heart or a boss’s approval, be brave. Be the boss – be yourself – just be.
1. Be irreverent
We can’t simply break every rule just to break them. Even Merida, who wasn’t shy about breaking the rules, came to terms with how to adhere to societal parameters while not following victim to being a cog in the wheel. Bend the rules every now and then. Question them, challenge them. Don’t just accept what you’re told to do.
2. Speak Up
Sara Bareillis’ song, Brave, says “…your history of silence won’t do you any good…let your words be anything but empty. Why don’t you tell them the truth?” Brilliantly said, there is no place to hold your tongue just to get someone’s approval. Speaking up is not a permission slip to let loose and be rude or disrepectful. It is about being mindful of the power of words and not hold yourself back. No one else will speak for you, so you have to.
3. Find a Greater Purpose
Recognizing a larger, more meaningful purpose that just yourself helps to put everything into perspective. Is your work really about you, your advancement, or your paycheck? Of course that is part of it. But what’s behind that? Why are you doing what you’re doing? Is there a purpose or a set of values that go beyond the task at hand? Acknowledging this can help to be more fearless in addressing what needs to be addressed, trying new things , and failing – knowing that you’ll bounce back.