How to be Brave


I love this video because it shows something you rarely see: the anatomy of a courageous moment.

Improvement isn’t just about getting better — it’s also about getting braver. It’s about encountering thresholds, and taking big, scary steps across them; it’s about jumping into uncharted territory where you don’t know if you’re going to fly or flop. This girl, who’s in the fourth grade, is experiencing the same kind of moment that happens on a theater stage, or on an athletic field or in an office, and she gets past it with a great bit of strategy.

  • First, positivity. She assures herself that she’s going to do it, and she’s going to be fine.
  • Second, simplicity. She’s not caught up in remembering a bunch of stuff, but focuses on two things. (Go straight. Don’t snowplow.)
  • Third, a reference point. She reminds herself that this is like what she’s done before, just a little bigger.

It’s a good combination — a nifty three-step program for getting past a threshold — and shows us the old truth: courage isn’t about transcending fear; it’s about dealing with it and moving forward anyway.

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11 Responses to “How to be Brave”

  1. Patty Heidger says:

    Loved it!!!!!!!! Was that a Coyle girl perchance?
    xo, Patty

  2. Scott Moody says:

    That’s awesome! This is refreshing and nice to see. Looking inside the mind of a young girl about to attempt something new. Risk vs. Reward… the cheer at the end sums it all up!

  3. Dale says:

    Great post, Daniel. Good points and the fourth point is the exhilaration at the end of being brave. I was right there with that brave kid.

  4. Scooter says:

    This truly is great. I love how she also makes appropriate inquiries to the instructor. She utilizes this reconnaissance to better rationalize the task.

    Also, I don’t think I have to stones to do what she did!! Well done!!

  5. Ted says:

    Simply beautiful. Something tells me that this amazing moment of bravery will serve her well for the rest of her life.

  6. Renee says:

    Love this! Thank you.

  7. Rod Roth says:

    Oh, Wow! Best example yet of the joy of going out of your comfort zone. Hurray for this brave young skier! Thanks, Dan

  8. Victor Capiro says:

    “Here I go!” It is a lesson to learn. Move forward with courage with our goals and ambitions. I’m sitting on top of the mark staring down the pipe of opportunity. Now, all I have to do is just say, “here I go” and move forward. Thank you to the girl for inspiring me and thank you Daniel for sharing.

  9. Brian Walton says:

    Why can’t we all be kids and take that leap of faith? Simple? As I like to tell my athletes, “Control what you can control. The rest is all noise.” Thanks for sharing with us. We all need inspiring reminders every now and again.

  10. Annabelle Hoffman says:

    Daniel great reminder of stretching. You only succeed if you try!

  11. Dave Sellar says:

    Great post!

    Quite often I think we are our own worst enemies we set up our own barriers and that’s what hold us back.

    I heard a fantastic Nelson Mandela quote a couple of weeks ago (I’m surprised I hadn’t thought of it sooner!!) – “it always seems impossible until it’s done”.

    For me the quote sums up a lot of what we do. When we fully believe we can do something or if we can ‘trick’ our minds to think that we have already been there, we can become unstoppable.

    The girl in the video shows tremendous courage to do what she did and I’m sure now having done it, she realizes now it’s not so bad – in fact, she probably went to the top and did it all over!!

    I wrote a blog post based on the Mandela quote, would love to hear your thoughts on it (apologies for the plug I hope you don’t mind)!

    Keep up the fantastic work Daniel, I can’t wait to hear read the new book!

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