Everyone wants to be brāv, but if you think about the times when you were truly, actually brāv, how often was it a conscious decision versus just a reaction to something unjust, dangerous or a slight?
I’m referring to the idea of emotion versus logic. Unless you were simply born assertive, we often have to put effort into speaking our minds or acting with courage. Even more, when we often start thinking about a courageous act, we get nervous, we second guess ourselves and our confidence is often wavered.
Most times, the secret to being brāv is practice, like anything else. In fact, esteemed author, Mark Twain once noted that, “courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”
How does this apply to Brāv? Well, becoming a Brāv One is a conscious choice of mastering skills that will help you throughout life – particularly skills to better interact with others and help manage issues between yourself or others. Also, signing up to deal with conflicts you might have on our face to face platform allows you to bravely communicate with those who you would likely have just simmered in feelings of fear, anger or resentment.
What more, being brāv also includes sharing your thoughts. You can do that by writing articles on this site or submitting personal stories in which you wish the brāv public to help you solve.
It’s easier to describe than to give a definition:
Ever find yourself in the middle of people in a disagreement, attempting to find a middle ground? Yup, you’re a Brāv One.
You love watching Court TV and find yourself either agreeing with Judge Alex, Judge Judy, Judge Brown and the others or finding ways that they could have improved their ultimate decisions.
People tell you you’re the best listener…and weigh all sides of an issue carefully.
You’re constantly thinking about day to day situations you observed.
You regularly search online about how to deal with situations, and
are frustrated that there is very little realistic advice and information on the internet.
You have a deep fascination for why people do certain things, act in certain ways and react to situations the way they do.
You savor an experience as much as you savor a delicious meal.
You enjoy predicting and finding solutions, including in movies, and clearly see the issues, how it could have been easily solved, and as a result, could reduce a standard 2 hour flick to only thirty minutes.
You like making others happy.
Sign up to become one & win a chance to become one of the first now: www.brav.org
One of the most agreed upon best inspirational speeches ever comes from the movie Rocky VI. Rocky, a celebrity boxer, hits his son (who is clouded by the frustrations of living under his famous father’s shadow) with a string of words that not only seems to uplift him, but everyone who listens:
“[T]he time c[a]me for you to be your own man and take on the world, and you did. But somewhere along the line, you changed. You stopped being you. You let people stick a finger in your face and tell you you’re no good. And when things got hard, you started lookin’ for something to blame, like a big shadow.
Let me tell you something you already know.The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”
What does this have to do with Brāv? Well, Brāv knows life isn’t perfect either, and we often have to go through a lot of unnecessary strife. As a result, Brāv provides the resources to keep on moving forward. Getting hassled or maligned? Don’t internalize it, weighing you down; let’s hash out our differences with Brāv.
Like Rocky, Brāv encourages, “now if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth! But you gotta be willing to take the hits. And not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that!”
Brāv knows your worth. Brāv knows you’re better than that. Do you?
Last week in New Jersey, a judge upheld the decision that schools, students and parents accused of bullying can be named in lawsuits. In defense, the schools involved in this particular case stated that they had notified everyone of the alleged bullying that was occurring, but the fact that there had been little to no resolution, still placed the particular schools, parents and alleged bullies at fault.
What does that mean for you? Well, it could very well mean that this new decision coming out of New Jersey could serve as an example for other states to follow. In addition, this determination could easily spread to other areas of life, including work place harassment, organization conflicts and more. That means there is a higher chance of you getting sued if you have been or are involved in a conflict or even if you simply own a business or work at a school where bullying and harassment takes place.
Bringing disagreeing parties to the table before conflict gets so out of hand that litigation is considered could prevent a lot of hassle, money and time in the long run.
Brāv provides this middle ground – an effective way to reduce the likelihood of any conflict increasing through the skill of a Brāv One intermediary who listens to each side of the argument. The best part is that all of this occurs within the comfort and privacy of your home or elsewhere.
Even more, implementing Brāv as a plan that your entire school, place of work or organization as a whole uses, allows for stronger accountability as everyone now has an opportunity to be heard, while adding the ability to create consequences unique to each school, work or organization if an individual is not cooperative.
The key is communicating to everyone involved and finding a solution in which everyone can live with. Let’s get brāv enough to reach a solution amongst our peers before suing is even considered an option.
A ‘plan’ is defined as a strategy, and that term was very much meant here. Specifically because communication – any communication – should be well thought out.
Think about some of the most terrible comments that someone has made about you. Was it said in anger? Was it stated in jest? Was the statement blurted out? Now think about hurtful comments you have made about others. How often did you really plan these comments before expressing them?
We often state comments that we later regret…but that could all be avoided if our first instinct was not to “win,” “speak first” or “speak last.” Communication is about training ourselves to be calm, patient and really think about what we want to express to another.
If you have ever watched leaders of an organization or even a country, they have words written down and have crafted their speech (with the help of a team) to ensure that they are able to communicate exactly what they intend. This is to avoid inevitable blunders.
We’re going to still make mistakes with our words, but planning ahead of time will significantly reduce the amount of apologies you’ll make later…to others…and yourself.
Do you know the difference? One is making a conscious decision to interact with another, get to know their thoughts, who they are, in a respectful way that both enjoy. The other is feeling entitled to the time of another, regardless if said person is busy, not interested or in a private conversation.
A good example happened to a friend of mine. He was in a quiet conversation to the side with another coworker only for an acquaintance to approach them without saying anything. They politely tell him that they are in an (obvious) conversation, yet the imposing man states his full awareness of that and says he is curious, so it is okay for him to be there. After politely telling the imposer again, he still refused to leave. In fact, he chose to repeat everything he had already heard, expecting them to share in their private conversation. When is this acceptable? Think to yourselves about this.
Approaching another to learn from them, or tell them something that they can learn from is amazing and what makes the best interactions. Approaches can be genuine, without a hidden agenda, and an understanding on both ends that they can share (or not share) as much as they would like or nothing at all. That is respect and a two way street.
Imposing on another with a false sense of entitlement leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth; the two coworkers are now wary of the third coworker, and the imposer still did not get to find out what their conversation entailed.
Think about your intentions before approaching others. If it is not give and take, on a more or less equal basis, then think again about coming up to another so as to avoid a potential conflict.
How often have you heard or been told to “ignore an aggressor as they are just bothering you to get a reaction?” If you’ve tried this approach, did it work out? If not, why do you think that is?
Some enjoy taking out their aggression on others – reaction or not – and only respond to either this same type of behavior or authority. Some also like to work on another so that they will ultimately snap after enduring subtle or not so subtle aggression for a period of time. Others just don’t care, while many others are not aware that their behavior is aggressive.
A reaction that many on the receiving end often think is the only option is to face these aggressors. While this can help, this should be done after carefully assessing the situation. Have you viewed the situation from all sides? Do you have the support of others so that when you confront, the aggressor will neither deny their behavior nor react violently? Have you written down what the aggressors have done, the dates, how long it’s been? Are there other options?
There are. Brāv was meant to solve dicey situations. In lieu of enduring possibly years of aggression or confronting another which escalates to physical or mental anguish, Brāv is the alternative, healthy medium. Using a platform where an ordinary person can help come up with a compromise between you and an aggressor(s) is not only safe, but practical and there is accountability as others are well aware of the situation and intend to find an actual compromise fitting to the unique situation.
Watching today’s TV shows and movies including, “Breaking Bad,” “Dexter,” and “Mean Girls,” it would be hard not to see a pattern in the central themes. Each display fallible heroes. Each display utilizing illicit tactics in order to win. And we love them, not in spite of these flaws, but because of these flaws.
Think about it. Many of us enjoy watching what is most unbelievable to us in real life: the killing, the stealing, the ruining of others’ lives. Most of us probably would not be as extreme in our own lives, but we cannot deny the amount of inspiration we take from observing others – even if it’s fiction.
Similarly, many complain about co-workers on the job stealing their ideas and taking credit, or peers getting harassed when no one is around and other strategic ways to get over on another – without any remorse. Where are we getting these ideas? Why do many of us think that this is acceptable behavior?
While most of us know to separate media from reality, we still can’t help to secretly glorify many of the ill advised behaviors of our T.V. heroes.
Instead, we need to carefully think about why their behaviors are something we constantly celebrate and wish to emulate – either in full effect…or even just in our heads. Problems can only end if we really face them.
Let’s get this straight. No one should be proud to be a bully. No one really is. (I’ll explain later).
In fact, no one should be even labeled a bully…for a few reasons. 1. Labels are offensive; no one likes that, especially when the labeled bully feels that they are actually the victim. 2. Calling someone a bully may make them want to live up to this title even more. 3. Bullies are often not proud, in fact, there is a lot of research that suggest that bullies may lash out due to not being proud…of themselves…of their personal lives…or other aspects of their lives in which they have little control over.
We’d like to change that, but for now, people are labeled bullies, and bullies can get in trouble. Brāv wants to help them too. Specifically, help them find an alternative to getting punished, be it kicked out of school, fired on the job, or publicly shamed, among others. How amazing would it be if every so called bully sought out Brāv to speak to those that they are in conflict with instead of all the horrible consequences above? Particularly if it’s a simple misunderstanding that ended up escalating.
We need to change the way we view others, label others and treat others. Brāv could get us a bit closer.
Brāv happens when we least expect it and also when we consciously plan it. Let me explain. My own experiences with being brāv make me smile in triumph…but also hang my head low in shame.
What do I mean? We all experience conflicts in regular life, whether we are the least confrontational person we know or those feening for a fight at every corner. No matter what, we just can’t get away from misunderstandings, accidents, and arguments. Not. Gonna. Happen.
What we often do avoid is finding real solutions to these everyday issues. Instead, we replay them in our heads over and over again, thinking of what was said or done, and how we could have responded differently. That is almost as bad as living out the experience the first time. Brāv was created to combat this.
We want you to use Brāv in order to free yourself from these mental disturbances, free others too, and make the world a bit more peaceful. After all, what is it to be brāv if everyone else plays a coward?