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Launching Breaking Brave this year has proven that bravery comes in all different shapes and sizes.

Each incredible, fascinating, shocking, tragic, and awesomely brave story I heard from my guests taught me something about the world, and how we show up in it.

Like most things, bravery isn’t just something you wake up one day and have.

It takes work to be brave. Whether you work it out in small or big ways, over time showing up for yourself becomes easier.

Your Bravery, Your Rules

Bravery is an intimate characteristic, and it should be one that you get to decide whether you want to embody or not.

Whether you want to publicly shout out your bravery, or move silently, that’s your right. It’s also up to you to determine whether or not something is hard – no one else can figure that out for you.

For some, being vulnerable might take more bravery than climbing a mountain.

Own your definition of brave by looking back at the moments in your life where you felt fearless. What were you doing? How did you feel? What led you to that moment? The answers to all of these questions can help you navigate your own very personal definition of bravery.

It is so critical to remember that bravery comes in many different forms – meaning it can be physical, emotional, or mental.

Maybe it’s the inner work you’re doing by prioritizing mindfulness, or perhaps its work you’re doing on behalf of your family or community. It can even mean just getting out of bed, or making it a point to ask for help when you most need it.

You are brave on your terms, no one else’s. And tapping into a kind of bravery that’s uniquely yours is an important reminder of your power.

We recorded and aired 19 episodes of Breaking Brave with Marilyn Barefoot this year.

From surviving Canada’s most notorious residential school, to speaking out about gay conversion therapy, to repelling down a 29 storey building (legally blind), to sitting down on a bus next to the heroine in your next award winning novel, we have recognized and celebrated bravery in all different shapes and sizes.

This is what I learned:

Bravery makes you want to throw up.

Bravery makes you cry. A lot.

Bravery makes you lose sleep.

Bravery is often ugly and messy and not at all heroic when it’s actually happening.

Yet, we try to measure bravery by things that can be seen.

But the truth is brave can’t be judged by things or people outside of you. It can only be named by you based on how you are responding to what’s happening inside of you.

Being brave means listening to that voice and then stepping into the fear that almost always shows up.

Here’s to 2022 … finding your own unique bravery, and rising into your greatness!!