Part of the purpose of BraverHQ is to help people (myself included) overcome the things that might make them feel fear or panic in their lives. Sometimes these things can be huge monsters, fears that keep us up at night. The rest of the time they can be mundane things that are work-related, or the thousand and one logistics minutiae that we HAVE to get through to make it through the day.

I’ve started a tally in my notebook at work. On the left side I write B for Braver. On the right I write F for Fear. I keep track of all the times I feel that i panic and anxiety that’s been plaguing me the last few years–the fear that sets in when I’m given an assignment that I have no idea how to do. Depending on how bad the task is, I make two or three marks in the F category. I’m generous with my fears. There’s no one else but you to say how scary your fear is.

Some days I start in a deficit. Before I’ve even made it into the office I’m already two marks down. I pull out my black felt pen and make a note of any time I feel panic or nerves set in–that crushing weight, or that churning in my stomach that makes it nearly impossible to sit still. I try to take a deep breath and calm my nerves, and it helps a little.

Identifying the fear and the moments that cause me panic helps me recognize the emotion and work through it. But the point of the tally isn’t to take stock of all the fear. It’s to take stock of the good things in a day.

There are moments of triumph, a job well done, or a minute in the middle of a task that I feel, “Yes, I can do this.” These moments are what I call my Braver moments. I’m generous with my Braver moments as well. Who is to say how awesome it is to win at my task but me?

The rules of the game?

The whole point of the tally is to make sure that by the end of the day, the Braver column outweighs the Fear column. Failing that, then at least the Braver must equal the Fear.  It’s okay to be generous with either your Fear or your Braver moments. No one will know about it other than you. It’s an acknowledgement of what you’re feeling, and acknowledging your emotions is one step towards understanding.

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