Brave Unfolds One Situation at a Time

Isn’t it extraordinary how powerful focus can be?

If we focus on what we don’t like, it seems all we see is what we don’t like. If we focus on what we can’t do, can’t be, can’t have, our dreams seem more and more impossible.

Our focus is like an amplifier. Where we point it, whatever it is, it grows and grows and grows until it takes over.

Earlier this week, I woke up at 3:30 am thinking about something that had been bothering me and it hijacked the rest of my night. Sleep was fruitless. I knew, the next morning, that if I wanted to be and bring my best self to my work and my life, that I’d have to find a way to shift my focus off the bothersome-thing or suffer the consequences. Productivity, joy, engagement, and impact were all at risk if I couldn’t get myself mindful and move into action.

This is where the rubber meets the road.

Here’s what I want you to get from all this: it doesn’t matter how much work you do on yourself, how much you know, how far you’ve come, or where you are on the oh-so-enlightened-scale. Nobody has life all dialed in. Every day is a new commitment.

So my work was to re-focus myself off the negative chatter in my brain and back to impact. To begin by asking myself, “What do I care about most and what’s the impact I want to have?”  In order to reclaim myself, I had to work my intentions one action at a time, one situation at a time. Sure enough, slowly, the chatter in my mind faded. I put myself back in the driver’s seat of life.

Brave is not an all or nothing thing. There are going to be times in your life when your best self feels totally out of reach, but it’s there. Shift your focus onto action to make an impact to get yourself back on track with yourself. Your brave unfolds one situation at a time.

©OnStage Leadership

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Kimberly Davis
Kimberly Davishttps://www.braveleadershipbook.com/
An expert on authentic leadership, Kimberly Davis shares her inspirational message of personal power, responsibility, and impact with organizations across the country and teaches leadership programs world-wide; most notably, her program “OnStage Leadership” which runs in NYC and Dallas, TX. Additionally, Kimberly teaches for Southern Methodist University’s (SMU) Cox School of Business’s Executive Education Program's Transformational Leadership Program and their Latino Leadership Initiative. She is also privileged to teach for the Bush Institute’s WE Lead Program (empowering female leaders from the Middle East). Kimberly is a TEDx speaker and her book, Brave Leadership: Unleash Your Most Confident, Authentic, and Powerful Self to Get the Results You Need, is the 2019 winner of the Benjamin Franklin Silver Award for Business and Career; an Amazon Bestseller in Business Leadership, Business Motivation, and Self-Improvement, and Motivational Business Management; and was named as the number one book to read in Inc. Magazine’s “The 12 Most Impactful Books to Read in 2018,” with a cover-endorsement by best-selling author Daniel Pink.


  1. Kimberly, brave is most often one (painful, difficult) step at a time, one figurative foot in front of the other, every one at our own pace. And i’ts often easiest to do that by moving our feet for others. Most people I know would let themselves down long before they’d let others down. You would be Exhibit A.

    Thank you for not letting us down.

  2. Courage and bravery are honed when we are scared – or in this case anxious – and we keep pressing on. Without fear and anxiety, we can’t hone our bravery and courage. Thank you for sharing this important message.

    • I absolutely agree, JoAnna, that fear and anxiety provide opportunity to hone our brave. If you take the traditional definition of brave, “to face or endure danger or pain,” that’s absolutely what’s required. That’s why I found it so important to redefine brave for myself. I knew I wanted to be brave and hone brave, but every time I would focus on the pain and danger, my amygdala would get in the way and it would stop me. I’ve redefined brave as “being and bringing my best, most authentic and powerful self,” as I know that if I can do that, that I could get through the pain and danger, stay true to my values and beliefs, and show up responsibly and constructively. Often, if we’re just focused on getting through the pain and danger, we will show up in reaction to the world or less constructively. In my mind, that’s not the ultimate goal. Brave, to me, is so much more.