Bravery in Leadership: Overcoming Fear and Uncertainty

As women leaders, we're often expected to exhibit bravery in our professional and personal lives.

We’re expected to be confident, decisive, and unafraid to take risks, or at least not tell people that we’re scared to act. What does it mean to be brave? And how can we find the courage to do what needs to be done, even when we’re afraid?

What Does it Mean to Be Brave?

Being brave is not the absence of fear; rather, it’s the ability to act despite it. It is the willingness to take risks, to face uncertainty and adversity, and to persevere even when we are afraid. Bravery is not something that comes naturally to everyone. It may require practice, support from others, and a willingness to be vulnerable.

Cus D’amato, the legendary boxing trainer of Mike Tyson and other top fighters, asked, “What is the difference between being [cowardly] and being brave? No difference. Only what you do. They both feel the same. They both fear dying and getting hurt”.

As women leaders, we may face many challenges that require us to be brave. It may be standing up to a difficult colleague, making a tough decision, or taking a risk that no one else is willing to take. It may be something as simple as asking for help when we need it or admitting that we don’t have all the answers.

How to Overcome Fear and Uncertainty

So, how can we find the courage to act when we are afraid? Here are a few tips:

  • Find your motivation: Identify what really matters to you. What are your core values and goals? Use these as a driving force to help overcome fear and uncertainty.
  • Practice self-compassion: Negative self-talk and criticism can hold us back from taking action. Instead, practice self-compassion and treat yourself the way you would treat a good friend.
  • Seek support: Reach out to colleagues, mentors, or loved ones for support and encouragement. They can help you stay accountable and provide a sounding board for your ideas and plans.
  • Break it down: If a task seems overwhelming, break it down into smaller, more manageable steps. This can help make the task feel less daunting and more achievable.


Being brave is a choice that we make every day. It’s not always easy, and it’s not always comfortable, yet it’s necessary for growth and success. Remember, there is no difference between being cowardly and being brave. It’s what we do that matters. As women leaders, we can find the courage to act despite fear and uncertainty and make a positive impact on the world around us.

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Helping women step into courageous action is one of my favorite things, because this action builds confidence like nothing else. If you need some help bravely taking the next step, I would love to help you. Click here to pick a time when we can talk.

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