Bravery verses Bravado

medium_5852285035How many times have you picked up a book that kicked you in the gut from the very first page? “Only one man out of ten will finish strong,” notes Steve Farrar in Finishing Strong: Going the Distance for Your Family. As I read, questions began to buzz through my mind like bluebottle flies to a carcass. To be honest with you, I panicked.

As these questions hovered over me like hyenas waiting for me to flail and pounce on me, two words slowly crept into my mind. These were Bravery and Bravado. A day later, my wife comes along and throws in a spanner into my already crazy situation. “You don’t take enough time-out between events,” she started. I knew exactly what she meant. My attempt to wiggle out of the situation was a pathetic and wimpy reply.

Suddenly, I felt like a bolt of lightening coursed through my body. Steve’s statistic came rushing in like an express train ‘whooshing’ past a small station. Was I being brave or was I displaying the classic symptoms of bravado?

Bravado can only be found on the outside. It is what ‘positional leaders’ are made of. Their influence is guided by what they have; high position, money, connections, godfathers, etc. People follow them because they have to and that followership is driven by fear.

“Fear is the sand in the machinery of life.” ~E. Stanley Jones

Bravery, on the other hand, springs from the heart. Authentic leaders are brave as their strength comes from within them [TweetMe]. They know who they are, value their soul and lead by character. People follow an authentic leader because they want to.

“Things will be different because you have chosen to be intentional.” ~Scott Dinomore

And bravery leads me to some three key lessons I learnt yesterday from Finishing Strong: Going the Distance for Your Family. Rare, Exceptional and Teachable.

It is the rare man who finishes strong [TweetMe]. Wow! I immediately thought of how beautiful diamonds are. But did you know that for a diamond to be formed it has to undergo very high temperatures and pressures deep in the earth’s crust. A rare man is one who is ready to withstand tremendous peer-pressure, weather storms of life and grow deep in not only knowing themselves, but also serving from the heart.

It is the exceptional man who finishes strong[TweetMe]. To be exceptional, I have to live my calling. A.J. and Melissa Leon said this, “A good life is not living the life everyone else intended for you. It is being deliberate in the way you live your life.” How true this is. It is only those who are brave enough to face life head-on that are exceptional.

It is the teachable man who finishes strong [TweetMe]. There is no choice, if I don’t learn, I will eventually wither off and die. As I listened to my wife’s wise counsel, it downed on me that I should have more deliberate, planned breaks. “It is important to be aware of your life, aware of everything in it, and what’s important,” says Wokie Nwabueze.

Will you finish strong? Take a ‘time-out’ in thought and share your comments below.

 photo credit: StandUPP via photopin cc

Certified Professional Coach, Communication Specialist & Author

I help motivated but overwhelmed individuals and organizations regain their purpose to lead so they can focus on what matters most to build a transformational legacy.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • You have given me much to think about as a man, as a husband and as a father. It is hard to finish strong. There are times it becomes hard to even finish. This is a good reminder of why finishing strong is so important. It is food for the soul to fight on. (And I have had conversations with my wife like the one you describe. Similar responses as well I fear…)

    • I hear you Al, it’s tough man! Let’s keep our heads high and focus on the goal 🙂

  • Hi Kimunya,
    I very much like the comparison of bravado and bravery. I think it has a great message for everyone. Here’s my question, would you mind if I tweeted it w/ modification from “man” to “human”?

    I certainly don’t want to change your message in any way that you don’t like. Yet I prefer to tweet things that apply to all humankind and I think your message truly does. Please let me know.

    Many thanks,

    • Thanks Kate, please do go ahead and use “human”. My use of “man” here is generic and was used to portray your thinking 🙂

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