Bear Grylls on how to be more courageous

ANTICIPATE HAZARDS, AND PLAN AROUND THEM

You don’t need the heart of a lion to face danger like Bear. You do, however, need to resourcefully strategise for safety. “Being brave isn’t the absence of fear,” Grylls says. “Being brave is having that fear but finding a way through it.”

DETACH FROM YOUR ANXIETIES

Objectively examine your situation. Then harness your fear, which Grylls says exists “to fire up your sensors and give you the edge to make sure you hear well, see well, act strongly and perform well in a big moment.”

TRUST YOUR GUT

Grylls says he has a reliable inner voice, and a rather insistent voice of doubt. “The doubting voice is not the one to listen to. The doubting voice is just that little boy going, ‘Have you double-checked everything? Are you sure?’ But yes, it’s fine. The inner voice is the one that says, ‘You’re okay to do this,’ ‘This is the right girl to marry,’ or ‘It’s is okay to climb this rock face.’ And life’s journey is to distinguish between the two voices.”

MAKE RISK A HABIT

Once you’ve conquered a few dangerous situations, you know you can handle the next one. Previous experience teaches you when to take a calculated risk and when it’s time to pull back. It also helps you avoid panic. “When it overwhelms you – and we’ve all been there– it controls you; people freeze. I’ve seen it a lot with people on mountains, and it’s often the people you don’t expect.”

TALK TO YOURSELF

In difficult moments, Grylls allows himself to pause. “I just go, ‘Okay, I’ll stop for a second. I’m just going to breathe and look at it. I’ll check my safety – I have confidence in that – and then I’m going to remind myself that I’m way more likely to be hit by a bus. I don’t have a problem here.’ And then I get on with it.”