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  • Ricka Robb Kohnstamm

If you were feeling brave, what would you do?

Take a moment and actually own that question.

"If I were feeling brave, what would I do?"


Here are some of the brave things people I work with are contemplating - you might try them on for size:

  • I would drive a motorcycle solo cross country.

  • I would lead my first meditation in front of a crowd of colleagues.

  • I would have a courageous conversation with my boss.

  • I would leave my job and step into something bigger that would take me one step closer to fulfilling my dream.

  • I would look my prescription drug use in the eye and make some important changes.

  • I would retire.

  • I would come out to my parents.

  • I would say say "yes" to asking for help.

  • I would sit in the muck instead of running out of it as fast as I can.

  • I would step into the messy healing journey with my brother.

  • I would stay in relationship with my partner and look for solutions that work for both of us, instead of emotionally ducking out.

  • I would say "yes" to opportunities.

  • I would say "no" to my mother.

I've been walking next to people this week who are making the choice, and taking the risk, to be brave... because they can, and also because not being brave feels like the riskier choice.

I am making the choice to be brave, too, and I'm noticing what it feels like, what it lights up inside of me, how it kindles my fire. I have made the choice to go hunting for the Northern Lights in Iceland. By myself! Yikes! And yay!!!!

When you are considering stepping into the ring, consider these three things...

What sparks up feelings of bravery in you? You may already be aware of sparks and if so, lean into them. What is the next baby step you can take to explore how you will move forward?

  • I have always wanted to go into private practice. I am going to reach out to others who have done it and learn from them.

  • I want to take care of myself by carving out time during the day to read or watch a movie. I will try it one time and see how it feels.

  • I want to grow my muscles to sit in the muck without running away. I am going to find a trusted coach or therapist to sit with me on my journey.

Or you may not have given yourself permission to be aware of sparks - make room to go fishing for them. What do you pull up? Toss back the things that are "shoulds" or someone else's sparks, and only keep those that resonate with a thump in your belly.

What will it feel like after I do the thing? Imagine having already done the thing... having arrived in Portland on the motorcycle, having had the difficult conversation telling your boss that you are resigning your position, coming out to your parents so that you can really be you, saying "yes" to asking for help to navigate some really difficult spaces in your life. What will that feel like? Will it involve hard work? Will you feel diminished, weaker, flat? Or will you feel empowered, relieved, stronger?

How will I feel if I choose not to do the thing? Now imagine NOT having done the thing. Ever. You're at the end of your life, looking back. You didn't sit in the muck, instead you ran far away, as fast as you could. You didn't take the trip while you could, and now your health isn't allowing you the freedom you once had. Your relationship split apart and you will wonder, forever, what would have happened had you been braver?

As you practice remembering that it is a choice to be brave, notice. Simply notice. Then move into action.

Actions, aligned with values, support optimal health.


Hello, I'm Ricka.

Ricka Kohnstamm Executive & Physician Coach Profile Photo

I'm a Nationally Board Certified (NBC-HWC) Integrative Health and Wellbeing Coach. I specialize in working with physician leaders, corporate leaders, non-profit executives and their families to navigate complex work and personal issues so they can strengthen their relationships, heal, and feel hopeful about the future again. 



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