Are You Wearing the Role You Occupy? – Brave Now

Watching Slash with my love @jcqly :)

No, this isn’t one of those rah rah posts where I call you all rockstars. I’m over that. This, instead, is where you and I take a look at what it takes to fly, and part of that is the bravery to assume your role fully.

What Hillbilly Herald Taught Me About Bravery

You don’t have to listen to this song by the band Hillbilly Herald, but it’d help you get a taste of what I’m about to talk about. (Oh, the language is not safe for work.)

Can’t see the video? Click HERE

Jacq and I saw Hillbilly Herald as the opening act for Slash the other night at the Hampton Beach Ballroom, a legendary but small venue. When you’re the opening act, you’ve got a really tricky gig. You have to be really good, plus you have to be somewhat complementary to what the headlining act is going to be, and you have to be able to stand on your own with a rock band’s ego.

Jimmy Herald, the lead singer of the above-mentioned Hillbilly Herald, had a powerful stage presence. He kept leaping onto the monitors and staring out into the audience with an almost crazed expression. He made a lot of eye contact. And he said all the things a lead singer of a rock and roll band should say, loudly, proudly, and as crass as a… well, a rock star.

What I learned by looking at Jimmy that night was that he looked the part, he performed in a role that we’d expect, and he took on the mantle of lead singer of a rock band. Does Jimmy Herald act like that when he’s sitting in a restaurant? Probably not. Is he every bit as bombastic as he was when he worked whatever his last real day job was? No, he’s a hundred times more outgoing, whether he’s the most shy guy in the world inside.

Be Willing to Commit Fully

I was talking to S. Anthony Iannarino about the acting in a certain movie. He told me about a story that Dustin Hoffman said about getting the role of Captain Hook in the movie “Hook.” He said something akin to: “They would’ve given it to DeNiro but they were worried he’d cut his hand off.” (Meaning, he is the kind of character who is very committed to his roles.)

What does it take to be who you intend to be? What level of confidence and bravery does it require? If you’re naturally shy, is that a challenge to you?

Here’s a Recipe to consider when working on wearing your role.


  • The larger vision that you drive by goals.
  • A sense of what will help you succeed (boldness? collaboration? patience?)
  • The willingness to assume a role different than your default self.


Decide that you’re willing to embrace the role you need to play for the work you’re doing. If you need to be a bit more outward than normal, then try to play that role to serve those visions. I’m not really saying “be someone you’re not.” I’m asking if you’re willing to amp up whichever behaviors you’ll need to achieve your goals.

Be brave in being who you need to be, but not invulnerable. Leaders can be wrong. Bosses don’t have all the answers. The lead singer of the band has to back down every now and again, no matter how the legends go.

If you are quite different from this role you’re assuming (maybe you’re super shy but have duties as a public speaker), you’ll need extra recovery time. Be ready for this. Plan for it. Don’t overschedule yourself, if you’re pushing into parts of your personality that aren’t the norm.

Bold is a Nice Cousin to Brave

Brett Cohen is your typical guy. He looks typical. He has a rather common job. But one day, he decided to try something out. He decided to be a celebrity. He ended up temporarily convincing thousands of people in New York City that he was the latest young celebrity.

Pay attention to Brett’s expressions in this video. Look at the various ways his transformation changes him. Look at how his choice to be bold and imitate confidence gave him many new traits. Also realize how he carried himself before the transformation. There’s a lot to learn and model in here.

How will you accept the role you’re in? What are you doing to be the person you want to be? What part of it is the hardest for you?

If you missed my presentation with S. Anthony Iannarino called Finding The Superpower of Flight, a great deal of what we talked about would apply to this post about bravery. Included in the presentation materials are a recorded video webinar presentation, a one-hour audio program (separate to the video), and a 30+ page workbook to help you find your success in taking the next big step.

If that’s interesting, CLICK HERE

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