Worth the Risk: How to Microdose Bravery to Grow Resilience, Connect More, and Offer Yourself to the World

Worth the Risk: How to Microdose Bravery to Grow Resilience, Connect More, and Offer Yourself to the World

by Kristen Lee EdD, LICSW
Worth the Risk: How to Microdose Bravery to Grow Resilience, Connect More, and Offer Yourself to the World

Worth the Risk: How to Microdose Bravery to Grow Resilience, Connect More, and Offer Yourself to the World

by Kristen Lee EdD, LICSW


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Discover the rewards of strategic risk-taking—an award-winning behavioral scientist shares a practical guide on using small, intentional acts of courage to build resilience, confidence, and connection.

We’re bombarded by messages about how dangerous the world is—from both real and fake news. Yet when we hunker down and try to live in a bubble of safety, we can cut ourselves off from the richness and joy life has to offer. In Worth the Risk, Dr. Kristen Lee shows us that by “microdosing” small acts of bravery and connection, we can regain the self-confidence and resilience we need to live full and meaningful lives. “We are hardwired for risk-taking,” she says. “As we become more comfortable with the uncomfortable, our nervous system changes to support us in experiencing a bold, adventurous, colorful life.”

In each chapter of Worth the Risk, Lee provides a solid dose of brain science combined with practical actions to build confidence and sustain yourself through challenges. With a blend of stories, composite sketches, science, ancient wisdom, behavioral science, and practical exercises, you’ll explore:

• What is courage? Debunking the myths and discovering the power of everyday acts of bravery
• Why feeling overwhelmed doesn’t make you a “snowflake”
• Tools for understanding and regulating your emotions, anxieties, and habits of avoidance
• Healing practices and guidance to increase your resilience to trauma, acute stress, and PTSD
• Insights and strategies for navigating the unique challenges of our polarized, media-saturated culture
• How to own your “Personal Legend” and become an active liberator—for yourself and others

Risks are a part of life—and “playing it safe” can end up diminishing the very qualities that allow us to adapt, create, and serve our purpose in life. Worth the Risk guides you through a powerful approach to taking small, values-aligned chances that increase your ability to thrive. “You are not your trauma, labels, fears, or raw emotions,” Lee writes. “You are wired for resilience. Your human spirit is indomitable.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781683648505
Publisher: Sounds True, Incorporated
Publication date: 06/14/2022
Pages: 264
Sales rank: 1,083,681
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Kristen Lee, EdD, LICSW, is an award-winning behavioral science and leadership professor, clinician, researcher, activist, comedian, author of Reset and Mentalligence, and host of Crackin’ Up: Where Therapy Meets Comedy. She has over two decades of clinical experience in mental health and thirteen years of teaching and leadership roles in higher education, focusing on underserved populations. She leads the Behavior Science program at Northeastern University.

For more, visit kristenlee.com.

Table of Contents

Disclaimer xii

Note to Reader: You Are Not Here to Live a What If Life 1

Architect a What Is Life 8

Session 1 You Are Not Your Fear 15

Choose Agency Over Complacency 15

Design Your Own Blueprint 18

Session One Worksheet 23

Session 2 You Are Not Your Keg Stands 27

Choose Progress Over Posturing 27

Don't Keg Stand Risk 28

Rethink Bravery 29

See Brave in Context 34

Microdose Bravery: Make Bravery a Practice 35

Reframe Your Definition of Bravery 36

Session Two Worksheet 39

Session 3 You Are Not Your Automations 43

Choose Regulation Over Automation 43

Identify Your Automations 46

Architect Your Sweet Spot Between Worst-and Best-Case Scenario Brain 50

Move from Automation to Regulation 52

Leverage Science to Make Room for Rish and Resilience 53

Session Three Worksheet 56

Session 4 You Are Not a Snowflake 59

Choose Resilience Over Resignation 59

Contextualize Your Resilience 63

Pay Attention to Grow Your Resilience 66

Own Your Own Indomitable Spirit 67

Session Four Worksheet 71

Session 5 You Are Not Your Trauma 75

Choose Truth Over Hiding 75

Understand the Nuances of Trauma 76

Know the Difference Between PTSD and Acute Stress 78

Guard Against Unhelpful Responses to Trauma 79

Reach for Resilience 81

Use Validating Loops to Promote Healing 82

Grow Your Resilience 84

Session Five Worksheet 87

Session 6 You Are Not the Likes on Your Feed 91

Choose True Security Over Superficial Popularity 91

Understand the Risks of the Commodity Complex 93

Know How the Commodity Complex Impacts You 95

Microdose Bravery: Risk Looking Good to Feel Good 98

Search for Real 100

Session Six Worksheet 104

Session 7 You Are Not Your Accomplishments 107

Choose Being Over Doing 107

Guard Against the Cult of Overachievement 110

Resist Imposter Syndrome 112

Strive for Healthy Achievement 113

Know the Difference Between Anxious Overachievement vs. Healthy Achievement 115

Use Self-Care to Sustain Yourself 116

Architect Your Self-Care Strategy 118

Advocate for Organizational Change 119

Move from Me to We 121

Session Seven Worksheet 122

Session 8 You Are Not Your Label 125

Choose Solidarity Over Stigma 125

Increase Your Mental Health Awareness to Avoid Internalizing Labels 129

Burn Your Normal Disguise 134

Move from Stigma to Solidarity 137

Session Eight Worksheet 140

Session 9 You Are Not Unguided 143

Choose Synchronicity Over Control 143

Shift Your Question 149

Be What You Want to Receive 150

Develop Your Soulful Savvy 151

Recognize the Significance of Your Contributions 153

Know the Difference Between Contrived Spirituality vs. True Essence 153

Define Your True Soul Activities 154

Session Nine Worksheet 162

Session 10 You Are Not Alone 165

Choose Connection Over Isolation 165

You Are Not the Only One 167

Avoid the Trappings of Loneliness 169

Architect Your Locus of Control 175

Search for Surrogates 176

Microdose Bravery: Risk Putting Yourself Out There 178

Session Ten Worksheet 181

Session 11 You Are Not Like Anyone Else 185

Choose Inner Acceptance Over External Validation 185

Architect Humility and Confidence 188

Microdose Bravery: Risk Letting Go of External Validation 191

Understand the Forces Behind Social Comparison Behavior 192

Architect Security: Know the Difference Between Healthy Comparison and Unhealthy Social Comparison 194

Avoid the Trappings of Unhealthy Social Comparison 195

Session Eleven Worksheet 199

Session 12 You Are Not a Passive Bystander 203

Choose Values Over Passivity 203

Align Values to Behavior 204

Cancel Behavior, Not Each Other 206

Fight for Accountability 207

Practice Reverence 208

Architect Accountability: Know the Difference Between Tolerance, Acceptance, and Reverence 209

Session Twelve Worksheet 211

Session 13 You Are Not a Prisoner 213

Choose Liberation Over Imprisonment 213

Finesse Your Fears 214

Avoid Common Entrapments 215

Break the Mold 217

Own Your Legend to Offer Yourself to the World 221

Embrace Your Identity as a Liberator 224

Session Thirteen Worksheet 227

Endnotes 231

Acknowledgments 243

Recommendations for Identifying Risks Worth Taking and Growing Resilience 245

Session One 245

Session Two 246

Session Three 246

Session Four 246

Session Five 247

Session Six 247

Session Seven 247

Session Eight 248

Session Nine 248

Session Ten 248

Session Eleven 248

Session Twelve 249

Session Thirteen 249

About the Author 251

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