How to Be a Daring Girl

Three Parts:Managing Fear and AnxietyTrying New ThingsFinding Other Ways to be Daring

Being daring is an admirable quality. To be a daring girl, you will first need to face your fears and anxieties. Then, you can start to try some new things and look for other ways to be daring in your life.

Part 1
Managing Fear and Anxiety

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    Face your fears. If you feel afraid of something, it is important to face your fears rather than running from them.[1] For example, if you are afraid of heights, then avoiding heights will only intensify your fear. Instead, try to expose yourself to heights gradually to help reduce your fear.
    • You can also try making a list of things that you are scared to do from least to most scary, and try to do one every day.
    • Start with the things that are the least scary for you. For example, if you are afraid of heights, then the least frightening thing on your list might be looking out a window from the second story of your house. Start with this and then move on to more frightening items on your list.
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    Learn as much as you can about things that scare you. Not knowing much about something can make it seem mysterious and scary. If you are frightened of something because you know very little about it, then learning more about it may help you to feel less afraid.[2]
    • For example, if you are afraid to try skateboarding because you think it is dangerous, then learning as much as you can about skateboarding and skateboarding safety may give you the courage to try it.
    • Start researching the things that you fear to help empower yourself.
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    Calm yourself when you are feeling fearful. Using relaxation techniques can also help you to face your fears. If you notice that you are feeling anxious when you confront something that scares you, then use a relaxation technique to help calm yourself down.[3]
    • For example, you can do some deep breathing to calm yourself. Take a slow deep breath in through your nose as you count to five. Then, slowly release the breath out through your mouth as you count down from five.
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    Use anger to combat fear. Anger is a strong emotion, so allowing yourself to get angry may also help you to overcome fear.[4] For example, if you are afraid of someone who pushes you around, then tray to allow your anger to overtake the fear instead.
    • Try using your voice to help you harness your anger when you are feeling fearful. For example, if you are in a situation where someone is harassing you, then try raising your voice and tell the person to “Knock it off!”
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    Spend time in nature. Going outside may also help to reduce fear and ease your anxieties.[5] Spend some time in nature every day to help yourself become more courageous.
    • Try taking a walk when the weather is nice or just sit in your back yard and observe your surroundings for a few minutes.
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    Stand up for yourself and others. Part of being daring is being courageous. When you are being treated badly, or when you see others being bullied or picked on, speak up. You can say something like "That's not true, and it isn't nice either." Tell the person being bullied that they can come hang out with you and your friends.[6]
    • Tell a kid who is picked on that they can count on you to help. Get your friends on their side as well.
    • If you hear nasty gossip, tell the gossipers you aren't interested in hearing mean things repeated about others.
    • If someone is picking on you, say "I don't like when you say that to me." Then remove yourself from the situation. If the meanness keeps happening, get help from a teacher.
    • If you think someone needs more help than you can offer, get the advice of a responsible adult.
    • Always talk to an adult if you think someone is being repeatedly bullied or abused at school or at home.
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    Get help with serious fears. If you are seriously afraid of something and you can't be daring on your own, get help. There are some situations in which it doesn't help to just dare yourself: you have to work on keeping calm first. For instance, if you are terrified of spiders, or public speaking, or heights, you can work on calming your panic by getting help from friends, family, or even a professional therapist.[7]
    • Identify and overcome your phobias.
    • If you're afraid of the water, work with a swim coach who has experience getting people into the water.
    • If you're afraid of spiders, get a friend or family member who is not afraid of spiders to help you. Explain that you need help calming down when there is a spider.
    • Take gradual steps. You can try looking at pictures of spiders, then being in an area where there are sometimes spiders, then sitting somewhere where you can see a spider, then eventually being the person to scoop a spider up and take it outside.
    • Think about what you're afraid of. What are you afraid of happening? If that happens, what will happen next? And next? And next? Imagine each step of what you want to do going wrong. This will help you stay calm when you try it next.
    • Tackling the things that scare you most will be the most satisfying to accomplish.

Part 2
Trying New Things

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    Trade dares with your friends. Do you have a friend who wants to be more daring? Get in the habit of daring one another to do new things whenever there's a chance. Make some rules first: for example, the dares shouldn't be dangerous, shouldn't get anyone in serious trouble, and shouldn't be mean.
    • Think up fun dares that will scare your friend but won't hurt them.
    • For example, you can dare your friend to climb a tree or sing a song loudly in public.
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    Explore. Have you ever gone camping? Take a camping trip with family and friends. What natural landscapes have you never explored? The mountains, the sea, the desert, a wetland? Ask your family to take a trip, or find out the areas near you that you haven't yet seen.
    • Find a tourist guide of your hometown. Pick things you've never done, and organize trips to do them. Are there any weird small museums? Plan a visit!
    • Is there an outdoors skill you don't have? Can you climb, swim, and camp? Can you recognize the local flora and fauna? Sign up for an outdoors club, or buy a guide to the natural world of your region.
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    Increase your independence. You're growing up—dare to take on more responsibility and ask for more freedom. Think of the things others do for you, and the things you aren't allowed to do, and take steps to eliminate some of them.
    • Do your parents cook all the family food? Offer to pack your own lunches, or to make the family breakfast on Sundays.
    • Have you always had the same chores? Ask to trade some so that you can learn a different skill.
    • Consider getting a job that will earn you your own money, such as mowing lawns, dog walking, babysitting, or working as a clerk.
    • Ask your parents to approve trips you can take on your own, either by bike, bus, or foot, to places you have never been by yourself.
    • Ask to make your own decisions. Do you shop for your own clothes? Pick your own classes? Sign yourself up for afterschool activities? Take control by deciding what you want and presenting it calmly and seriously to your guardians.
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    Put on a show. Performing is one of the most frightening skills to learn, but it's useful throughout your life. If you're shy in front of audiences, dare yourself to get out there. Performing can be anything: you can sing at a karaoke party, audition for a community play, or even volunteer to read aloud in class.
    • Learn unusual skills. You never know when you'll be asked to demonstrate a talent. If you teach yourself to do something nobody else can do, you'll amuse and impress those around you. Try learning magic skills, gymnastic tricks, complicated math maneuvers, or something only you have thought of.
    • Write a short play with some friends and put it on for your families.
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    Eat the world. Are you scared of food that is smelly, spicy, or slimy? Food that has ingredients you don't recognize? To be truly daring, work to expand your palate. Try food from different countries, or different places in the world. Give another try to food from your own culture that you don't like—sometimes eating it at a different moment, in a different place, or made slightly differently can improve the experience.
    • Even if you can't travel, you can explore cuisines from different cultures. Each country has many styles of food that use different cooking methods, different spice combinations, different ways of filling you up or getting you hungry for more.
    • Explore the restaurants in your hometown that serve foods you haven't tried, like Ethiopian, Cuban, or different regions in the United States.
    • Do you like Chinese food? That's great, but China has many cuisines—Cantonese, Shandong, Hunan, Xinjiang—and different restaurants often specialize in different ones without advertising this in English. Try to look up different cuisines and see what specialties you can get in your area.
    • Learn to cook new recipes. Set yourself the challenge of learning ways to cook that have nothing to do with your
    • Order snacks popular in different countries offline, or visit a store that specializes in a regional cuisine, old fashioned candies, or other delicacies you aren't familiar with.

Part 3
Finding Other Ways to be Daring

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    Challenge gender norms. Boys and girls are often taught that they have to behave in a certain way to fit into their gender norms. One way to be more daring is to challenge these rules. Some ways that you can challenge gender stereotypes include:[8]
    • Trying things that you want to try. Girls are sometimes discouraged from participating in certain activities, such as playing football, working on cars, or doing household repairs. However, you do not have to obey these rules. If you want to learn to play a sport, then look for opportunities. If you want to learn about auto mechanics, then go for it!
    • Pursuing your dreams. Some professions are dominated by one gender due to gender stereotypes. For example, it is more common for men to be construction workers than women, while it is more common for women to be secretaries. Don’t let these stereotypes prevent you from pursuing your dreams. If you are attracted to a specific career, then pursue it even if it is dominated by men.
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    Be assertive. Being assertive means that you speak your mind and stand up for yourself. Being more assertive will help to make it easier for you to be daring. Some things you can do to be more assertive include:[9]
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    Check out the Daring Girl series. Buy, or check out from a library, one of the Daring Girl book series. They are full of lessons and projects that will give you ideas for your adventures. Books include:
    • The Daring Book for Girls
    • The Double Daring Book for Girls
    • The Pocket Daring Book for Girls: Things to Do
    • The Pocket Daring Book for Girls: Things to Know
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    Find a mentor you think is brave. Is there anyone in your life who seems to be truly daring? Do you know someone who does something you want to do, or who does things in a way you think is brave? Talk to women in your life about what they have done that they are proudest of, or moments where they felt especially daring.
    • Make a little book about the daring people in your life.
    • Ask for advice about being brave.

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Categories: Personality Traits and Attributes