How can I develop courage?

By Angela Cox

A key theme in my work with clients is about showing them how to develop courage as a habit.

Generally, people have ideas they wish they could share out loud, or goals they want to pursue. Part of the reason they don’t progress on the sharing or the doing is due to the lack of a guaranteed positive result.  Humans aren’t wired to lavish uncertainty and we will do anything to avoid it, including allowing the procrastination pixie to take hold, or listening to our overly loud inner critic who is keen to tell us we’ll mess it up.

Put simply, this avoidance of uncertainty is a lack of courage to take the step into the unknown, and the crazy thing is, our alternative route often hurts us more.

Have you considered what lack of courage could be costing you?  We don’t often consider this because our brain is wired to ignore the what ifs around inaction.  The missed opportunities do have a cost though, in many different ways. As do the sabotaging behaviours we use to soften the blow of doing nothing.

Thankfully, it’s been proven that courage can be developed as a habit and strengthened over time with repeated practice.

Remember a brave act can be saying yes to an opportunity, or saying no to something you really don’t want to do. Courage isn’t purely reserved for burning building rescues.

It could be confronting your long held fears.  I have had a dislike of spiders for many years and it was made worse by one literally falling from the ceiling and onto my forehead in the middle of the night.  I felt and heard it hit my head, opened my eyes immediately and though it was dark and I couldn’t see, I then felt it’s legs crawl over my face.  I shot out of bed, screaming like a banshee and as I flicked on the light I saw it racing across the bed clothes, before it landed on the floor and scuttled under the bed.  It was one of those huge house spiders with muscles and I refused to get back in bed until it was located.

I have managed to neutralise that experience by exposing myself to more spiders.  When I see one, I consciously talk to myself about remaining calm.  I’ve already experienced what could be the worst case scenario and I didn’t die.  Don’t get me wrong, I won’t be picking a spider up and giving it a hug anytime soon, but I can easily cover one with a glass and remove it.  I get the odd shiver as I do so, but it’s courage that sees me through it.

Seeing yourself coping with the situation, creating successful outcomes and being in control and confident is all part of the courage habit building process.

If you were strong and secure in your worst nightmare scenario, ask yourself…

How would you handle it?
What would you learn about yourself in the process?

Fear can’t hurt you, it can only hold you back, unless you choose to do it anyway.

Go work on your courage habit, why not sign up to my Courage and Confidence online course It’s a game-changer.

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