You draw courage from what matters to you. The changes you’re willing to make are the ones that have the greatest significance. For example, if you’ve been offered a job that will force you to move across the country but you don’t care about the job, you’ll have a hard time finding courage to make the move.
Once you’ve decided what matters, then follow these suggestions for becoming more courageous.
- Recall previous times when you acted courageously. Did you move as a child and have to make new friends? Did you go away to college? Focusing on times when you acted courageously will instill more courage in you, adding that you should also applaud yourself for showing courage.
- Shift your focus. Don’t worry about failing or disappointing other people. Worry, instead, about failing yourself.
- Eliminate the words “wish,” “hope” and “maybe” from your vocabulary. These words erode your courage by filling you with doubt, fear or hesitation.
- Do your homework. If appropriate, know the obstacles you might encounter. Talk with other people who were once in your shoes. But, remember that no matter how much you analyze the situation, you’ll still have unknown answers. “Courage doesn’t mean waiting to act until you have no fear. Courage means living with heart and doing what you want when you’re scared.
- Surround yourself with courageous people. There will always be people who say “never.” Find people who support and believe in you.
- Imagine what life will be like when your challenge has passed. Courage can come from seeing past adversity and knowing that although it may be horrible now, it’ll get better sometime.
- Give it your all but don’t expect perfection. Don’t give only 50%; then, you can say later that you didn’t succeed because you weren’t trying that hard. To find courage, you must be willing to give 100%.
- Once you’ve acted with courage, assess your response. Did acting with courage move you forward? If not, figure out how you would behave differently next time. If so, then bottle that courage, reward yourself, and always remember this time when you acted with courage in spite of your fears.