4 Effective Ways To Increase Your Courage
You’ve probably not heard of the Athenian historian, Thucydides, and quite frankly neither had we – until we stumbled upon his quote below…
“The secret to happiness is freedom and the secret to freedom is courage.”
So much wisdom observed 400 BC, and yet it’s still as relevant today. Some things never change. Your success in life is directly proportional to your courage.
You need courage to set bigger goals and to handle bigger problems that tend to accompany such goals. The fortitude to cope with failure and keep pushing forward to success. All of it requires courage.
Even in the Bible, there are countless stories of courage. One example is David running towards Goliath when God told him to.
Notice how David ran ‘towards’?
He didn’t run the other way. Though one might debate that he probably ran before he could change his mind. Whatever the debate, one cannot deny that this is exemplary courage.
Fortune favours the bold. So if you wish to become courageous, follow these 4 tips below…
4 Effective Ways To Increase Your Courage
1. Analyse Your Fears
Unlike David, you probably don’t need to run to face a giant. Nevertheless, the giant stresses in life can beat you down. Here’s the strange thing – sometimes these giants only exist in our minds.
Frank Herbert wrote in Dune, “Fear is the mind-killer.” He’s right. You’ll die a thousand deaths in your mind if you allow fear to control you.
One of the best ways to develop courage is to write down what you fear. Put it ALL on paper. Don’t be hesitant or shy. This process can be done in private so that you discover what your innermost fears are. This is the first step.
Once you can see your fears on paper, there’s no need to be in a state of mental turmoil. Time to move on to the next step.
2. What Can You Do?
Look at your fears one by one and ask yourself, “What’s the likelihood of what I fear coming to pass?”
Very often, you’ll discover that your fears are unfounded. Some fears may be so unrealistic that they may only come to pass at the confluence of several unrelated events which will need to be in sync. Highly improbable, but yet in our minds they appear so real.
Now look at those fears and see if there are any steps that you can take to prevent them. If you can, that’s excellent. Go ahead and do so.
If you can’t, then the situation is not within your control and worrying about it won’t help. Tell yourself that you’ll handle it should the fear materialise. Most often it won’t and you’ll be fine.
3. Speak Out Loud
Sometimes when you have self doubt and are fearful, saying an affirmation out loud will help to strengthen your resolve. If you followed steps 1 and 2 above, you’ll be much more prepared to handle what you fear.
Courage is not the absence of fear, but persevering in the face of it. Say out loud that you have what it takes to overcome any problem that comes your way. Stand your ground and be willing to fight for what you believe in.
Courage is grace under pressure. So, be graceful and have confidence in your own abilities.
4. Challenge Yourself Often
One of the best ways to increase your courage will be to face your fears head on. For example, if you fear drowning, learn to swim. Then swim often at the local pool or even at the beach to overcome your fear.
Scared of public speaking? Join a toastmaster’s club and give a few speeches. You may perform atrociously in the beginning but it’s the practice and not the performance that matters at the beginning.
By doing what you fear, you’ll discover strengths you never knew you had. You’ll also find that what you fear was never really scary to begin with. You just didn’t have the ability to cope with the issue. Now you do.
So, don’t hope for it to get less scary. Instead, work on yourself so that you get stronger and more courageous.
If you just follow the 4 pointers above, you’ll slowly build courage and develop more self-confidence.
Start today, and in a few months your old fears will no longer be there or at the very least, will not be in control of you.
If you’re brave enough to start, you’re strong enough to finish.
Just get started. Period.