Perhaps you are confronted with taking a chance when others will not, or your idea is very unpopular. Maybe you desperately want to follow your vision, no matter where it takes you, but you are meeting intense resistance. Perchance you are simply trying to do the right thing, even though far easier options exist. Most of us are called to be courageous more than we think, and we likely already possess many of the qualities that other remarkably courageous people have demonstrated. But if building definition in your courage muscle is a strength-enhancing exercise you want or need to target, highlighted below are six ways to grow that muscle:
Stop procrastinating and give courage a try. Do your best. Learn from the results of that first attempt and avoid becoming discouraged.
Face what you fear. Look it in the eye and determine exactly what you are afraid of. Rejection? Being laughed at? Not being accepted? Then once you know what you fear, face it and tell yourself, “This fear will pass.” Take one small step, then another. Action builds courage.
Step outside your comfort zone. By being open to meeting new people, visiting a city you have never been to but are curious about, or tasting an appealing entrée, one that you hadn’t considered before, you gradually strengthen your ability to be courageous.
Stand up for others who need it. Find your inner strength to take a stand when necessary. Start by demonstrating courage when someone else is in need, rather than standing up for yourself first, since that is often times less intimidating.
Demonstrate self-discipline. Be very clear about what you want and don’t want, and remain steadfast even when you are enticed to veer off course.
Be willing to fail. True learning happens when things don’t go your way; when you fail or lose. Be willing to fail, but never willing to quit. Failure doesn’t feel good, but the result, if you learn from it, is powerful.
Rather than succumbing to the learned behavior of fearfulness, know your limits, but commit to exercising courage more. If you want to transform your life and not reach the end of your line with regrets, make courage a conscious virtue you need to live with, versus without.