COURAGE IS A CHOICE, COURAGE IS SOMETHING THAT YOU DO
Courage is one of those attributes that we all seem to want to have. We idolize and look up to people whom we feel have greater courage than ourselves and we imagine what it must be like to be that courageous person. We fantasize about how: “if only we could be more courageous like that other person, then we would have a better life”.
We would be able to accomplish more, create more success for ourselves in our lives, and do all of those things that we have dreamed of doing but were too scared to try. Like going on a vacation to a country where we don’t speak the language…alone. Or asking our boss for that raise that we have been working so hard for. Or asking the cute girl at Starbucks on a date. “If only we had courage like those other people, then we would be able to do these things”. We think to ourselves.
Right? Anyone had this experience?
Well, I would like to clear up a pretty common misconception about courage and empower all of you to increase your courage and start tackling some of those things that up until this point you may have been too scared to tackle in your life.
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What is courage? How do we get it? Do some people have more than others?
I’d like to illustrate my point with an example. I’ll describe 2 different people and you ask yourself, who’s got the courage? Imagine 2 different people coming up to do their first speech in front of an audience.
The first speaker comes up to the stage and firmly shakes the hand of the MC, stands tall and speaks with a calm yet powerful voice looking the audience directly in the eyes. The second speaker however is shy to come up to the stage, weakly shakes the MC’s hand, then proceeds to quietly ramble through their speech while staring at the floor and fidgeting.
I’m sure we are all familiar with these scenarios, many of us might have been both of these people in fact. So who’s got the courage? Who’s the courageous one? Do you think the person who spoke confidently had courage? Or do you think that the person who stared at the floor had courage?
The person who stared at the floor is the courageous one in this scenario. The first speaker, came to the stage with confidence. Maybe they are just naturally a more confident person. Whatever it was, it was clear that they were not having to deal with a great deal of fear in order to perform their speech.
The second speaker on the other hand, was exhibiting a great deal of fear and anxiety about their speech and they had to go through the whole speech despite feeling that fear. It took a lot more mental and emotional effort for the second speaker to get up and speak because they had to face their fears about public speaking.
THAT IS WHAT COURAGE IS, ACTING IN SPITE OF YOUR FEAR
Having your fears not stop your actions, it doesn’t mean that the fears just go away magically. If anything you must get even more vividly acquainted with your fears. Go towards your fear, put yourself into the situation that scares you. The ability to step purposefully into one’s own fears, that is true courage.
The first person did not experience much fear because they had confidence. The second person, had little confidence, but in choosing to DO COURAGE, to go into their fear, they are gradually starting to build their confidence. This is how courage and confidence works, every time that we decide to do courage, we are building confidence as a result.
You will see that over time after doing courage repeatedly, your fears will reduce and confidence will grow. Courage is a choice, courage is something that you do. Whereas confidence is an emotional state, confidence is something that you can have. You do courage, and you can have confidence.
THE COMMON MISTAKE
This is the common misconception that I feel is holding many people back from their own personal development. We make the mistake of thinking that we need to have confidence in order the overcome our fears, when in fact we need to do courage. Change your mindset about fear.
We sit there waiting for our fears to go away by themselves and magically makes us feel more confident. Or we think that if only we had the confidence, then we would we be able to deal with our fears. We feel that other people have something that we lack that enables them to deal with their fears, but this is not true.
There is no trick that can get us past our fears, the only way through is through, and that’s called doing courage. But every time, you do courage, you will be rewarded with confidence.
Step purposefully towards your fears, and start building some confidence. There is nothing special that you are missing to do it, all it takes is saying: