Growing your courage

Happy New Year everyone! I hope that you had a great start to the new year and have taken a little time to get clear on what you want from the year ahead. Ideally, you will have a vision for how your life will be one year from now. If you have done this then the obvious next step is figuring out how to make it happen.

The main reason people don’t get what they want or even pursue what the want is fear. Fear can cause you to convince yourself you don’t really want what you have been dreaming about, put things off for another time, give up before you start, or settle for something less than what you really want. This is all quite understandable because the possibility of failing, changing a comfortable situation or testing whether you are good enough can be scary. That’s why pursuing what you want or things you dream of takes some courage.

What do I mean by courage? It is certainly not being reckless or throwing caution to the wind and ignoring what scares you. It is about facing your fears head on and taking manageable steps forward. Many of our fears are somewhat vague and lurk in the background of our thoughts. There is great value in defining your fears. What is the worst that could happen? How likely is it to happen? Compare this to the best case scenario. Look your fear in the eye and you may find it change from this dark cloud that hangs over you to something that you can manage and control. Courage grows when your fear becomes a clear obstacle that you can work through or chip away at, shrinking it down to a manageable size.

It’s easy to forget the things that took courage to overcome in the past. Have you ever accomplished something that you weren’t sure or didn’t believe you could do? It is helpful to remember all the difficult times you overcame and the challenges you worked through. Remember the successes you have had. It is also good to do little things that scare you on a regular basis. Maybe the idea of taking a cold shower makes you cringe but doing it for a week or 30 days will really boost your confidence. It could be that talking to a random stranger or speaking in front of people scares you so try going by yourself to a group or trying speaking in front of a small group about a topic you know well. All of these things will help grow your courage.

Knowing what you want to do with your life or feeling the need for change but doing nothing about it is a recipe for unhappiness. So start taking steps now to grow your courage so that you can pursue our dreams without resistance.