How To Be More Courageous
Do you want to be more courageous? I mean, who doesn’t! Across the board courage is perceived to be a positive trait. It’s associated with other characteristics like confidence, will power, and discipline. But I think it's slightly misunderstood, and that’s because there is an assumption to courage that must be addressed to truly understand it.
The scientific definition of courage is “taking action in the presence of fear”. It’s simply put, but not easily done. It’s not only about feeling a certain way and doing something about it, but specifically feeling afraid. But that’s the opportunity for growth! In fear we feel discomfort, and by stepping out of our comfort zone we give ourselves opportunity to grow.
To walk slower through this… If courage is the end result, or the outcome, what is the input? The input is being in a position where you’re afraid and giving yourself a strong reason to take action while feeling that way. So from the very beginning you cannot be more courageous unless you actively choose to put yourself in situations that scare you, allowing you to prove your courage by taking action.
Now that’s all great in theory but what does that look like in practice? Well, when you experience fear or discomfort, your brain starts taking shortcuts trying to protect yourself and even remove you from that situation. You’re not as clear-minded as you’d like to be, and that’s why your reason for taking action is extremely important. You can strengthen that reason by having accountability, creating necessity, and connecting with the ways that being courageous in these moments will serve you. That way, when you put yourself in uncomfortable situations, you’re more motivated to take action in them, to expose yourself to uncertainty, failure, or criticism, and ultimately allow yourself to be more courageous.
So yes, you absolutely can and should be more courageous, but understand that courage requires you taking action in the presence of fear. So get ready!