We all like to feel confident and feel like we’ve been brave and conquered our fears. But how do we actually get to be courageous and spark our inner brave?
Just like any other muscle in our body, courage needs to be developed the old-fashioned way… you need to work on your inner brave muscle over and over again. There is no quick fix to build a courageous character and you can’t expect courage to just magically appear without practice, real courage comes from your inside and needs to be trained consistently.
Let’s look as what courage is. Courage means to face your fears, difficulties, danger, uncertainty or pain and act anyways. The word courage comes from the Latin word ‘cor’, which can be translated as heart. So this means courage is a state of our heart and the ability to do what feels right, even if it’s scary.
Fear has an important place in our emotional life. We experience fear that indicates that our physical body is in danger and we experience fear that indicates that our emotional body is in danger. In our modern society, there are very few incidences where we are in physical danger, but there are plenty of threats to our ego, confidence and self-concept. Courage is about learning how to respond to fear in a healthy way and learn to act despite fear.
Here are our TOP 10 ways to train your courage and spark your inner brave.
#1 Take Action
When we are low on courage, it is very tempting to just sit back and do anything but taking action. We are thinking about how we are going to find our courage and motivation, talk about it to friends and on social media, read articles online or watch YouTube videos. However, the longer we wait for courage to show up, the less likely it will be that we will actually muster up the courage it takes to take action. The only thing that will help us develop courage is to take action. Step out into the arena and know that this is the only way you will be able to overcome your fear and spark your inner brave.
#2 Expand Your Comfort Zone
The more we stay in our comfort zone and stick to what is familiar to us, the more frightened we will be every time we encounter something new. Consciously seek out unfamiliar experiences and try new things, whether that’s professionally or personally. Stretch yourself, even if it’s at the risk of being seen as a fool and expand your comfort zone. Remind yourself to do something every single day that scares you to keep stretching beyond your comfort zone and train your courage muscle. Keep in mind, boosting your courage is a day-by-day process and doesn’t happen over night.
#3 Don’t Overthink It
It is absolutely natural to want to avoid situations where you could potentially be rejected, but the more you think about it and go over the possible outcomes in your head, the scarier it will be. Courage has the tendency to leak if we don’t train it regularly and when we ruminate about a situation long enough, our courage will disappear. Don’t overthink it and drain your courage muscle. Decide to take action and don’t wait.
#4 Do it With a Friend
There is a lot of power if you do something that scares you in the company of even just one other person. Recruit a friend to do whatever it is that scares you to do it with you. Having another person by your side is a great way to overcome anxiety and manage fear. Of course sometimes you have to do it alone, but more often than not, it isn’t necessary and the support of another can do wonders to your courage.
#5 Think About How Great You’ll Feel Afterwards
When we are afraid of something and actually go out and tackle it, we tend to feel a rush of accomplishment, pride, confidence, motivation, empowerment and determination instantly thereafter. Next time you are faced with something that scares you, think about how great you will feel afterwards when you take a leap of faith and act despite your feelings of fear. If you can switch to this positive mindset instead of ruminating over your fear, you will increase your determination and give your courage a powerful boost.
Our physiological state has a huge impact on our emotional and feeling state. If we want to spark our inner brave and give our courage a boost, one of the simplest, most effective ways is to slow down our breath. When we are scared, our breath becomes fast and shallow without us being consciously aware of it. When you catch yourself succumbing to fearful thoughts, take a few deep, slow, rhythmic breaths and signal your mind that everything is fine. You’ll be surprised how quickly you will calm down and feel relaxed, which makes it much easier to access your courage and take action despite fear.
#7 Embrace Failure
Don’t let fear of failure stop you. Keep in mind, making mistakes and having to deal with failure is part of the process. Failure means you experiment with the best possible path to reach your goals and you take risks, which increases your chances of success. Embrace failure as the amazing opportunity for growth that it is, which will help you to learn and gain insight that will help you to reach your ultimate goal.
#8 Find Role Models of Courageous People
There is incredible power in finding role models when you are trying to move past perceived limitations and stretch yourself beyond what you thought was possible. There is always that little voice inside your head that wonders if it can actually be done and a role model is a constant reminder that it is indeed possible. Channel your role model until it becomes second nature for yourself.
#9 Get Objective
Usually, the fear we have to deal with isn’t so much about thinking about a worst-case scenario, it’s about how we will feel, if that worst-case scenario becomes a reality. In actuality, if you courageously go out and do your thing and you fail, all that really happens is that you go home, reflect on the situation and learn from the experience, so you have more knowledge and experience the next time. On the other hand, how we feel is a completely different story. To spark your inner brave and boost your courage, take a step back, focus on the facts and stay objective. Stay focused on what actually happened, rather than the meaning you attach to it and don’t let your feelings take over.
# 10 Remember that Fear is Just a Chemical
You may believe that it’s your mind that decides if something is dangerous or scary, but in reality fear chemicals are flooding your brain and cloud your judgement. There have actually been experiments that artificially injected the same chemicals that fear produces into volunteers, which caused them to feel fearful. Keep in mind, those chemicals don’t know what you should or shouldn’t be scared of, you do. So remember that fear is just a chemical that messes with your mind and courageously move forward in the direction of your dreams.
If you are waiting for courage to just magically appear, you are going to be waiting for a long time. Reality is, the longer you wait before you take action the less courageous you will feel. The only way to help you be more courageous and spark your inner brave is to step outside your comfort zone, take action and send yourself the message that you are a courageous person who can overcome any fear or challenge.
PUT FEAR IN ITS PLACE AND SPARK YOUR INNER BRAVE
Joschi & Monika