We’re all inspired by courageous people. As each overcome their fears to accomplish great feats, their courageous stories of valiance are rich, compelling, and moving.
Not only are we inspired by courageous individuals, but we too desire to stride boldly in the face of our fears and live life to the full. And that’s what we’re supposed to do – we’ve been given one life in which to make a difference.
But what sets some apart from others is their determination to overcome fear and walk into the fire that requires courageous living.
So next time you’re faced with your fears, consider these three steps to being courageous:
#1. Allow yourself to be courageous
Without breaking free from limiting thoughts, you’ll never take risks.
The result is that you’ll stagnate and grow discontent. Moving forward requires you to recognize and discard the negative voices in your head preventing you from courageous risk taking.
Once recognized, these thoughts need to be replaced with wholesome, constructive and evidence based ones.
“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” Muhammad Ali
Having done this, allow yourself to take risks – acts of courageous faith.
#2. Understand that courageous living isn’t easy
No worthwhile accomplishment comes without a degree of sacrifice. Becoming your best ‘you’, requires experiencing a level of suffering, setback, and pain.
In fact, I’m personally encouraged and reassured that – whether the result of my own poor choices or otherwise – some of my greatest life lessons and personal growth will be the result of such experiences.
Whether starting a business, raising a family, training for a marathon, or building a strong marriage, there’ll always be a cost to you – physically, emotionally and spiritually.
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” Eleanor Roosevelt
Courageous acts are the result of being prepared to step out and take responsibility. Though not easy, without a willingness to move away from what you’re comfortable with, your ability to achieve your true potential will be limited.
#3. Courageous living requires overcoming fear
Doing something for the first time is always scary!
Whether its public speaking, asking someone on a date, attending a job interview, or approaching a contentious issue, everybody experiences fear – it’s normal.
However, the difference between the courageous and not so courageous, and those who realise success and those less successful, is that they refuse to be held by fear.
“I learned that courage wasn’t the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who doesn’t feel afraid, but he who conquers it.” Nelson Mandela
As you recognise your fears make a commitment to use them as a catalyst towards success. Rather than allowing your fears to paralyse you, having asked some helpful questions to challenge them, don’t hesitate to embrace the thing you’re fearful of.
Some questions that challenge your fears can prove helpful. For example,
- Is my fear rational or based on fiction? – What is the worse possible outcome, and how likely is that to actually happen?
- Is the motivation for my fear internal or external? – Am I worried about my capabilities or the opinions of others?
- Is there anything I can do to make me less fearful? – Could I better prepare myself?
Being courageous requires faith. And stepping into the unknown means being willing to embrace uncertainty. Though fear will always be present, when you decide to live a courageous life, it doesn’t have to stop you in your tracks.
Despite the challenges life presents, having a courageous faith – one which says, ‘What the heck, I trust in One bigger than myself!’ – will help you face your fears and stride confidently towards accomplishing your own feats; great and small!
What courageous steps have you taken recently? How did you overcome your fears? What was the outcome? Share your comments!
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