I am in good company in my belief that courage is the human virtue that belongs at the top of the hierarchy of virtues. “Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality that guarantees all the others.”- Winston Churchill
Why do Winston and I agree on it? Well, as he said, because the other human virtues from wisdom to kindness & love require courage anytime things get difficult.
Remember, courage is not the absence of fear. Rather, it is doing the right thing despite your fear.
How do we develop courage?
- Put the things you fear in the proper context:
- Use the 10/10/10 technique. Ask yourself: How will I feel about this in 10 minutes? In 10 months? In 10 years?
- Develop a list of pros and cons. With overwhelming value, we can be willing to risk more.
- Ask yourself: What is the worst case scenario? Can you accept it? If yes, go!
- Schedule the thing that you are afraid to do. Choose when, where and how you will do it. It is a simple step that commits you mentally.
- Get in the habit of acting. Habits have a tendency to create momentum that is easier to maintain.
- Do a root cause analysis of what holds you back. Frequently, when we get to the root, it doesn’t seem so scary.
- Break your feared task or project down into small steps and do just the first one. A single first step can make the balance of the journey less scary.
- Visualize in your mind the fantastic benefit of pushing past your fears. The right incentives can frequently overcome fear.
- Commit to do that thing you fear publicly. The extra accountability can push you to action.
- Before you need your courage, anticipate what fears may pop up in your mind and choose your mental response to them to overcome the fears before you are in the heat of battle.
- Consciously enlarge your comfort zone by progressively pushing the envelope of what you are comfortable doing.
- Practice Mindfulness. Bring your full attention to one physical sensation for three full breaths. Do that 100 times per day to create mental stability, which will be a huge aid to your courage.
- For even greater mental stability: Meditate starting with just three minutes per day.- See my instructions here.
- Take a deep breath when you are in the grips of fear. The simple act of breathing can help the fear diminish.
- Name your fears and dismiss them by name verbally or just in your mind. Show your mind that the fears are separate from you and can be let go.
- Give yourself permission to be afraid for a set period of time. Then, carry on.
Join me in thoughtfully cultivating our courage, so that we have amounts when we need it.
Just my opinion. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.
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