When we think of courage, we often think of the warrior in the blockbuster fantasy movies. We think of the man who’s been kicked to shit ten ways to Sunday and keeps getting back up. We can unanimously admire a person who can look at fear or unfavorable odds right in the eye and keep going. We wonder how do such larger-than-life people have so much courage and how do we get it?
Here are three steps on how to be courageous
1. Prepare To Be Courageous
The first step to being truly courageous is to prepare yourself for what lies ahead of you. You already know what you need courage for and why. Perhaps you are going to start a new business or are planning to climb Mt. Everest. There are inherent fears in all big goals you set ahead of you. The new business might fail, and you will go bankrupt. You might fear that climbing Mt. Everest will be periled with physical dangers. These are all rational thoughts that very well could be true — but to have courage, you must first assess the risks and make the decision to stick with it regardless of fear.
Mentally prepare yourself for the worst possible outcome. One way to do this is by using negative visualization. Negative visualization is exactly what it sounds like, and it’s the opposite of positive visualization. Close your eyes and imagine the worst possible outcome that can happen in your future endeavors. Feel the emotions that come up from seeing this negative result and internalize them. After you practice negative visualization for long enough, you will start to fear the negative outcome less. This reduction of anxiety happens because you become familiar with what could happen and you realize that it’s not as bad as you think. If your business fails and you go bankrupt — well, then you will have to go back to working a regular job, but you’ll live!
2. Taking Action To Be Courageous
After you have mentally prepared yourself to be a more courageous person, you must decide to act. You throw yourself into the ocean without a paddle, so-to-speak. You are going into the unknown which is precisely why you need courage in the first place. Take the initial steps on your journey and do it with the heart of a lion. Your actions should be fueled with disciplined intent because you’re in it to win it. While you are beginning, remember the adage, “Half of the battle is just getting started,” because it’s true.
3. The Power To Keep Going
The third step is the most difficult part of the equation of courage. That is to keep going despite whatever obstacles you may encounter. Some people might say that you are a fool or that you will fail. You might lose money. You might become physically injured. You will experience regular pain and doubt from other people around you. Do not be afraid and give up when you start experiencing these hardships as they are necessary. If you understand that some pain is inevitable, you won’t give up as easily and realize that it’s normal. Courage is being able to look pain in the eye and say, “Oh, you’re back again?” No problem.
Courage is preparation, action and overcoming obstacles. I will end this article by leaving you with a quote by the great philosopher, Seneca.
The bravest sight in the world is to see a great man struggling against adversity. – Seneca