How to Develop Courage:

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Acknowledge and understand that it’s not the absence of fear.

Even the most courageous of us experience fear and trepidation John Wayne said, “Courage is being scared to death — and saddling up anyway”. Ask any soldier or warrior who has had to venture forth in battle. Few would deny feeling fear and uncertainty beforehand.

Muster up the willingness to do so.

Before you can acquire any habit, or character trait, you must have a strong desire or willingness to do so. Contemplating the alternative, which would be to live in fear or a position of great vulnerability, should provide ample motivation.

Read literature, the latest news, and watch movies about tales of courage. 

Reading about the courageous acts of others is very inspiring and offers examples for all of us. In one of my favorite works of literature, Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, although very ill equipped for it, sets forth to courageously right the wrongs of the world. He faces scorn, ridicule and resistance at every turn, yet he perseveres. Likewise, you need not read much further than stories from 9/11 to be moved and inspired. Consider the courage and bravery of the ordinary men and women, the firefighters, the police and all those who gave their lives to save others. Who can forget the accounts of their honorable actions and how they didn’t think twice about consequences to themselves?

Start small but start somewhere.

Venturing forth and stepping out of your comfort zone can be daunting at first so start out by doing something small. Ask that cute girl or guy out for a coffee (or herbal tea, juice, power shake). Sure it may be scary, but that’s all right – do it anyway. If you normally hold back and are afraid to speak up, offer your opinion and suggestions at the next office meeting. Slowly, but surely build up your courage by doing the things you typically shy away from. Building courage in this way can help you when it’s time to quit that job you are not suited for or leaving a relationship that you’ve long since outgrown.

Develop faith and confidence.

A large part of developing courage is having faith in yourself, faith in a higher power and faith that things will work out. This type of confidence comes from maintaining a positive attitude and visualizing a favorable outcome. A courageous mindset is the product of faith, self-confidence and positive thinking.

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