Courage is the willingness to confront unpleasant emotions like anger, danger, pain, uncertainty, etc. Like anyone, you might mistake courage for ‘lack of fear’. However, courage means taking risks and facing threats despite fear. One of the best ways to be courageous is to understand what you’re afraid of and then refuse to allow that fear to paralyze you. Because if you let it, fear has the power to stop you from moving forward, taking risks, and making the most of opportunities. Courage is one of those virtues which has much more pros than cons. Courageous people become faces of leadership and inspiration to others. They stand up for themselves and others in need and inspire others to do so.
Why is being courageous so important?
There are a number of reasons why being courageous is so important. Being more courageous in your life will help you respond appropriately to risks and accomplish positive things in your life. Some other reasons among a dozen include:
1. Broadens horizons
Being courageous means stepping out of your comfort zone. Any time you do, you allow yourself to be vulnerable and invite new opportunities to enter and affect your life. It makes you a more well-rounded person and broadens your experiences in your life. If you plan on facing your fears despite knowing the risks involved, you grow as a person and gain experience for future endeavours. With less fear and more courage, people take on more challenging projects, deal better with change, and speak more willingly about important issues. In short, courageous people try more, trust more and talk more.
2. Deal better with failures
Once you decide to be courageous, you develop enough confidence that dealing with rejections becomes easier. Rejections and failures are a part of life, and dealing with them can be very difficult. People get demotivated or depressed, and fear of failure doesn’t allow them to take risks. People fear what the world will say about them if they fail again and their self-esteem drops. Most of our dreams are killed by the words, “What would people think?” If the thoughts and opinions of complete strangers don’t concern you, you can focus on fulfilling your dreams and goals.
Harland David Sanders (Founder of KFC restaurant) got rejected 1009 times and finally started his career at the age of 73. Now KFC is one of the biggest fast-food chains globally. It has outlets in USA, Canada, UK, Mexico, Jamaica and many other countries around the world.
3. Success comes easier
Success doesn’t come easy to anyone. Being fearful and not a risk-taker doesn’t help your cause. At least when you are being courageous, you are putting your hundred per cent into your work or any other thing you do. It makes you a more successful person because you’re more likely to pursue your dreams and seize opportunities as they present themselves. By acknowledging your fears and apprehensions, either by writing them down or by sharing them with a supportive person, you empower yourself to be courageous despite feeling fearful and hence coming closer to your goals personally and professionally.
Being bold and courageous means putting in that extra bit that makes you different from others.
4. Taking responsibility
Taking responsibility is acknowledging and accepting the choices you have made, the actions you have taken, and the results they have led to. It means being willing to accept your mistakes or success without excuses and with self-confidence. Taking responsibility almost always has repercussions, and many people are scared to do so. It is essential to understand that taking responsibility for your actions doesn’t have to be bad. In most cases, people praise you for being courageous enough to stand up to yourself. Not only does it give others inspiration to do so, but your confidence in yourself also increases tremendously.
Being courageous means having the confidence to take responsibility for your reactions.
5. Intelligent decison making
When you show courage, you don’t feel ashamed of putting forward your thoughts in front of others. You feel confident enough to think and convince others that your plans and executions are innovative, and you are intelligent enough to handle situations efficiently. A keen sense of emotional intelligence is vital to being a leader who can collaborate with others to achieve organizational goals. It comes and keeps developing with age and maturity. When facing a crisis, you need to be prepared to lead under pressure and remain composed. This is when a courageous person comes forward acts effectively under a massive amount of stress.
6. Brings happiness
Living a courageous life can help live a growth-oriented life backed by righteousness. When growth becomes the focus of life, an individual does not care about the difficulties and hardships. They can overcome the challenges of life with ease. They are always happy and satisfied with who they are and what they have. They garner such feelings because they believe that whatever they have achieved in life is a result of sheer hard work and honesty.
Courageous people always accept their fears and vulnerabilities, and therefore it is easier for them to get rid of negative feelings and vulnerabilities.
How to become more courageous?
Being courageous is not easy to achieve, but it’s not impossible. Here are some ways that can help you come closer to being courageous:
1. Realizing your fears:
Avoiding fears makes them stronger and scarier. Exposing yourself to things that you fear can help the brain become desensitized to the fear and make it easier to face. Learning to work through anxiety and step beyond it is about retraining your mind.
2. Be mindful:
When you find yourself overwhelmed by fear, using the practices learned from meditation and mindfulness can help you overcome. Mindfulness can help change your brain to deal with anxiety more effectively. Give yourself time to learn this skill, and it takes practice.
3. Be forgiving to yourself:
You are human at the end of the day. If you can accept yourself as you are, you will have much higher self-esteem and confidence even if you are trying to improve in some areas.
Developing courage is a slow process. If you develop such positive virtues from the beginning, they can help you greatly in future. Check how to make children understand what courage is.