Courage is a universally admired quality.
It is has always being celebrated in every culture throughout the universe, in all age. It is one of the four “tactical virtues” of being a masculine. It serves as not only the foundation of masculinity, but of all type of it, for as Winston Churchill said: “Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities . . because this is the quality which guarantees all others.”
While we always think of courage in terms of our physical bravery, risking our life and limb to save a child from a burning building — we call upon this quality also in social and moral situations. Surely, we need courage to talk to new people, stand up for our own beliefs,change careers, start a business, move to a new place, or voice dissent in our church, club, or business meeting. It’s a quality we use in any situation we found ourselves, big or small, in which always exists even the tiniest bit of risk and fear. These come up nearly every day.
Fortunately it is then, that courage is not something you are born with or not. It is a quality that can surely be deliberately developed. As Robert Biswas-Diener puts it in one of his books “courage is a habit, it is a practice, and it is a skill that can always be learned.”
Today i will show you how.
How You Can Become More Courageous
It is always being said that courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to feel the fear, but act in anyway.
Fear on it’s own is not a bad thing at all. It warns you sometimes of legitimate threats you physiologically to be ready and be alerted for whatever that comes next. As Biswas-Diener say it, “the experience of fear on it’s own is the tip-off moment, the signal that possibility for action is opening up and so a choice must be made. Fear is the number one step towards courage. It can also be the catapult that launches our progress into heroic actions, both large and small.” Fear awakens us to the truth that surely, an opportunity has arrived.
Fear only becomes an issue when it is not proportional to the risk and/or it hinders you from doing something that is right at that time or will be for your betterment.
While it’s the fact that courage is not the absence of fear, our ability to always act in its presence is very much contingent on our ability to suppress and control that particular emotion. The less paralyzing your fear is, the more able you will be to step through it to take the action needed.
The most skills of courage thus consists largely in developing your personal capacity to manage your fear.
Here are some time-tested and research ways to do that:
1. Do reconnaissance to remove aspects of unknown.
The less we know about things, the more we try to inflate our risk-assessment of it. Uncertainty will always breeds fear.
To remove or reduce uncertainty, and thus diminish your nerves, do as much reconnaissance as you can into an event or situations you will be walking into. Try to gather as much information as possible as you can. Always do a dry run.
2. Use relaxation tactics.
A low fear amps you up. Too much of it shuts you down. To reduce your fear to manageable and very low levels to keep your physiological responses in check, use multiple relaxation tactics. These can include much tensing and relaxing all the parts of your body, “tactical breathing,” and a lot meditation.
3. Get yourself skilled.
You have likely heard of the “bystander effect” before; the well-documented phenomenon in which lot of people are less likely to render their aid or address a wrongdoing when they are in a crowd, than when they are by themselves. Research has found that part of the reasons for this effect is that, people figure someone else will most likely step in to help. Someone who is more qualified than they are. People may like to help, but might not know how. Conversely, and not surprisingly. Research also shows that, bystanders who feel so competent, are more likely to come to others aid.
4. Buddy up.
Though we’ve seen the power of being in a group context is mostly thought of in a very negative way. People that uses the anonymity of the crowd to hide or give in to their most worst impulses. It also works the other way too; the presence of friends and family member can increase your willingness to act in positive way.
5. Carry a talisman.
You might always think that the use of lucky charms or religious totems is mostly irrational, but if they are scientifically proven to give you confidence, their use might be thought of as anything. Research has shown that better luck charms effectively and drastically improve performances in both mental and physical tasks you may found yourself. It turns out there is something more to athletes putting on lucky underwear or eating a ritualistic and perfected meal before games after all.
Lastly, you can keep your courage very strong by challenging your very self to do one small thing every week that requires a bit of fear and much risk — anything that makes you a bit nervous. This could be eating at a restaurant that intimidates you mostly (like a very authentic Chinese restaurant where you are not familiar with their dishes and that the employees do not speak English that much), by talking to a stranger, negotiating the price of things, visiting a house of worship you have never ever been before, inviting some people over for dinner, etc.
See how many consecutive days or weeks of this “courage challenge” you can put together, and when a scary situation gets thrown at you just down the road, you will always find you have the ability and capability to face it with a much braver heart.