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How to Find and Practice Courage

Courage: The non-biological factors

Non-biological aspect such as our psychological makeup, values, and beliefs, along with conditioning by early role models, can compel us to act at risk to ourselves in the interest of protecting other people.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How to Find and Practice Courage

How to Find and Practice Courage

https://hbr.org/2020/05/how-to-find-and-practice-courage

hbr.org

4

Key Ideas

Type T individuals

Nature definitely plays a role in determining who has courage. Research in neuroscience shows that some people have a thrill-seeking or “Type T” personality.

But even if some of us have a greater capacity for risk-taking (genetically speaking), it doesn’t mean that they will necessarily display more courage.

Courage: The non-biological factors

Non-biological aspect such as our psychological makeup, values, and beliefs, along with conditioning by early role models, can compel us to act at risk to ourselves in the interest of protecting other people.

From individual to context

Research links our capacity to act courageously (or the opposite) to measurable and controllable personal traits such as self-efficacy, self-esteem, the presence of anxiety, and the openness to experience. All these characteristics can be developed and shaped with practice and help.

Of course, the environment and context in which you are operating will also have a big influence.

Learn courage through practice

  • Create plots: imagine both the worst that could happen if you take a certain action and what the outcome would be if you didn’t act.
  • Recognize the negativity bias: we are prone to attend more to negative than to positive outcomes.
  • Open up about your self-doubt and face your vulnerabilities.
  • Practice going out of your comfort zone.
  • Make sure you take the time to eat well, exercise and sleep. Fear is physically draining.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Personal Or Core Values

They are what you consider most important in your life, literally what you “value. ” They are broad concepts that can be applied across a wide range of circumstances, as opposed to narrow answers t...

The Benefits Of Having a Core Value

  • Having a core values list helps you make better decisions. The decisions you make come more quickly and efficiently than they would without it.
  • Being unconscious of your core values makes you likely to keep repeating the same mistakes.

Creating a List Of Personal Values

The core values that are most valuable to each of us come from our own personal experience, not from being taught.

As you put them into practice you’ll get better at internalizing these values and they’ll express themselves subconsciously with smaller decisions, as well.

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Manipulate your thoughts

It doesn’t work to say to yourself, “I have to stop being afraid.”

  1. If you notice yourself having a thought that undermines your attempts at bravery, simply label it as such

Consider that your fear isn’t legitimate

Legitimate fear tends to make us want to get the heck out of whatever situation we are in.

Not-helpful fear makes us hesitate rather than bolt.

We are afraid of looking stupid, and so we don’t ask a burning question. We fear failing, and so we don’t even try. 

The "If X, Then Y” plan

  • IF my team grumbles or pushes-back because I’m not working on the weekends anymore,
  • THEN I will forward them Leslie Perlow’s Harvard Business Review article about how ‘Predictable Time Off’ improves both work quality
  • AND quality of life, even in client-oriented businesses.

Fear is the thing that in truth makes actions hard, not the action that we think we are afraid of.

Learning from mistakes

You can only learn from a mistake after you admit you've made it.

Don't start blaming other people (or the universe) for the things that go wrong, because you distance yourself from an...

How we perceive failure

We see mistakes and failure as shameful things. And we usually identify with them:

If I fail a test, then I am a failure. If I make a mistake then I am a mistake.

Learning from mistakes

It requires three things:

  • Putting yourself in situations where you can make interesting mistakes.
  • Having the self-confidence to admit to them.
  • Being courageous about making changes.

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