From individual to context - Deepstash

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.

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

  • 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.

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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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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.

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RELATED IDEAS

Make fear your friend

Your fears will never completely disappear, and you will never win the battle against them. 

When you can finally accept fears and invite them in, it makes courage more accessible.

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Your lack of courage may cost you

Our brains are wired to:

  • Discount the cost of inaction, 
  • Overestimate the probability of things going wrong and 
  • Underestimate ourselves.

However, researchers have found that bravery is a skill, and like all skills it can be learned, strengthened and mastered with repeated practice.

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If we respond to every fear-inducing situation like we’re in mortal danger, we’re going to end up missing out on valuable opportunities to live fully, enjoy growth and new experiences. Ask yourself: “Am I avoiding pain, or seeking growth?

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