How to Find and Practice Courage
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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.
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.
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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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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It doesn’t work to say to yourself, “I have to stop being afraid.”
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.
Fear is the thing that in truth makes actions hard, not the action that we think we are afraid of.
You can only learn from a mistake after you admit you've made it.
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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.
It requires three things:
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Pointing out others’ mistakes rarely encourages them to change their behavior, and it certainly doesn’t help them learn anything. People aren’t driven by reason, but by emotion; so a public ...
Nelson Mandela was lauded as a courageous leader -- even when he was truly terrified. Like the time he astonished his bodyguard by calmly reading a newspaper while the plane he was flying on had engine failure.
Mandela himself, however, later confessed in private that he’d been truly terrified but refused to show it. Mandela knew that courage is a choice, and everyone can be courageous by learning to cope with your anxieties and fears every day.
Niccolò Machiavelli held that using advisors well begins with knowing one’s own weaknesses and selecting advisors to offset them. It’s also necessary to know how to solicit advice the right way.
For Machiavelli, that meant showing advisors he valued their honest opinion and would not punish them for giving it. But, at the end of the day, he was the one calling the shots.
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“A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”
Momentum is created or destroyed every day with the first few decisions you make.
If you learn to master your day, you’ll learn how to master your weeks, months, years, and life.
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The most common reaction in a fear situation is the attitude of, “I can’t!”
This is the fear of failure that stops us from taking action. It often shuts down the brain and causes us to revert to the “fight-or-flight” reaction.
Your self-image, the way you see yourself and think about yourself, is eventually altered by feeding your mind these positive mental pictures of yourself performing at your best.
So visualize yourself performing with confidence and competence in an area where you are fearful.
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It is a school of philosophy founded in Athens around 300 B.C., and focuses on our psychological and emotional control we have on ourselves when faced with life’s different colours.
Grit is a form of perseverance and resilience mixed together, and helps us move forward in times of adversity. Grit is essential to achieving big goals and to handle the seemingly never ending obstacles and tough terrains of life.
Combining Stoicism with Grit makes your mind invincible as you focus on the right thing no matter what happens, improving your performance and results in all aspects of life.
When an obstacle, a mental block, or a difficult situation presents itself, we need to pay attention to that moment and power through it with awareness, counting the grit as a +1 credit on your grit counter. This is a mini-success in itself.
It is easier when done slowly and steadily increasing your Grits daily.
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Fears can propel us to new heights if we choose to respond to them mindfully instead of reacting to them blindly.
Doing this allows us to become bigger than our fears and act thoughtfully despite them.
The first step is not actually taking action, it’s setting the intention to act.
Announce that you are committed to taking action. Own it, and have others hold you accountable and inviting them to lift you in support.
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