FYI | Day 22 – Courage

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For Your Inspiration! (FYI!) Month 2011 – This article was part of an exciting and challenging month dedicated to discovering passions, setting goals, learning success strategies, and sharing thoughts to ponder throughout the day!  If you’d like to find out what this month was all about, check out FYI Month 2011 for more information!

FYI: For-Your-Inspiration Month!

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” ~ Ambrose Redmoon

When you hear the word courage what images come to mind? Do you picture a valiant knight going into battle? Firefighters and Police Officers in the line of duty? The brave soldiers sent overseas? A person that has no fear?

What about an abused boy who confronts his father? An overworked employee who needs to stand up to his boss or ask for a raise? Or a shy man who want to ask a lady on a date?

We are wired to experience fear! Fear is our built-in guidance system for survival. We learn to fear anything and everything that we assume may harm us in one way or another, emotionally or physically. In older times, we may have feared leaving our caves because of all the big hairy creatures with sharp teeth that may devour us… but wasn’t it the courageous hunters that ensured our survival (and got the pretty girl as well)? Although we no longer fear being randomly trampled by a stampede of wildebeests, we still need courage just as much today as we did then.

Courage is a beautiful word because it expresses our human ability to overcome the consuming emotions and feelings that attempt to paralyze us. Courage is feeling the fear and doing it anyway! Our best pathway for personal growth is developing the strength to overcome our perceived need to satiate fear by staying comfortable and safe!

What happens when you conquer your fear and do it anyway? You no longer fear it anymore.

What happens when you give in to fear? This part makes me bonkers… Every time you escape a situation that causes fear, you feel relieved… which in turn, gives your brain a reward! This reinforces the behavior and makes the fear feel even more real in the future. Hence, the more you avoid public speaking, asking someone out on a date, or petting spiders, the more paralyzed you will become about taking such actions in the future!

What does this teach us? Courage has a bigger impact on fear when it’s acted up on early! 😉

Courage In the Workplace

You are filled with amazing ideas, but what are ideas without action? Nothing! For example, if you refuse to voice your opinion in a meeting, there are a few things that happen: you decrease your value to your employer, you sacrifice the possible success of your idea, you strengthen the fear for next time, and you limit the ideas that your idea could inspire.

What happens when you don’t ask for a raise? You don’t get one.

What happens when you don’t tell a co-worker something is bothering you? It doesn’t stop.

What happens when you don’t try to expand your comfort level, for example, speaking in front of a group? You won’t advance.

Courageous people make it a point to work on uncomfortable areas every day.

Courage Within Relationships

Lack of courage within relationships causes disastrous results and is the primary source of most communication problems.

Do you lack the courage to express yourself truly and openly, be honest and upfront, to confront someone, to terminate a harmful relationship, or to stand up for yourself?  We fear being honest with others about our weaknesses or secret passions, being exposed and vulnerable, and what they might do with the knowledge.

Have you ever not told someone something important because you were scared of how they’d feel? Depending on that situation, you were not actually scared of how they would feel, but rather, how you would feel after you told them? You may feel uncomfortable or sad right? When you look at it this way, doesn’t it seem selfish and spineless (to put it nicely).

Two courage people in a relationship make a powerful couple.

Developing Courage (and releasing fear)

A courageous person conquers his fears and in turn, develops confidence in himself and when we handle fear appropriately we naturally become more courageous.

To develop courage, here are a few guidelines:

  • Move towards your fears and confront them. When we confront them, the fear diminishes.
  • Make it a habit. Consciously and continuously make it a habit to do things that scare you.
  • Start small. When you have opportunities to small acts of courage, take them.  Build upon your successes.  Success breeds success right?
  • Find the source of the fear. Sometimes when you explore the fear you find that you 1) don’t have a basis for the fear (you think you should fear it so you do), 2) it’s fear created by a fear of something else (fear of spiders translates into fear of all bugs), or 3) the reason itself sounds ludicrous when voiced (wait, I’m not attempting this because I MIGHT fail?).

Your Task

“Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Experience fear and do it anyway! We feel fear on a daily basis, and it is our response to this fear that will make us stronger. Experiencing fear is a rush to the veins indicating an opportunity to grow from this experience!

I KNOW you have at least 1 thing going on in your life that you’ve been wanting to act upon. Today, grow some… courage, and do it anyway!

Or in the words of John Wayne:

“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”

This post was written by

Greg has written 69 articles on Student of Me.

Greg is the creator and primary writer for Student of Me. He probably spends way too much time on the computer writing, researching, programming, and working on his photography. He loves escaping from screen-time to travel, ride his motorcycle, experience the outdoors and spend time with loved ones. You can contact him at greg (at) studentofme.com!

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One thought on “FYI | Day 22 – Courage”

  1. Warren says:

    Cool website. This is precisely what I was seeking. Thanks!

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