Last week’s Friday Fives was the first of a two-part post about courage. This is the second part – 6 Top Tips to Build Your Courage. Please read these 6 tips if you have anything coming up in your life that you want/need to achieve. At least one of them is bound to strike a chord and boost your courage!
I’m going to borrow and then adapt the words of the marvellous Dr. Spock, who advised new mums worrying about how to be a mum to a new baby:
“Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do”
When you want to achieve something that requires courage, trust yourself, you can do more than you think you can.
Don’t think this is true? Did you ever think you’d make it this far as a mum? Get through childbirth? Juggle the things you do? If you want to achieve something important, you’ll step up to the mark. You’ll find a way – trust me. And more importantly, trust yourself!
Do a Simple Risk Assessment
As a former project manager who specialised in risk planning (!) , I still do a mental risk assessment when it comes to any sort of challenge in my life.
Here is a simple 4 step risk assessment:
- 1. What’s the worse that could happen?
- 2. What’s the chances of the worst happening (give it a percentage)
- 3. What can you do to mitigate the risk?
- 4. How will you cope if the risk does actually manifest itself?
So, is your goal worth the risk?
Get your believers to believe in you, even when you don’t believe in you
Your support team is essential. Whenever I embark upon something that requires courage, I ask the wonderful people in my life – family, friends, colleagues, clients – to tell me that they believe in me.
Sometimes it’s a simple request:
“Please just tell me that I can do this and I’ll get through this”.
You might have to keep asking for reassurance. That’s fine – we’re all human and nobody is super confident and super sure of themselves all the time.
Ponder on the nature of regret
Back in 2004 in South Africa, I jumped off Blaukrans Bridge in South Africa with a thick piece of elastic tied to my ankles. Blaukrans is the highest bungee jump in the World. I had done a bungee jump a few years earlier in Zimbabwe with Chris, but on this occasion we’d only gone to “have a look” at Blaukrans.
What tipped me over the edge (pardon the pun) from watching the bungee jumpers to jumping myself was a brief conversation with a staff member who asked me if I was intending to jump. I nervously replied that I wasn’t sure. His response was this;
“My philosophy is that you regret the things you don’t do more than the things you do”
Damn that man! his words made my decision and this has been my philosophy since!
Play the 90 Today Game
If you have a dream or a goal, but you are frightened, fast forward 40 years in your life and try to imagine how you’ll look back at your decision. Are you happy that you decided NOT to do it? Or are you happy that you did it – whatever the outcome? This exercise is useful for helping us to make courageous decisions!
Less thinking, less talking, more doing
Goethe expressed this better than I possibly could:
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.
Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”
Every single word rings true. Get on with it. Take a deep breath and just do it.
What helps you to be more courageous? I’d love you to share your top tips in the comments below.
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