03 Jul A formula for Courage
Most people I meet professionally would like me to give them a simple formula for developing courage. So here it is: (C+R)² = C. Allow me to expand….
C: Perform 1 small act of courage: Following my formula, when we preform ‘acts of courage’, no matter how small, we begin to transform. Start the process by asking yourself: What can you do well, but don’t do often? It could be photography, perhaps writing. It really doesn’t matter what it is, if once finished, you can be proud of yourself. This will be your first act of Courage. Why? Because to take this initiative you will have had to face nerves and insecurities.
Nerves: When you approach your first few ‘acts of courage’ you may feel nervous, or worry that someone will judge you. Nerves are completely normal, an inherent part of the fight/flight response – they cannot be stopped. The most important part of feeling nervous is to simply be OK with those nerves. Tell yourself that it is a physical reaction, that you will not fight it. Take a deep breath and keep on going.
Insecurities: At some point in your life someone criticised in a way that hurt. Perhaps they told you to be quiet, that your opinion doesn’t matter or that you were not good enough. It has happened to every single one of us, to varying degrees of course, but none of us have escaped this experience. As a coach, I have the great pleasure of speaking to many fascinating people. I can confidently say that no matter how rich, powerful or virtuous people seem, everyone has insecurities and issues. We always think that ‘other’ people know more or do more than ourselves. It is not true. Some may be luckier but that doesn’t make them better.
R: Record It: When you have finished your act of courage, please stand back and take a moment. Think about what you have done…You have taken the time out of your busy life to indulge in your latent hobby. Next, find a pen and paper and write down what you did and why you are proud of it. Remember no one will see this hobby but yourself, so tell your journal why YOU like your work.
(C + R)²: Now repeat the above exercise again, but this time perform an Act of Courage that is not as familiar, one that makes you leave your comfort zone. Go to a dance class, join Toastmasters, Volunteer, join Meet-Up.com and find out what is around your local area. What you choose doesn’t matter, it is about joining in and participating. It is about proving to yourself that you are courageous, that you despite the excuses that you made, the procrastination, the anxiety, you did it. Make yourself proud. I can assure you that with each act, you will become a stronger person. Your own brain will expand and possibilities that you never knew existed will open to you
= Confidence: The result is an increase in confidence, in your own self-confidence that will last because you now have the proof.
An ‘act of courage’ will eventually transform into lasting confidence. It works for the main reason that these acts can provide evidence to the only person that matters – Yourself.