Contrary to what some may believe, courage is not a quality you are, or are not, born with. It is one that can be cultivated and honed.
Nor, does acquiring courage necessarily entail doing something dramatic or astoundingly heroic. On a day-to-day basis many ordinary folk summon uncommon courage to overcome both physical and psychological barriers in order to achieve a variety of necessities and goals.
What then is courage?
Courage is the mental and emotional preparedness and ability to deal with difficult, challenging, and sometimes seemingly impossible circumstances. It is the ability to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, intimidation and other threats.
Why should we aspire to develop courage?
When we work to develop courage, we both empower ourselves with the ability to confront problems head on, as well as, acquire the skills required to deal with life’s inevitable challenges. Courage is a psychological muscle. Indeed, when we build any muscle, we do so in order to build strength and resilience. At a time when many of us resort to harmful and counterproductive substances to deal with problems, we would do better to rely upon a healthy supply of courage.Undoubtedy, it is the wiser alternative.
In building strategies for living a more productive, happy and meaningful life, developing courage is yet another way to take responsibility for your state of mind, your circumstances and your well-being.
Acknowledge and understand that it’s not the absence of fear. Even the most courageous of us experience fear and trepidation. John Wayne said: “Courage is being scared to death — and saddling up anyway”.
Ask any soldier or warrior who has had to venture forth in battle. Few would deny feeling fear and uncertainty beforehand.
Before you can acquire any habit, or character trait, you must have a strong desire or willingness to do so. Contemplating the alternative, which would be to live in fear or a position of great vulnerability, should provide ample motivation.
Slowly, but surely build up your courage by doing the things you typically shy away from. Building courage in this way can help you when it’s time to quit that job you are not suited for or leaving a relationship that you’ve long since outgrown.
Develop faith and confidence. A large part of developing courage is having faith in yourself, faith in a higher power and faith that things will work out. This type of confidence comes from maintaining a positive attitude and visualizing a favourable outcome. A courageous mind-set is the product of faith, self-confidence and positive thinking.
By Nana Alfred