Courage is not run on auto-pilot. Like musicians who play instruments, rehearse, you have got to develop it.

The dictionary defines courage as, “the ability to do something that frightens one; bravery” or the ability to muster “strength in the face of pain or grief.” Courage is learned and improved upon with daily action.

It doesn’t matter how much courage you lack, you can always apply trusted methods and steps in building the courage to win in any situation.

Here are a few ways to boost and develop your courage levels: 

1. Don’t do it once. Do it, and do it again.

Repetition is the law of deep and lasting impression.

Have you ever run a Marathon? How about a 10-kilometre run?

How did you feel the first time you ran a 100 metre race?

Like your heart would drop, right? 

Maybe it was the first time in a long time you were visiting the tracks.

Well, did you do it again? 

You did! 

How did you feel after you did it the second time? And the third? And fourth? And fifth? Now you’re a champion! 

That’s it! That’s just it with Courage, it is a process!

Courage is a state of mind; a lifestyle that has to be brought to the fore – grown, developed and worked. Consider courage a learned skill (anybody at all can learn it and apply it every day), hence your reading about building the courage to win in these 6 easy steps is setting you up on the right path.

Knowing what Courage is, wouldn’t be so profitable in your life, until you know how to work it, build it and apply it to your situation. 

When you apply it today, and after you have taken that one Courageous leap, you show up tomorrow and tell yourself, I did it yesterday so I can do it today.

Then you rinse and repeat – come tomorrow.

2. Grow Your Capabilities/Capacities Consciously and Deliberately

When humans see and believe that they are growing, there’s more encouragement to keep up the work. One way to grow and appreciate growth is to make clear commitments. Things like:

  • I will make one marketing sales call each week (even though I am scared about getting a ‘no’)
  • I will tell my friends today, how certain remarks make me feel (tick this off and you are on your way to standing up for yourself before strangers)

There are so many examples to make but the point is to set your small goals; make your short strides; take your little steps (or the big, long and large ones). Whatever you do, make sure you are deliberate and consistent. 

The key to building the courage to win through increasing capacity is to find your pace and enjoy it, while you keep at progress. If for instance, you need the courage to show up and speak in front of a crowd, and you made the commitment to begin speaking more than you ever did – even at your own reflection – then you pace yourself by starting with a small crowd. 

You can start with maybe just a handful of the right people; friends, family, loved ones, peers. Start on a topic that’s within your area of expert interest. Remember you’re trying to pace yourself and enjoy the process as you build the courage to win. 

3. Build Momentum.

There’s a magic that comes with deliberate consistency; it is the magic that would eventually birth results. The more immediate results you get, the better boost your courage level gets.

Did you know, with every successful stride comes an assurance of your capabilities?

One positive result equals one step up your momentum ladder. Every step up your momentum ladder generates more power to propel you to keep doing. 

Remember that courage is a doing word. Having set goals and made clear commitments, you’ll see that the bigger goal is more in view now that you are making efforts to build the courage to win than when you were being eaten up by fear.

Using the public speaking example from before, a person who has committed to speaking consistently to a familiar audience can gain momentum by going further to speak to an audience with less familiar faces.

Such a person can begin to curate small audiences of 5-10 persons who are not in your friends and family circle. Deliver a presentation to them every week or every other week. With each presentation, change the audience and if possible increase the number of your audience. Ask your audience for a review. Publicise the reviews if you wish. 

Commit to this and be consistent! That will give you momentum.

In other words, the more you do, the more you are able to do. The more results you get, the stronger momentum you build. The stronger your momentum, the stronger your courage, the surer, more assured of yourself you would be. 

4. Leverage on your fears!

Think about it this way; if you had ever done something or embarked on a project that frightened you, you were almost convinced that you were going to flop or the big plan wasn’t going to work, but you did it anyway. 

You had your fears, yet you dared to try. You were probably forced into action by circumstances beyond your control. Therefore, you put on your best shoes, employed your best hands, and gave yourself all the necessary pep talks that you could. There was no other way; no other option. Either you did it, or you did it, so you did it. With all the fears and uncertainties, you went ahead and did it. 

You actually did it! 

Well, guess what? It wasn’t just your adrenaline pumping, it was that the fears were pointing you towards what you truly, really, wanted. 

Remember these when fear knocks,

  1. The authenticity of courage is displayed and produced best in the midst of fear.                                                  
  2. Fear can either be a crippler or a catalyst – and it is totally your choice what it becomes

If you ever achieved a feat in the midst of your fears, please, courageously and confidently wear it as a medal. It would remind you that you have won once, you can win again… 

and you will win again! 

5. Set your mind right!

Ladies and gentlemen, we must agree on this; if you would walk your high lanes on your feet, you must first walk it in your mind. 

You are no different than what you think of yourself. If you think you are a poor producer, never meeting up with standards and expectations, you never will. But if you agree in your mind that you’re the most courageous person you know; that you’re sure and confident, and the best man for the job, then you are! You must first see yourself in the light before you can spread the light. 

In the book “Think and Grow Rich” by Napolean Hill, a poem is presented there, that captures the point of the fifth step to building the courage to win. We have reproduced the poem here:

“If you think you are beaten, you are,

If you think you dare not, you don’t

If you like to win, but you think you can’t,

It is almost certain you won’t.

“If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost

For out of the world we find,

Success begins with a fellow’s will

It’s all in the state of mind.

“If you think you are outclassed, you are,

You’ve got to think high to rise,

You’ve got to be sure of yourself before

You can ever win a prize.

“Life’s battles don’t always go

To the stronger or faster man,

But soon or late the man who wins

Is the man WHO THINKS HE CAN!”

Your thoughts matter and the truth is, building mental toughness and the ability to bounce back with an “I can do this, I can WIN” mindset requires learning and time.

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