It’s easy to talk about courage when we’re feeling pumped up and motivated, but when we come face to face with our biggest fears it can suddenly become impossible to find that courage you were so confident about. How can you be courageous when fear keeps looming large?
By implementing these seven habits into your life, you will make courageous, emotionally resilient behavior a part of your life.
“I’ll try,” is not a commitment. “I’m going to show up and make mistakes and keep showing up,” is a commitment. This behavior is a habit that is rooted in decision making, showing up consistently to reach your goal.
Be aware of the things that don’t build courage
When you actively feel stress, fear, or being overwhelmed, make a point of stopping to assess how you’re tempted to respond. Note down the response habits that don’t help and find the ones that do work. For example, am I avoiding this activity as I’m trying to “do everything right” or is my fear shutting me down?
Identify the fear-based patterns that get you stuck
Perfectionism, people-pleasing, pessimism, and self-sabotage are the common fear-based patterns that hook people. When you know what each of those patterns looks like, you’ll have an easier time noticing when you’re in them and consciously choosing to shift away from them.
Get into your body when the fear kicks up
Fear is primal. It’s part of us. That’s why you should use your body to deal with the fear, which you can do with practices such as yoga and running. Watching movies or feasting on ice cream may bring you short term satisfaction, although the fear and anxiety soon come rushing back.
Listen without attachment
Rather than attack your fearful thoughts, listen to what the fear is saying about you. By not attaching yourself to your thoughts and not taking them as the truth, you may be able to trace them back to their real origins.
Reframe your limiting stories
Remember that nobody is perfect, and we all face limitations in our lives, the key is to not let fear of failure hold you back. At any given moment we can use our known limitations as evidence that we “can’t,” or we can reframe them, deciding things such as, “Even if I can’t do this right now, I’m willing to practice until I figure it out.”
Reach out and create a community
Fear and self-doubt thrive in isolation, but in community they diminish. Opening up to people about your journey can help you learn from others, and dive into how they overcame setbacks and losses. Every human experiences fears, and we can help break them apart by coming together.
The Optimist Daily recently published a piece by Liz Brunner, Emmy-award winning former broadcast journalist and author of Dare to Own You: Taking your Authenticity and Dreams into Your Next Chapter. Her inspirational outlook on fear and confidence is well worth a read for some more courageous tips.