Just give
it a try!

Magazine: Building on courage – October 2022


Some people are naturally confident go-getters, while others are more reserved. The good news is that courage isn’t something we’re born with but in fact can be learned. How can we tap into these reserves of courage at the right moment? Below is a guide on how to strengthen your “courage muscle”.

Take more time for yourself

Find out what really makes you tick, what interests you and what motivates you – both positively and negatively. The better we know ourselves and the more we know about our inner motivations and feelings, the more accurately we can steer where our courage journey will take us.

Discover your fears

Most people can’t say exactly what it is that robs them of their courage in certain situations. This is why you should be conscious of what you’re scared of. Ask yourself, what is the worst thing that can happen? What would the consequences be? Understand that failing isn’t the end of the world, but an opportunity to do things better next time.

Don’t be so modest

The reason for a lack of courage is often a lack of self-confidence. Fear of a task that lies ahead, hesitation about changing jobs, feeling unsure when negotiating your salary – these emotions can be crippling. Go through challenging situations in your head first, try negotiating with your reflection in the mirror or with somebody you trust. Act self-confidently – humbleness is endearing, but you also need to let people know what you’re capable of.

Stay true to yourself

Be honest with yourself – how important is it for you to achieve a certain goal? Are you only working towards a certain goal because you think that you have to? When people around you expect you to take the next step in your career but you don’t think you’re ready for it, you should have the courage not to do it. After all, you can’t please everybody. Be independent and set your own goals.

From theorie to practice

We explained above how to guide your thoughts. That being said, nobody has ever mastered a challenge by summoning up courage through the power of the mind alone. So let’s leave the theory (and our comfort zone in particular) behind and turn our attention to putting it into practice.

1. Create a positive environment

We’ve already dealt with what could go wrong. It’s much better to think positively: what’s the best thing that can happen if you seize your courage and do what needs to be done? You’ve got it, you’ll achieve your goals! You should adopt this positive, optimistic attitude whenever you’re planning a project.

2. Make a schedule

The more closely we focus on a certain task or decision, the more likely we are to put off dealing with the bigger picture. Without having a fixed schedule, you can lose valuable time – while the metaphorical elephant in the room gets even bigger. So, you should set yourself a deadline to reach your goal, and maybe also include interim goals along the way. The advantage of doing this is that your courage muscle gets stronger with each stage you reach and with each successful experience.

3. Talk about your plans

Talk about your plans with people you trust. After all, talking about an idea makes it more real and makes you more likely to work towards achieving it. What’s more, it doesn’t do any harm to learn from other people’s experiences. Be inspired by other opinions without letting them distract you from pursuing your goal. If nothing else, you can get important advice on how to achieve your goals with as little standing in your way as possible.

4. Get external support

When it comes to their career especially, a lot of people have the mistaken idea of wanting to do everything by themselves. But why not benefit from some professional support? You can get help from professional coaches and mentors as well as by asking around within your network.

5. Don’t be scared of failure

Last but not least, you should never lose sight of the fact that life isn’t about always doing everything right. It’s about having the courage to do what seems right at the time. Maybe things don’t work out straight away, and you might suffer a setback or two. But in most cases you can correct mistakes, and – more importantly – learn from them.