How to develop courage

Reposted this from my Quora reply

Courage is taking action in spite of fear. In original words by M. Scott Peck in the book Road Less Traveled: “Courage is not the absence of fear; it is the making of action in spite of fear, the moving out against the resistance engendered by fear into the unknown and into the future.”

Strengthening courage is a wonderful idea, because all positive change starts with that.

To have more courage is to ask yourself: for what? The purpose is what matters, the stronger the purpose, more you courage you will have. Don’t do it just for yourself, think of your family, lover, friends, or all the living beings. Purpose gives you strength and courage.

Courage is the key to having more abundance in your life, more experiences, happiness and joy. On the other side understand that unless you’ll do take action your life won’t get much better, it will remain the same or wither away.

(Illustration 1, I learned this from Mikko Vermas. I am quite sure it’s originally by someone far more famous.)

Courageous action is the potential savior and you have it in you. They are internal demons that you will have to wrestle each day to emerge as a victor. Spend most of your time outside your comfort zone; there you will want to build your temple (see Illustration 1). Return comfort zone only to rest and then step back to building your temple.

Here are some further pointers to be able to take action:

  • Imagine what is the best that can happen and tune to the happy vibes, be cheerful and you will be successful.
  • What is the worst that can happen? Plan for the worst if it makes you feel any better.
  • Think about last time you took courageous action, was it worth it? Most of the time they are. Build on the positive successes.
  • Always get small and easy victories with courage quick and build it up from there. Build positive momentum. This applies to all areas of life, but especially to the courage.
  • Change your internal story: you are the creator of your life and you have the strength to grab the demons by its horns. Failures are more valuable to successes; they are the building blocks of your temple. Use them wisely and collect them plentifully.
  • Ask the help of others to face particularly fearsome tasks:
    • Example 1: You would like to travel, but you are still inexperienced, go with someone who has more experienced and you feel a bit more comfortable with.
    • Example 2: When it comes to talking to girls (or boys for that matter) and you are not yet comfortable with it alone, ask a wingman to join you and encourage you.
    • Example 3: When public speaking you can practice first with friendly peers and even have friendly peers in the audience to support you mentally.
  • Meditation; through meditation you can develop breathing, which is essential factor for alternating your current mental state of mind. You’ll learn many others things such as learning to see the world as it is and understanding yourself better as well.
  • Read and educate yourself about human psychology. Essentially fear is inbuilt survival mechanism to human brain and actually many other brains too. You may have heard of fight or flight mechanism? Fear is actually one layer below that, making it possible for us to freeze. Probably a familiar experience for anyone giving a speech or any public performance. For further reading I recommend:
  • If a task seems way too fearsome, even panic zone level right now think of other means to make the threat seem more manageable? If nothing of the above works, you can always come back later with more life experience.

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature,
nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.
Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits
in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.”
– Helen Keller

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