You know that saying, “if nothing changes, nothing changes?” So often it’s fear that keeps us deeply rooted in the familiar…even if the familiar stinks. So what would life look like if you moved past your fears? Imagine standing up for your convictions and taking risks to go after the things that are important to you.

Whether you act boldly because you’re fearless, or decide that the rewards are worth it so you “feel the fear and do it anyway,” it’s time to prevent fear from preventing you from being, doing and having what you want.

Since courage is a skill that you can cultivate, use this 3-step plan to take on your doubts and face what scares you.

Build up Your Faith

  1. Confront yourself. Know that you’re worthwhile and have an honest conversation with yourself. Ask yourself how far you’re willing to go to live out your dreams? Ask yourself what’s holding you back, and what will it take to move past your comfort zone?
  2. Call on your strengths. Believe in your abilities. Reflect on your past accomplishments and remind yourself of your potential.
  3. Connect with the divine. Reach out to something bigger than yourself. Set aside time each day for prayer, meditation, etc.. Discover what your religion, spiritual practice or faith teaches about the nature of courage.

Team up With Others 

  1. Look for partners. We’re more powerful when we act together. Surround yourself with friends and allies who share your aspirations.
  2. Select inspiring role models. It’s good to have role models who’ve paved the path you’re ready to now walk on. Find a mentor who has the qualities you want to possess. It could be someone you already know, or someone whose work you admire and have yet to meet.
  3. Share moral support. Sometimes the most valuable things we give each other are intangible. Empathize with your friend when she shares her struggles at home. Appreciate and acknowledge when you’re met with empathy and validation.

Practice Your Skills

  1. Distinguish between feelings and actions. We usually need to act if we want our fears to dissolve. Showing yourself that you can move forward even when you feel anxious teaches you to tackle challenges. Instead of looking at something new as scary, how about viewing it as simply unfamiliar?
  2. Take small steps. Start out with something modest. Have that slightly awkward conversation you’ve been putting off.
  3. Master your timing. Recognize the opportune moment. Determine when you have the resources to move ahead.
  4. Manage stress. Staying healthy prepares you to be more adventurous. Protect your body from the consequences of chronic stress so you have greater energy and strength.
  5. Be more optimistic. Resolve to be optimistic. Stay hopeful by focusing on what you have to gain. Imagine a positive outcome from your efforts.
  6. Hang in there. Have the courage to persevere when success fails to come instantly. Difficult tasks may require sustained time and effort.
  7. Be sensible. At the same time, you want to pick your battles. Being courageous is different from being reckless. Look out for your safety and the wellbeing of those around you. Plan ahead so you’ll be ready to deal with the outcomes of your decisions. Celebrate your victories and learn from your mishaps.

Cultivate the courage to push beyond your comfort zone. It’s okay to feel a little afraid as long as you don’t let that stop you. Then, reflect on how great it feels to boost and build your courage.

Dr. Debi
Founder, The PBT (Post Betrayal Transformation) Institute

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