3 Strategies for Thinking and Acting Courageously


To be successful in business, you must be bold and have courage to take calculated risks. Courage often makes the difference between overcoming a challenge and staying stuck, paralyzed and afraid to act.

The main difference between those who courageously act and those who don’t boils down to how we view fear. Courage is not the absence of fear. Instead, courage is being willing to work though fear and discomfort in whatever situation you face. Courage means you allow challenge and adversity to be a catalyst to help you grow strong enough.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, courage is defined as the ability to do something that you know is difficult or dangerous; mental or moral strength to venture, persevere and withstand danger, fear or difficulty.

As a business owner and the mom of two kids, one with severe special needs, I love the word courage. It means I have to make the decision every day to do something that I know will be difficult, and may even be dangerous. And I need all of the mental and moral strength I can muster to persevere.

Some days, I view courage as the sheer strength to pull myself out of bed and face the day. Other days it’s having clear boundaries or standing my ground. There have been many times when I’ve felt like I have lost my courage. I’ve come to realize that while we might lose sight of our courage, we haven’t really lost it at all.

Here are three ways to “exercise your courage muscles” and discover your own individual brand of courage:

1. Define what it means to you.

How do you identify with the word courage? What picture do you see in your mind when you think of the word courage? Do you associate it with a specific behavior or a mannerism? A characteristic? An emotion? A discipline or a virtue? What does the word courage look like to you? How do you identify with the word? What images come to mind? Take a second to write them down or even sketch them out.

2. Realize there are many ways to practice courage.

There is a lot more to behaving courageously than taking risks or even facing fears. Think about this acronym to help you see some of the many ways you practice courage:

C = Compassion for yourself and others, even when you’re exhausted
O = Overcoming fear and self-doubt
U = Understanding and tapping into your strengths
R = Recognizing all you have accomplished
A = Adapting and being flexible
G = Growing and learning
E = Endurance to keep going

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