"Courage is resistance to fear, the mastery of fear, not the absence of fear"
– Mark Twain
What would you do in your life if you weren’t scared?
I don’t mean ‘fear for your life’ scared. I’m talking about the kind of ‘scared’ that makes you feel intimidated to pitch a new idea at work. I’m talking about worry you feel about telling your spouse what you really, truly need from them. I’m talking about the daily decisions you make that prevent you from fully being the leader, the spouse, the parent or person you fundamentally dream of.
Here’s a few questions to get you thinking about your own level of courage:
These are some of the questions that Brendon Burchard’s team asked in their recent assessment of High Performers and their habits. And the responses (which were in the tens’s of thousands) were incredibly telling!
For example, in Brendon’s study, High Performers consistently self-reported a few very interesting traits.
High Performing individuals report that they:
(source: High Performance Habits, Brendon Burchard)
Back to the Mark Twain quote above, demonstrating courage is not the same thing as the ‘absence of fear’. Quite the contrary.
Demonstrating courage is an acknowledgment of the things that scare you, intimidate you, befuddle you, etc, and then the commitment and the habit that you will go ahead and deal with those things anyway!
Yes! We may all have different ways of defining courage, but the truth is, that no matter what you think it is…it is in fact a habit. It is a habit that gets stronger and bolder each and every time you decide to show it.
Clearly, some people seem to be born with more confidence than others. However, High Performance studies like Brendon’s are showing beyond the shadow of a doubt; that courage and confidence can be learned, cultivated and improved.
Your struggles make you who you are. And every time you tackle a challenge, every time you meet discomfort head-on and deal with the obstacles in your life, you are building your capacity and inclination for future courage.
Yes, it takes time, and yes, it is hard!
But the rewards of building your capacity for courage are HUGE!
Read the biographies of any successful person you can think of. I can assure you, they will be filled with stories of struggle. Stories of uncertainty, of overcoming doubters, haters, lack of experience, lack of connections, lack of resources. You name the scarcity, and high performers have had to conquer them in order to become successful.
Facing your fears is a decision, not an inherent human trait!
Don’t assume your biology will come to your aid when you need it. They don’t call it ‘fight or flight’ for nothing! Flight usually wins, and you’ve got to train yourself to stand firm and ready each and every time you are called upon to demonstrate courage, whether big or small.
Cultivating courage is a game-changing trait that all high performers must work on.
How do you go about doing this?
You start small.
You start with the commitment to yourself, that you will show courage at least one time this upcoming week (no matter where in your life that happens to be). And when the time comes for you to face your fear, your doubt, your trepidation, or whatever is keeping you from expressing yourself, or doing what you want and need to do…you will recall this commitment and you will choose instead to DEAL.
Make a choice this week to show courage at least one time. See how great it feels when you do!!
When you are consciously making choices to live the way you want to live, the reward of following through to your commitments is immensely satisfying, and quite literally rewards your brain with that shot of serotonin (reward) than any other pleasurable experience would.
Your commitment to act courageously will become a self-fulfilling prophecy as you begin to reward yourself through demonstrated actions that are fully aligned with being and living as the person you want to be!
Challenging yourself to go beyond your standard norms can be challenging! After all, new habits, new perspectives, new responses all take time! But you can do this!
And I’m here to help!
Click Here for more High Performance resources to help you on your journey, and check out my other programs and services to work with me in one of my high performance groups, or through an individual program.
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