Courage is a muscle that gets stronger the more you use it, but you have to be willing to put yourself out there once. I’m not sure how many times I have said that in my lifetime but it’s been a lot. The advice has been used for those I coach and in my own personal dialogue. Fear stands for “False Evidence Appearing Real” or at least that is my favorite acronym to apply to the word. Admittedly fear is a real thing but these 3 tips can greatly boost your courage muscles and kick fear in the butt.
Slow down and Breathe
My son plays tennis (extremely well) and in sports we are in a constant battle of fear and adversity. Regardless of the amount of practice or skill you have acquired, at some point you will face a challenge. When it arises, he has the same process to overcome “said adversity”. Slow down, breathe, confidence “you’ve got this”, and focus. It works well in his tennis matches but is equally applicable in life. When a fear hits you, find your process but make sure it involves breathing.
Is this Real
Our minds are incredibly creative and provide us with fascinating stories. While that can be a good thing, when it comes to fear it can paralyze us. As we allowed ourselves to slow down earlier, the next part of the process to ask “is this real”? That question can stop our imagination in it’s tracks and allow us to look at what is actually happening. Typically, it is never as bad you may think or exist at all.
Have fun and move
Earlier it was mentioned that courage is like a muscle and in order to flex that muscle we need to move. The longer we stay still and wait to feel courageous, the less likely that feeling will ever come to be. I realize it sounds crazy to have fun in the face of fear but try to recall a time that you were frozen in fear while having fun. You are going to be here a while because endorphins are kicking in when you are moving and smiling, eliminating the fear chemicals. That movement creates momentum and makes your courage muscle swell, making the next time even easier to smash the fear when it pops up.
George Addair said it best “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear”. That reminds me each time to go for what I want and not allow fear to rob me of it. Try those three simple tips and watch how much you can accomplish. There is one thing I would love to eradicate from the world and that is limiting self-beliefs. Go flex your courage muscle one time and enjoy the growth that comes from it again, again and again!