Leadership Recipe Three – How To Show Courage In Everyday Life (Step-By-Step)
We all know how it feels to be courageous. Whether standing up for a cause, taking on a challenge, or facing our fears, courage is essential to grow and thrive. But how can you show courage in everyday life?
Nelson Mandela once famously said, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
This quote reminds us that true courage is not about the absence of fear but the ability to push through our fears and take action. After all, it is only human nature to experience fear. But it takes courage to make you do something even if you are afraid.
Building courage is like cooking a recipe. You can’t just bake a cake. You need the right amounts of ingredients and to follow the cooking instructions step-by-step to cook something delicious.
Well, the same is true for how to show courage in everyday life! If you follow our ‘courage recipe,’ you’ll learn how to take small but meaningful actions that will build your courage over time. So let’s get started!
Read recipe one and two here!
What is Courage?
According to Oxford Languages, Courage is:
– The ability to do something that frightens one; and
– Strength in the face of pain or grief.
Courage is when you try to do something, even though it might be hard or scary. It means facing your fears and being brave in the face of adversity. It means having the guts to stand up for what you believe in, even when it may not be popular, or others might judge you.
To show courage in everyday life, you must understand how courage works and how to practise it.
Examples Of What Courage Is And Isn’t
To better explain what courage is and isn’t, let’s look at some examples: an excerpt from the book First Comes Courage by Sonia McDonald.
Courage Is NOT
● Courage is not peeking around the corner with one eye on the calculator, trying to figure out when the odds are safest for you to step out and say something.
● Courage isn’t playing it safe.
● Courage isn’t managing risk.
● Courage isn’t a science experiment.
● Courage isn’t working the odds.
● Courage isn’t putting yourself first, always.
● Courage isn’t a statement from your spokesperson.
● Courage isn’t putting someone down.
Now that we’ve seen what courage isn’t, let’s look at what courage in leadership is and why it should come first.
● Courage is stepping up and standing out – often by yourself – when you know something needs to be said.
● Courage is leaping before you look, in the name of a greater good.
● Courage can be lonely and scary.
● Courage is making an impact and leaving a legacy.
● Courage is knowing why you do what you do.
● Courage requires thick skin and resilience.
● Courage is about being strong as well as kind.
● Courage is being able to proudly tell your kids and grandkids that you didn’t wait for someone else’s permission, or the math to add up in your favour, before you stood up for what you believed in.
● Courage requires you to have something to lose, and the willingness to potentially lose it for the wider good, or the good of someone else.
● Courage allows you to develop with a growth mindset. To seek out improvement opportunities and implement them to make you a better person, a better parent, a better leader.
Why Do Leaders Need Courage?
Leaders need courage because they usually have to make difficult decisions. They must show courage if they want to be successful, as it is often necessary to lead others and make tough decisions that benefit everyone involved.
Courage allows leaders to stay true to their values, stay focused on the goals of the group or organisation, and take risks that can pay off in the long run. It also gives them the strength to stand up for their beliefs and face difficult conversations.
The Key Ingredients To Develop Courage
When showing courage in everyday life, certain qualities will help you succeed.
It all starts with the right ingredients. So, here’s how to whip up courage in just a few steps!
You’ll need the following:
1 Cup – Bravery
The first ingredient in the courage recipe is bravery. Bravery isn’t about being fearless; instead, it’s recognising how scared you are and pushing yourself to keep going anyway. This can be as small as taking a risk to try something new or conquering a fear that has been holding you back.
1 Tbsp – Honesty
Being honest with yourself and others is essential for courage, as honesty allows you to be authentic and to admit when things don’t go how you’d hoped. It’s important to be open about how you feel so that people can support you in challenging times.
½ Cup – Perseverance
Courageous people are also resilient and determined, which means they don’t give up in the face of adversity. Instead, they persist despite setbacks and push themselves to keep trying until they reach their goals.
1 Tsp – Self-confidence
Being self-confident is essential if you want to show courage in your life. Having a strong sense of self and believing in yourself will give you the strength to take risks and face difficult situations head-on.
½ Cup – Conviction
Courageous people also have strong convictions and beliefs that guide how they live their lives. They stand up for what they believe in, even if it’s unpopular because they know it’s the right thing to do.
2 Tsps – Integrity
Courageous people also have strong values and act according to them, even when difficult. This requires having integrity and staying true to yourself in all situations.
1 Cup – Leadership
Leadership is about inspiring others to take action. Showing courage as a leader means being willing to put yourself out there and lead by example.
1 Tsp – Compassion
Courageous people are also often compassionate, which means they consider how their decisions affect others and strive to create positive outcomes for everyone involved.
½ Cup – Objectivity
To be courageous, you must look at the situation objectively without letting your emotions get in the way. This allows you to make decisions based on facts and logic instead of how you feel.
1 Tbsp – Strength
Courageous people have the strength to stand up for what they believe in and face their fears head-on. They can push through difficult times without giving up, as they know it will lead them toward a better future.
2 Cups – Action
Finally, courage is about taking action. Courageous people don’t just talk. They also walk the walk and are ready to do so at a moment’s notice. They take risks and push themselves to achieve their goals, even if it means facing difficult situations.
These key ingredients will help you show courage in everyday life. If you have these qualities and are willing to put them into practice, you can conquer any challenge that comes your way.
However, these traits are not something you are either born with or not. Instead, they are qualities that you can develop. So, to be more courageous, start by incorporating these ingredients and the following step-by-step instructions into your daily routine.
Preparation Time: It takes time and dedication to build courage – it’s not something that happens overnight. It requires a commitment to consistently reflect on how you can face your fears and transform them into courage.
Cooking Time: Cooking courage takes time and patience. Developing the confidence to take risks, the resilience to keep going after setbacks, and the strength to stand up for yourself takes practice and dedication. You only build courage is by couraging!
7 Ways How To Be More Courageous: Step-By-Step Instructions
Whether you’re looking to take risks in your career, start a business, move into a leadership role, or push yourself out of your comfort zone, these seven steps will help you be more courageous.
Step 1: Believe In Yourself
The first and most crucial step in being courageous is believing in yourself. This means having a strong sense of self-belief, even when feeling scared or uncertain. Remind yourself of how capable and resilient you are and how much potential you have to conquer the challenge ahead.
Part of being able to believe in yourself is first to acknowledge how you feel. When feeling scared, it’s important to recognise that your feelings are valid and normal. Allow yourself to feel how you feel without judgement or self-criticism.
Chef’s Tip: “Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” ― Christopher Robin.
Step 2: Identify Your Fears
Now that you have a strong sense of self-belief, it’s important to identify what is holding you back. Are there any specific fears or doubts preventing you from taking action? Take some time to think about what fears are stopping you from achieving your goals, and write down how they make you feel and impact your life.
Chef’s Tip: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR).
Step 3: Face Your Fears Head-On
After identifying your fears, now is the time to come up with strategies to face them head-on.
This is important in building the courage to take risks and push yourself out of your comfort zone.
Sure, it can be intimidating at first. But it is for almost everyone.
Facing your fears is essential for developing your confidence to move forward. To do so, you must be willing to confront them directly and challenge any negative thoughts or beliefs holding you back.
You’ll need to develop strategies to break your fears, so they no longer hold power over you. With practice and dedication, facing your fears will become easier over time and help you build the courage necessary to succeed in all areas of life.
Chef’s Tip: “Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it.” ― Judy Blume.
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Step 4: Take Small Steps To Increase Your Courage
Taking small steps to increase your courage is essential to developing the confidence and strength you need to face difficult challenges.
Small steps can help you build up your resilience and tackle more significant tasks that may seem daunting initially. By breaking down large goals into smaller, manageable chunks, you can take actionable steps towards achieving those goals more quickly.
Taking small risks in everyday life can also help strengthen your courage muscles so that when faced with a significant challenge, you’ll have the mental fortitude needed to push through it.
Whether it’s speaking up for yourself in a meeting, taking on a new project outside of work, or asking out that special someone you have a crush on, being courageous begins with taking small but consistent steps forward every day.
Courageous people set realistic goals that they can strive toward. Break down your goal into manageable steps so that it doesn’t seem too overwhelming, and you’ll be more likely to stick with it.
Chef’s Tip: “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” ― Mary Anne Radmacher.
Step 5: Practise Self-Compassion
Self-compassion means to treat yourself with understanding and kindness, even when you make mistakes or fail at something. It’s about being gentle and forgiving with yourself instead of beating yourself up for not living up to your expectations.
Practising self-compassion can help increase your courage by giving you the strength to take risks and face challenges head-on without fear of failure or rejection. After all, how can you reach for the stars if you don’t believe in yourself?
Being kind and understanding to yourself when times are tough can also help you build resilience and develop a stronger sense of self-belief. This will make it easier for you to take risks, trust your instincts, and have the courage to pursue your dreams.
Chef’s Tip: “If your compassion does not include yourself it is not complete.” – Jack Kornfield.
Step 6: Stand Up For What You Believe In
Standing up for what you believe in is essential to being more courageous. It requires conviction and courage to speak up and act despite potential consequences.
First, you must know your values and how they are being challenged. This means identifying the issues that matter most to you and how current events or circumstances impact them. Then, once you’ve identified these issues, take action in whatever way you can to make your voice heard.
Whether writing letters, joining protests, or simply talking to people about the issue, taking a stand for what you care about can help build courage and give you a sense of purpose.
Chef’s Tip: “Stand up for what you believe in even if you are standing alone” – Sophia Magdalena Scholl
Step 7: Embrace failure, Be Persistent And Never Give Up
It’s essential to accept that mistakes are part of the learning process and to use them as opportunities for growth instead of dwelling on them. Acknowledge how you feel when things don’t go your way, but don’t let it stop you from moving forward.
Instead, focus on how to move past the failure and learn from it to become even stronger. With this kind of attitude, embracing failure will help build the courage to tackle any obstacle thrown your way.
Also, be persistent and never give up. Success doesn’t happen overnight and requires effort, dedication, and resilience.
It’s vital to keep your focus on the end goal and persist through difficult times with courage, even when you experience setbacks or failures. When things get tough, take a step back and remember why you started in the first place.
Chef’s Tip: “It’s not how far you fall, but how high you bounce that counts.” —Zig Ziglar.
Courage is the key ingredient to living an empowered life and achieving your goals. You don’t have to be fearless or take huge risks to show courage.
Instead, start by taking small steps and building your confidence so you can have the courage to take on bigger challenges and make courageous decisions.
You are capable of more than you think, and it takes courage to believe in yourself even when the odds are against you. So don’t be afraid to roar and show how brave and courageous you can be.
So, if you’re looking for ways to show courage in everyday life – follow our recipe today!
Do you want to build your courage and take your leadership skills to the next level? It all starts with overcoming your fears and taking that first step! So, are you ready to take action today? Then download our brochure to find out more, and contact us to get started!
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About the Author – Sonia McDonald
Sonia is founder of Leadership HQ and is also a renowned and award-winning author, having written several of her own books, Leadership Attitude, Just Rock It! and First Comes Courage as well as being a regular contributor in The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. She was named as one of the Top 250 Influential Women in the world as well as Top 100 Australian Entrepreneurs by Richtopia.
Through her leadership advisory and coaching work at LeadershipHQ, and founding the Outstanding Leadership Awards, Sonia is internationally recognised as an expert in leadership and culture, organisational development, neuroscience, kindness, and courage.
Sonia is also a full-time single parent and has a passion for women in business and teenage mental health. Sonia travels and speaks across Australia and Globe, and she is on a mission to building a world of great leaders and leadership.