There are times when you need more courage than you think you have in you. When you enter unknown territory you need to have the courage to move forward. These situations often appear completely unexpectedly and catch you unaware. As leader you have to be able to quickly pull on your reserves of courage to get you through the tough times.
You may need courage to:
- Make a tough decision
- Take on new responsibilities
- Share your position on a topic
- Get out of your comfort zone
- Be vulnerable
- Admit a mistake/error
- Speak in front of a group
- Delegate an important assignment
- Ask for help
These are just a sampling of when you might need to find the courage to proceed. It’s important that you manage your fear so you can step up when needed. It’s okay to be afraid; in fact if you aren’t ever afraid of failing, or letting someone down, or being wrong about something important then you really aren’t committed. Healthy fear means the outcome matters to you. When you have no fear, nothing matters anymore. So embrace the fear just keep it in perspective.
To keep your fear in its proper place you need to balance it with courage. Courage comes from confidence. Build your courage by building your confidence that you can succeed. Confidence is created from recognizing and acknowledging past success in a related area. If you have previously negotiated a contract successfully you will be more confident of your ability to do it again. The real challenge comes when you venture into new territory, one where you have no direct past experience to use as your compass.
Here are several tips to build confidence when you are in a new situation:
- Look for similar experiences. Maybe you are giving a speech in front of 500 people which is 400 more than you’ve ever done before. However, speaking in front of people can be the same no matter the size of the audience. If you did well with 100 you can do well with 1000.
- Identify transferrable experiences. If you are good at making decisions in a project based environment you can be successful making decisions in other environments. Decision making skills transfer across industries and organizations.
- Remember past unexpected success. Think of times when you accomplished more than you believed possible or even met a goal that seemed unachievable. Once you have done the seemingly impossible you can do it again.
- Enlist the input of someone who has succeeded. When you are going into something totally new and unknown find a mentor or coach or trusted colleague who can share how they succeeded in this kind of situation. You can use their experience to learn what is needed to succeed.
- Take action decisively. Once you make the decision to brave the unknown act quickly and decisively. The more time you spend preparing yourself the more time you will have to create doubts by worrying. As Nike says “Just Do It”.
Use your past success to give you the courage to dare to do something new now. Be brave and take a stand, do something new or go where others fear to venture. The more successes you have in new things the more likely you will be to have the courage to go further and do more than you dreamed possible.
If you are a leader, your courage to go out on a limb will inspire your team to do the same and the results will be even greater than imagined. Create an environment where fear is okay but courage is cherished. Be brave for yourself and your team.
When did you have to dig deep for courage?
If you would like help building your courage to face new situations contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org