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Amira McLaughlin

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Build Your Strength By Making Courage a Habit

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

We have touched a little on the relationship between courage and self-confidence. One aspect of that was that you can use courage and doing things that scare you a little to boost your feeling of self-worth and confidence. In other words, you can increase self-confidence by being courageous or doing something that takes a little courage more often. 

“I beg you take courage; the brave soul can mend even disaster.”

– Catherine the Great 

As a young woman, sometimes I use to feel like I was drowning in my problems, as if I swam out too far in the deep ocean of dark, cold water, barely seeing the shore, but trying to return. I didn’t have successes under my belt, or perhaps, I didn’t see the little achievements I accomplished each day. I focused more on what I did not have, did not do, could not have, could not do.

I am thankful that I had an older sister-friend who reminded of how far I have come and held a mirror out for me, reflecting my potential; it was up to me to make it a reality. However, my sister-friend held the mirror steady until I could see myself differently, thereby acknowledging how far I have come on my way to the next shore. The more I move forward, the stronger I get, and the more courage I build.

Because courage is a habit it’s completely in your control and can be cultivated, as I realized. All it takes is a little awareness and the drive to make it happen. You just need to get the ball rolling for a little while. NOW is a great time to do that. If you can take small steps towards courage every single day for the remainder of this challenge, you’ll be well on your way to creating this new positive habit.

“There’s only one requirement of any of us, and that is to be courageous. Because courage, as you might know, defines all other human behavior.”

-David Letterman

It doesn’t have to be anything big. Small acts of courage will work just fine to build this habit. Remember that as you take each next step your self-confidence will increase.  That bravery will make it easier to take another courageous move. Remember, it will become easier with each day as you practice this new habit. 

“Hope lies in dreams, in imagination, and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality.”

-Jonas Salk

You may be wondering how you can start to cultivate this new habit. Habits take practice so try not to let 24 hours go by without doing something that scares you.

Human beings are creatures of habit and comfort and we don’t like venture outside of our comfort zone unless we’re forced to. To make courage a habit, you have to actively look for daily opportunities to practice. What can you do to make that happen?

Make A List 

Sit down right now and start making a list of things you can do to be courageous. Start by thinking of things that scare you or challenge you. Keep adding to this list as you go along. Refer back to it often and use the items on the list to keep you moving forward.

Look For Opportunities To Be Courageous 

Start paying attention as you go about your busy day. Get in the habit of not shying away from challenges but embracing them and doing things anyway. You’re probably encountering a lot more challenges throughout your day than you realize. 

Make Friends Who Will Challenge You 

Step out of your comfort zone and make friends, or spend time with people who will challenge you. You can also encourage your loved ones to help you face your fears and step out of your area of comfort on a more regular basis. Ask for their assistance to help you fight the fear. 

Get A Coach 

Last but not least, you can get a coach. Find someone that can help you in the area you need help in.  In life, business, sports or anything else you can think of, coaches are great at forcing you to test your limits, face your fears and help you to find your inner courage. 

Start By Looking Back And Seeing How Far You’ve Come 

Realizing how far I’ve come and how much I can actually accomplish when I put my mind to it, is always a HUGE confidence booster for me. I’m sure it’s no different for you. To be honest, you’ve probably done something over the past few days, weeks, and even years that you can be proud of. Yet, I bet you don’t often see it. There always seems to be so much left on the to-do list and the stuff you didn’t do, or the things you may have failed at often stand out much more than your successes. It’s time to change your perspective and focus on the wins and how far you’ve come already. 

Reflection and Gratitude 

The simplest way to make sure you see and notice what you’ve accomplished and how far you’ve come is to get in the habit of spending a few minutes either in the morning or right before bed for reflection and gratitude. 

When you wake up in the morning, before you jump out of bed, while you’re drinking that first cup of coffee, or even while you’re taking your shower, think about what you’ve accomplished and what you’re grateful for. I like this morning habit because it sets a positive and confident tone for the whole day ahead. If that doesn’t work for you, try it at night, before you fall asleep. Make it a daily habit and watch your confidence grow. 

Journaling And Habit Trackers 

If you’re the type of person who needs to see it in black and white to believe it, give journaling a try. Spend a few minutes each day writing down your wins. If you’re trying to establish better habits, try a habit tracker. You basically set up a grid with the habits you want to establish and little check boxes next to them. Grid paper and excel spreadsheets work well for this. Then, as you complete your habit for the day, you get to check it off. It can be very motivating to see a month’s worth of little checkmarks on your habit tracker. 

With the journal, make it a point to go back and review your wins on a regular basis and of course whenever you need a little boost of self-esteem and confidence. Look online for plenty of journaling and habit tracker ideas. Give the ones that look good a try and come up with a system that works for you.  

Your Own Personal Cheerleader

Last but not least, consider getting your own personal cheerleader. No, I’m not suggesting you hire a person with pompoms to follow you around everywhere. Instead, find a good friend or family member who’s encouraging already and ask them to cheer you on. Give them a call whenever you’re feeling low, or don’t want to do something so they can encourage you and cheer you on to give you that boost of confidence to do what you need to do. Of course, they should also help you by pointing out how much you’ve accomplished already.

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