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Article: Week 4: Developing Courage

Week 4: Developing Courage

Ever wish you were a little braver?

Let’s face it -  most of us have ideas we’re too nervous to share, opportunities we'd like to pursue and things we'd really love to say or change... if only we were more courageous or, better still, guaranteed a successful outcome.

But have you ever stopped to think, really think, about how your lack of courage may be costing you?

Unfortunately our brains are wired to discount the cost of inaction, to overestimate the probability of things going wrong and to underestimate ourselves (particularly women!). However the good news is that researchers have found that  bravery is a skill, and like all skills it can be learned, strengthened and mastered with repeated practice.

It sounds simple enough, but often there are three big obstacles you need to overcome when it comes to building bravery in your work, relationships and life:

  1. Appreciating why stepping outside your comfort zone is so important to begin with (ie. No clear or compelling why).
  1. Setting the intention to consciously and consistently practice acts of courage.
  1. Knowing which acts of courage to start with – after all, being brave isn’t always predictable or straight forward.

The truth is, if you don’t ask, the answer will always be no. You can’t expect people to read your mind and hints just don’t cut it. So think of something you’d like more of: more money, more support, more opportunity, more open communication, more feedback, more responsibility or more respect. Then ask. Don’t let your fear of being too pushy, demanding or putting people on the spot hold you back. And never make a “no” mean more than it does.

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