During World War II, a military official summoned General George Patton in Sicily. As he praised Patton for his courage and bravery, the General interrupted: “Sir, I am not a brave man… The truth is, I am an utter craven coward. I have never been within in the sound of a gunshot or sight of battle in my whole life that I wasn’t so scared that I had sweat in the palms of my hands.”
Years later, when his autobiography was published it contained this significant statement from the general: “I learned very early in my life never to take counsel of my fears.”
Another military hero, Eddie Rickenbacker, once said, “Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared.”
As we move out of our comfort zones towards either accomplishing new things or approaching new levels of greatness, it’s normal to lack courage even if the goal we’re moving towards is positive. Like both these historical figures you too can avoid succumbing to the counsel of your fears by following these three courage enhancing tips. The effectiveness of career coaching comes when you implement these key points.
- Consider the positive outcome you’re heading towards rather than any negative feelings you may be having at the moment. The other side of the hurdle is better than where you are now.
- Put the energy you spend worrying or fearing about any challenge you might be facing into overcoming it in a positive way. The obstacle is one because of the energy you’re putting into it. Redirect that energy back to a positive place and you’ll be over the hurdle.
- Do something unconventional. I’ve had clients who have procrastinated calling people. They tell me this on our weekly calls and I suggest they hang up with me on the spot to make the call they need to make before calling me back. They have no excuses then and are able to move forward.
Other ways to build a strong foundation of personal courage include bringing more positive influences into your life.
Look for mentors and role models who are experiencing greatness in their own lives. You’ll also benefit from the effectiveness of career coaching.
Read inspirational books and post motivational quotes around you.
Seek out co-workers who aren’t afraid to think outside of the box and look for ways to work more with them.
If your work environment is negative, schedule a time to discuss the situation with your manager. Don’t be afraid of difficult conversations. You might be pleasantly surprised with the results. (It can’t hurt to brush up on your conversation skills first, though). If the results are unsatisfactory, consider looking for a new position in a place where greatness is valued and cultivated and everyone dares themselves and those around them to new levels of achievement.
That’s what courage is all about.