Stopwatch in handThis is the sixth and maybe the key technique in the series Six Tools to Build Self-Confidence.

Here is a technique to find courage.

We think of courageous people having courage all the time.  Courage is also for nervous, anxious and fearful people.  Courage is something which we call on when we are faced with our fear – courageous people are courageous in the moment – what makes them courageous is that they find their courage and act on it.

Do you have something that you feel is worth the effort, something which is really important to you but it’s something which would require you to take a risk and instead of doing it you give up or tell yourself that it’s really not important.  Deep down inside you wish that you could take action but find yourself paralysed by fear?

A first step is to recognise the defining moment, the moment you pull back and step away from what you want.  Becoming aware of how you do that will give you an understanding of your response to fear and the decision you make to not move forward and lean into your fear.

Start by noticing what happens to your thoughts and in your body.  The physical reaction to fear is very similar to the physical reaction to excitement – it’s what goes on in your head that makes the difference.  You may find your heart beats a bit faster, your hands are a bit clammy and you feel the need to run, adrenaline rises in your system.  Recognising your physical response to fear will help you engage with it.  Look around you – notice that ‘right now’ there is nothing to fear because you are just thinking about doing ‘the thing’, not actually doing it.  So the fear, the ‘what if’ is in your head.

Fear, of course, is the way our brain keeps us safe.  Obviously, I am talking about irrational fear here – the fear that we create ourselves through our lack of self-esteem or lack of self-confidence.  If a raging tiger is running towards you then you are probably going to be fearful.

Ten seconds of courage

Once you have established how you are fearful and what you are fearful of then you can start to take a different action.  One of the techniques is to do ‘the thing’ for 10 seconds.  Tell yourself that you will do this thing for 10 seconds and then if you really can’t hack it you will stop.  That’s about the time it took you to read that sentence.

Start with the small things.  Ask for the thing you want, say no (maybe that’s a huge thing!), have a different hair cut, ask her out, wear a bright colour, test drive a car, look at a job website, find out if there is a speaking role you can put yourself forward for.  Find your courage and gently lean into your fear.

If you would like support to find your courage book a Discovery Session in the next ten seconds.