PPI #38: How to Become More CourageousAug 13, 2020
Do you feel that fear is holding you back in life? That you're not achieving everything that you're capable of achieving because you're too afraid? Do you look at the courageous actions of others and say, “I wish I was like that. I wish I had more courage.” In today's episode I want to teach you what you can do to become more courageous and develop the confidence to overcome your fears.
- There is a great native American story where a chief is explaining to a young warrior that in his mind, there are two wolves constantly doing battle. There is the fear wolf and the courage wolf. The young boy says, "Well, which one wins?" And the wise chief says, "Whichever one you feed the most."
- The first thing you need to do is understand what you're afraid of because you can't defeat an enemy you can't see. People tend to be afraid of the same things, whether it's losing time and money, facing difficulty, or the fear of losing status in front of others.
- The second thing that you need to do is to reframe your fears. I've personally experienced that whenever I'm afraid of doing something, almost moments after I've completed the task, I suddenly realize that all of the fears I had were far greater than they needed to be. Reframing allows you to put fears in their proper context and see them for what they are.
- Finally to become more courageous and overcome your fears, you need to take bold actions on a daily basis. A great way of doing this simply asking provocative questions like "What bold actions could I be taking today? If I was the most courageous version of me today what would I do?" You can also do this on the micro level of the day and the macro level of your life.
Do you feel that fear is holding you back in life? That you're not achieving everything that you're capable of achieving because you're too afraid? Do you look at the courageous actions of others and say, “I wish I was like that. I wish I had more courage.” Winston Churchill said, “Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.” In today's video, I want to teach you what you can do to become more courageous and develop that confidence to overcome your fears.
Hi, my name is Eric Partaker and I help CEOs, entrepreneurs, leaders, and individuals do things like become more courageous, do things like overcome their fears, all in their quest to become their best. All in their quest to reach their full potential in life, all in their quest to become as fulfilled as they possibly could be because that's what we all want, right?
We all want to become our very best and courage is a key part of that journey. If you lack the courage to speak what's important to you, to express your true feelings, to go for what you want in life, if you live a life in fear, then you have no chance to reach your full potential. There is a great native American story where a chief is explaining to a young warrior that in his mind, there are two wolves constantly doing battle. There is the fear Wolf and the courage Wolf. The young boy says, well, which one wins? And the wise chief says, well, whichever one you feed the most. So think about that. Are you feeding the fear Wolf more often? Or are you feeding the courage Wolf more often? And there are three things that you can do to feed that courage Wolf more often, to develop more courage in your life.
One is to identify, well, what is it that you're afraid of? What are your fears? Number two, we need to reframe those. And then number three, we need to step into those fears with some courageous action. We'll go through each of those in today's chat. So first off, we need to understand what is it that we're afraid of? People tend to be afraid of the same things. I'd like you to think about, what are those fears right now? What are the things that you're typically afraid of? Often people are afraid of loss, “I might be losing something.” They're afraid that the route ahead or the journey ahead might be a little bit too difficult for them to take on. They're afraid that others might think less of them, that they might lose their status in front of others.
I personally have felt all of these things in this journey that I'm on right now, for example. It took a lot for me to feel confident to start sharing my message with the world. It took lot for me to feel confident, to go from the one-on-one coaching interactions that I was having, and get out there and start speaking to a wider audience, an audience that I couldn't even see. An audience that I could only interact with through social media, for example, that was a lot. That was a fearful moment for me, that took a lot of courage. But I want you to identify, what are those things that are fearful for you? And then there's the next key step. I want you to summon your courage Wolf.
I want you to summon the most courageous version of you because that version of you lives within you. He or she is there right now. What does that version of you look like, behave like? How does that version show up in the world? What does that version of you do? Summon that version of you, and I want you to ask that version of you for advice in relation to each of those fears, what would you do? How would you handle this? What would you do next? And just sit and listen, because that advice is within you. And if you get into the habit of summoning your most courageous self to help advise you on the areas of life that generate the most fear for you, you can start to develop that courage to take action and overcome those fears.
The second thing that we need to do is we need to reframe all the things that we find fearful, time and time again. I personally experienced that whenever I'm afraid of doing something, almost moments after I've completed whatever it may be, I suddenly realize that all of those fears that I was having around that were far greater than they needed to be, that I was bigging it up, that it was not nearly as anxiety-ridden as I had made it out to be in my mind. We all do this, right? We all think that, “I've not done that before. I might make a mistake. I might lose something. I might look silly or foolish.” Now, one of the things that separates those who achieve mastery in life and in business is that they have what's called this freedom to be foolish, this freedom to make a mistake, this freedom to not look good in front of others.
That allows them to proceed in life with more bravery, with more confidence and courage because they're not holding themselves back. So we need to reframe the things that stress us, that create fear, as actually opportunities for growth. We know this to be true in so many aspects of our physical body, you know, UV radiation in small doses actually repairs tissues; exposing our body to germs and bacteria actually builds our immune system; when we stress a muscle, it causes it to grow. And in the same way, when we experience the stress of a fear and we reframe that as a repetition or an exercise in the gym of life, such that by completing it, we become stronger. When we reframe that stress as something to walk towards, to step into an exercise, nothing more than a repetition within a set to be completed.
That's where our opportunity to grow lies. And through stepping into those fears, by reframing things, we begin to grow. We begin to come stronger, but we have to view stress, those things that make us fearful, those things that make us feel less courageous or make us feel like nothing as opportunities for growth. So we want to identify what makes us afraid, what generates fear. We want to summon our most creative self, ask him or her, how would you advise me? And just listen, because that wisdom is within each and every one of us, we want to reframe stress and the things that zap our courage or make us afraid as opportunities for growth. And then the third and final thing that we can do is step into those moments. There's two great categories that you can be thinking about in terms of stepping into those fears, in terms of actually, as I was just saying, completing those repetitions.
One of those categories I simply refer to as bold actions on a daily basis. You could be asking yourself what bold actions could I be taking today? If it was the most courageous version of me today, operating throughout whatever is on my calendar today, how would that version of me respond in the day? What would that version of me do? What bold actions would that version of me take? Now you can do that at a micro level within the context of your day. You can also do it at a macro level within the context of your overall life. For example, what three bold actions could I be taking? If I was operating from the vantage point of my most courageous self who reframed stress as nothing more than a challenge that provides growth, what three actions come to mind for you? What are three bold actions that if taken would really move your life forward? Forget about three. What's just one? What's the one area in your life where if bold action was taken and everything else were to maintain or stay the same, what's the one area in your life where bold action would create the most positive change or difference for you? Then down to your day, what's the one thing you could be doing? The one bold action that you could be taking?
Maybe in the health department, maybe in the work department, maybe in the home department, the one bold thing that you could do, which would demonstrate you showing up as your most courageous self. By doing these repetitions, by completing these actions that we step into, what Winston Churchill was trying to communicate - fear is a reaction, courage is a decision. Courage is the antidote to fear. Through courageous action, we overcome our fears. We become more confident. So stepping into, we have our one category of bold actions. Our second category is difficult conversations. Think about this for a moment. Pause. Is there a difficult conversation somewhere in your life that you haven't had that you should be having? Maybe in the workplace, maybe with one of your superiors, maybe with one of your peer members, maybe with someone who reports to you. Similarly at home, is there a difficult conversation that should be happening, or with a friend or a loved one or an acquaintance? Difficult conversations are a tremendous pathway for us to do everything that I'm advising you to do to become more courageous.
They are exercises, once again, in that gym of life. By having them, we become more courageous, we step into our fears. We develop that mastery over fear, we translate it into courage, we translate it into growth. So what are the top three difficult conversations that you should be having? And if, once again, you summoned your most courageous self who reframed stress and fear and all that discomfort around those conversations, how would he or she advise you to have those conversations? And then I ask you this - when are you going to have them? When are you going to schedule them in your calendar? It's by doing, that we become the better person that we want to be. And I know that high achievers out there, those who are striving for peak performance, whether they're entrepreneurs, CEOs, leaders, managers, just individuals who want to become the very best that they're capable of becoming.
I know because I've been there, I know that a key part, a key gap that you feel is sometimes not feeling as courageous as you would like to be. That sometimes your fear is holding you back because your ambition level is so high and you should celebrate that. That means you're in the right place. With these tools, I hope you can also start to translate fear into courage and develop your confidence more strongly, more positively, more courageously along the way.