Professional Coach Simon Ekin, a Teacher of Courage, explains that to be courageous is not an epic quality reserved for great heroes. But rather, it is a product of your own will to succeed. He explains that “Most people don’t think they are courageous. They believe that others are. But the truth is, that all of us were ‘born of courage’, and we all have wells of it that we can draw on over the rest of our lives.”
Raised in Fear
We are raised in a culture soaked in fear. We are not really expected or required to be courageous. It is completely acceptable that we heed our fears and anxieties. If we think about it at all, we tend to think of courage as an epic quality. More relevant to characters facing make-believe, life-threatening situations in stories and games than it is to our day-to-day lives. These are some of the pervasive myths about courage. They are disguised as wisdom to keep us safe; but actually, prevent us from living our best lives.
What is Courage?
If courage isn’t limited to super heroes and acts of bravery performed against all odds…What is it? Do we even understand it? Simon asserts that, “Doing anything outside our comfort zones is courageous. Persevering towards a goal, risking rejection, speaking about something that is really important to us – it’s all courage. In the words of Susan Jeffers, ‘Feeling the fear, and doing it anyway epitomizes courage.”
The word courage may spark grand fireworks in our imaginations. But the reality is that courage is actually really effective in small doses.
Courage is often, simply:
- Being able to do something that discomforts or frightens you.
- Having strength in the face of grief or pain.
Why Aren’t We Courageous?
Fear and discomfort often cause us to rationalise why we can’t say or do something. Consequently, we tell ourselves that we shouldn’t say something because it will hurt someone’s feelings. Or we will be misunderstood or they’ll think I’m an idiot or I’ll just be causing conflict. The result? You avoid saying what you actually meant to say. And often instead, say something in the form of a complaint or as a dismissal of the original idea.
The Results of Not Being Courageous
In the long run the result is a continual failure to communicate. Amidst this is a harbouring of ill-feelings, nursing of frustration and potentially bitterness. From a practical perspective, it can result in relationships breaking down or something like getting a pay increase not happening.
That’s how we miss living the best possible version of our lives.
Three Steps: The A, B, C of Courage
It takes courage to change that. It’s not epic, and it’s not one grandiose moment. It’s a series of small, day-to-day decisions that move us through fear, discomfort and excuses into a better reality.
Simon breaks it down into his model of the A, B, C of Courage:
- A – Authenticity What do you need to say or do right now to be your authentic self?
- B – Belief What is the limiting belief that stops you from expressing this aspect of your authentic self that you can now realise, and then let go of?
- C – Crazy action What small, but significant action can you take right now to move past those limits and act in the interests of your authentic self. Don’t just think about it. Go against the odds that you perceive, and do it. That’s what crazy action means. Take chances. Go beyond your rationalisations and excuses.
When you master the A, B, C of courage in just one aspect of your life, you will see how you can apply it repeatedly, to greater and greater effect. Courage is simple. It starts with you. It’s effective from the moment you take that small step of deciding to be courageous.
Coaching to be Courageous
A life coach is someone who aims to help people to maximise their own potential by tapping into their unique skills and gifts. They’re trained to ask the right questions to help us get to the nitty gritty of things. They also help someone persevere towards achieving their dreams and goals. They do this through encouragement and holding the person accountable. As well as assisting their client with finding viable, sustainable solutions to things obstacles along the way. If you want to identify ways of being more courageous and then have someone help you to do just that, think of hiring a life coach.
Alternatively, do you want to be the person who helps people stand tall, while they face their challenges with courage and determination? Then look through the coaching courses offered by SACAP (The South African College of Applied Psychology). SACAP offers a range of coaching courses, all accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF) and aligned with COMENSA. For more information, enquire now.