Perhaps the ultimate form of courage is having the confidence to be yourself and pursue the life you really want. Everyone has a burning dream inside of them, even if they are not pursuing it. If ignored, that dream may flicker as a small flame but it can never truly be extinguished. Of course, if you find the courage to pursue that dream, you give oxygen to the flame until it becomes a burning desire. It is that desire which gives you motivation to jump out of bed on the mornings where you would really like to pull the duvet over your head. It gives you the courage to treat your failures as the temporary setbacks which they really are and; resolve to try again.

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When things are not going your way and you feel like giving up, it is very easy to think that you just don’t have the courage and strength to live the life you really want. But that is nonsense. Every one of us has courage within us. We just need to set it free and apply it daily. When we do so, our confidence gradually builds to the point where we no longer consider it courageous to pursue the life we really want.

When you dedicate yourself to living the life you really want, you will undoubtedly face adversity. But courage is the antidote to adversity because it allows you to:

  • Get back up when you have been knocked down
  • Stand up to others who treat you badly
  • Take on new challenges with confidence
  • Say No to others so you can say Yes to yourself
  • Accept the disapproval of others when you know you are doing what is right for you
  • Take responsibility for your outcomes - good or bad
  • Dream bigger and bolder than ever before

Letting your courage flourish

Courage is essential in every area of life. It already resides within you just need to set it free and practice using it. The following are some simple steps which will help you do so:

1. Accept things as they are


This doesn’t mean that you don’t strive to change things and improve your lot in life. Clients regularly ask me where they should start with new projects to improve their life. There is only one place you can start – where you are!

If you were a terrible golfer who wanted to become a great golfer, you couldn’t start your improvement from the point of being a great golfer. If you did, you would spend your time practicing advanced skills and techniques when you haven’t yet mastered the basics. It would be a disaster and the poor instructor trying to teach you would be pulling their hair out. No, you would have to accept that you are a terrible golfer and start from the start, with the basics.

Life is no different. Before you can improve, you must accept the situation you are in and start from there. Just remember that it is only a starting point. A terrible golfer doesn’t have to remain a terrible golfer and a poor public speaker does not have to remain a poor public speaker.

You can improve just about anything in your life but you must first accept where you are and start from there. One great way to identify your starting point is to keep a journal. Try sitting quietly in a place you won't be disturbed and write in your journal. Do this every day, or at least once a week. Write about your feelings during the day and what triggered them. How did you react? Where did these reactions come from - from your compassionate, loving side or from your dark side?

Even though it takes courage to examine your innermost thoughts, once you know and accept all your qualities, you can strive to enhance your strengths and lessen those qualities you find less desirable.

The courage to truly be yourself is the ultimate form of confidence

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2. Follow your values


Your values are the rules and standards by which you choose to live your life. They make sure that you live life as the best version of yourself and always hold yourself to the highest standard. Even if you are unaware of your values; you need to know that everybody has values. It is important to get clear on your values and ensure that you live by them. Because if you don’t live true to your values; you will find it very difficult to be happy since in breaking your values; you are rejecting yourself. Self-rejection hurts.

It takes a lot of courage to constantly live true to your values. It is often tempting to do otherwise and you may be more popular with others for breaking your values but you won’t be popular with yourself. In the end, you can live without those other people but you can’t live without yourself. The following are some examples of being courageous and living true to your values:

  • Being honest even when it upsets someone you love
  • Letting go of old friends who live in a manner opposed to your values
  • Choosing your career based on how much you will enjoy it rather than how much money you will earn
  • Doing what you believe to be right regardless of what others think
  • Taking responsibility when you screw up, even if nobody noticed

Practice your courage in your daily life by demonstrating your values in both big and small things. When you make a mistake, own up to it and do what you can to make amends. Not only will you get used to showing your courage, but others will also grow in respect for you.​

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3. Learn from it and try again


Failing at something we really care about can be difficult to take. It can really hurt. There is an old saying in the personal development field that you can’t really fail if you learn from the experience. At first, I rejected the idea but I have learned that it is one of the best beliefs that you could possibly hold because it is oh so true.

As somebody with no I.T. background or Business background, I have managed to build a good little business which operates almost entirely across the internet. I can assure you that it hasn’t been a smooth ride and there have been numerous setbacks along the way. But I don’t consider that I failed at any point because I learned from every experience and I implemented what I learned. I sincerely believe that both I and my business have benefitted from every one of these experiences.

If you are somebody who allows fear of failure to hold them back, you need to accept that failure does not really exist. Learn to embrace each setback as an opportunity to learn a vital lesson and resolve to implement every new lesson that you learn. When you take this approach to life, you will find that the courage builds up inside you to the point that you no longer fear failure.

Aim high and commit yourself to your goals. Then, no matter how often you fall, your courage will lift you up, help you find a way to overcome your challenge, and enable you to continue on until you find success and accomplish your goals!

​Negative to Positive

Objectively assessing your outcomes allows you to view the past with a greater sense of positivity and realism. Setting you free to live positively in the present.

Get Your FREE Copy Here

4. Experience something new


Avoid letting your age or circumstances stop you from experiencing life to the fullest and trying new things. Whatever your dreams may be, go for them – whether that means sampling a new dish in another country or learning a skill like swimming or baking.

The only time you have is now so there is no excuse for putting off things which you really want to do. Variety really is the spice of life so try new things. If you don’t’ like them, so be it but at least you tried. Be the person who is brave and adventurous and wants to experience more of what this life has to offer. Stop being stuck in your ways and living inside your comfort zone.

Each time you try something new, no matter how small, you step outside your comfort zone and build your courage.

The things you want to avoid are often the most enjoyable experiences of your life.

An Example

An old friend of mine is a diehard Heavy Metal fan. He was disgusted when his two sisters asked him to bring them to a Bryan Adams concert in Dublin. He dreaded the idea of going to the concert. But, out of love, he gave in and agreed to bring them.

When he got back from the concert, I asked him what it was like. I was shocked when he replied with:

‘Carthage, it was the best concert I have ever been at. I am still not a fan of his music but he is a phenomenal entertainer. I was delighted to see my sisters enjoy it but I have to admit I really enjoyed myself too.’

It doesn’t always have to be something big but when you open yourself up to new opportunities, you exercise your courage. In most cases, the worst that could possibly happen is easily bearable. And the worst that could happen very rarely happens.

And when you regularly exercise your courage, even in small ways, you will be more than prepared when major changes are required in your life. It could be a major change in lifestyle, whether voluntary or compulsory. For instance, you might want to try becoming vegetarian. Or circumstances may require you to move to another city or neighbourhood. Whatever the change, you can deal with it if you are courageous.

To let your courage flourish, you must be sure of the person you want to be and live your values, 'Values Based Living' will set you on the right track.

​Values Based Living

​To let your courage flourish, you must be sure of the person you want to be and live your values, 'Values Based Living' will set you on the right track.

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The courage to live your life true to who you really are is the ultimate form of confidence. When you pursue the life you really want, you will regularly face adversity. To overcome that adversity, you will need courage. Just dig deep within and you'll find that you already possess courage. It's just a matter of loving yourself and loving life with all its mishaps. Accept where you are in life and start from there. Identify your values and live your life in a manner which respects those values and holds true to them. Remember that there is no such thing as failure when you learn from every experience and ensure that you regularly try new things. When you do all of this, you will find that your courage will flourish and your courage will allow you to achieve more than you had thought possible.


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