"Often the difference between a successful person and a failure is not one has better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to better one's ideas, to take a calculated risk -- and to act." Maxwell Maltz.
Regardless of your natural talents or limitations, every one of us is capable of so much more than you can ever imagine. You first have to decide that you’re going to give all you have to give and not stop until you have nothing left to give.
Stand firmly for your convictions in the face of adversity. This proposal I did, stretched me way past my normal expectations, but because I knew it was so worthwhile I went to extraordinary lengths to have it implemented. Believe me it tested every fiber of my being, and I for one did not give up until there was nothing left to give.
"Courage is the greatest of all the virtues. Because if you haven't courage, you may not have an opportunity to use any of the others." Samuel Johnson
When you hear or read about someone rescuing a swimmer in trouble or a car accident victim, what are your thoughts? Many people believe that they could never have it in them to do this act of bravery, because they would be too frightened to act. They think that courageous people are fearless. However, that is not true. They did this brave act despite their fear, not because of its absence. That's why we call them heroes. If they weren't afraid, anyone could do it.
“The courageous don't live forever, but the timid don't live at all.” unknown
Courage should be experienced by everyone. We need it if we are to get the most from life. For example, if you are single, did you see someone you would like to meet, but avoided because you were too shy? Have you thought that you had an idea that would improve your work environment, but you didn’t think anyone would listen? If your friends try to entice you to do something you disapprove of, do you have the courage to refuse? Isn't it obvious, then, that if you had the courage to do everything you wanted to, life would be much better? Well, that's the way it is supposed to be!
"You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take." Wayne Gretzky
I once read that "courage is our spiritual muscle and is far easier to develop than you may imagine. Compare its development with our physical muscles. We can all improve our strength if we want to. It's simple. Regularly work out with weights or a weight machine. Start out by repeatedly lifting a small weight and over a period of time gradually increase the weight. The result is you grow in strength! Anyone can do it!" Author unknown
"You don't develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity." Barbara De Angelis
Develop your spiritual muscle - courage, in the same way. That is, start out by doing small tasks you are afraid to do. This is the first step. Use this to develop your courage. It's okay to be afraid. You are supposed to be. How can you develop courage if you're not scared? So, say to yourself, "I am afraid, but I'm going to do this," and go ahead and do it. As you repeatedly do so, the tasks will become easier and easier. Later you will be ready to move on to the next step.
"There is in true beauty, as in courage, somewhat which narrow souls cannot dare to admire." William Congreve
Even after gaining courage, you may hit stumbling blocks. If so, analyze your fears and overcome the source of the problem. For instance, your boss wants you to deliver your first presentation in two weeks time, and you are scared stiff. When thinking about it, what you are afraid of is that you have never done a presentation before. That simply means you are unprepared and have not got the relevant information. The best speakers would be afraid if they were unprepared. So do your homework. Read up on presentations and public speaking and develop and organize your material, your fear will decrease. I can promise you this.
"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear." Mark Twain
My first presentation, in my eyes was disastrous. I was nervous and anxious like you would never believe, I ran out of spit, I lost my nerve, and I thought to myself “Why are you doing this?” The answer, because it was so worthwhile and important to pass my knowledge on. I was scared and didn’t really want to do it because I had never done it before, but I guess like everything, each time you do something it is easier the next time around. One must first take risks to make any sort of progress.
“Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.” Raymond Linquist
Here's another tip. Whenever you think you can’t do something because of fear, ask yourself, "What is the worst that can happen; what will most likely happen; and what is the best that can happen?
"Pain is temporary, Glory is forever." - U.S. Marine Saying
The more afraid you are, the more you will relish your success. Also, the more nervous you are, the more you flatter other people with your courage.
We must be courageous and take risks, face our fears and step out of our comfort zone to gain knowledge that otherwise might be left unknown. Knowledge is power but knowledge is useless without the courage to apply that knowledge to our lives.
"What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything? " Vincent Van Gogh
It takes courage to end an unhealthy toxic relationship. It takes courage to quit an unfulfilling job. It takes courage to say No to someone who is using you. It takes courage to pursue your dreams. It takes courage to ask for what you need and want in your life. It takes courage to be transparently honest. It takes courage to stand up for what you believe in. It takes courage to set boundaries for yourself; it takes even more courage to follow through with consequences when somebody you love crosses those boundaries. It takes courage to face our fears and step outside of our comfort zone. It takes strength to survive infidelity and it is courageous to thrive after infidelity.
To be courageous doesn't mean that you don't recognize the difficulty of the task, it means that you are willing to do it anyway, to push yourself out of your personal comfort zone and take a chance. It means not letting your fear hold you hostage.
Courage is not allowing your fears to stand in your way. Resolve to live in such a way that courage, not fear, directs your life. Resolve to determine your own worth, not let someone else decide it for you. Resolve to step out of your comfort zone to work towards your dreams and goals for the future. Live courageously and fulfill your greatest potential!
Finally, remember what Miguel De Cervantes wrote: "He who loses wealth loses much; he who loses a friend loses more; but he that loses his courage loses all."