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Do you sometimes struggle with taking risks?6 practical tips to become more courageous and achieve your goals

By Karla Schlaepfer
Coaching, Change, Inspiration

Leaving your comfort zone and trying new things can be uncomfortable. Here are six ways to strengthen your ability to move forward with more ease and develop a growth mindset.

What does it mean to be courageous? To accept a challenge and apply yourself to the best of your ability. This is one possibility. To face your fear of failing and intentionally step forward and do something bold that you’ve never done before, is another. In both of this situations, you have to overcome personal inhibitions. This can be done by practicing the following steps which will help you to recognize and improve your sense of courage.

  1. Focus on the possible quick and long-term wins. Analysis the situation and the cost. Is it worth the risk? Check in with yourself. Draw out the possible benefits and make a clear personal decision if the action or goal is worth it for you. If so, make a mental or written list of the benefits and put this in a place that you see it daily. Write your goal at the top of the list.

  2. Find a breathing or relaxation technique that you enjoy. Practice this before you’re about to do difficult or scary things. Try to master these techniques in a safe environment. You’ll need to make this into a routine. Overcoming fear takes time and practice. You have to be willing and really ready to leave your comfort zone.

  3. Learn about courageous people. This can be extremely motivating and inspiring. When you find yourself in a difficult situation or before you do something new, recall what you imagine that courageous person would do. Put yourself mentally in their shoes. How would they deal with the situation? Anyone how has accomplished something daring or great had to take a risk and face the feeling of possible failure or loss.

  4. Get the support of others. Tell a supportive friend or colleague what you’re facing. Look for people who have experienced what you’re doing. Surrounding yourself with optimistic people will make a huge difference in how you approach and overcome fears and challenges.

  5. Begin with a smaller risk. Or break down a larger challenge or risk into smaller chunks that you can practice for and then process. What went well? Where do you need to adjust? With each small win you’ll gain self- confidence. This positive motivation and energy will move you forward and help you see that your goal is in sight and can be achieved.

  6. As you move forward, acknowledge yourself for your bravery and honor your own efforts with something that makes you feel rewarded. Building courage is possible with time. Invest in yourself and strengthen your ability to be and act courageously.

Keep on learning. Applying what Carol Dweck has coined a “growth mindset” as a guide to keep on learning from different situations and experiences. Her many years of research show that our belief that we can improve is fundamental is making change happen.

Stretching yourself and practicing the tips above will help you grow more comfortable in taking risks and building up your own personal sense of courage.

Interested in chatting about this with Karla? As a professional ICF coach she has ideas on what moving towards a more courageous growth mindset could look like for you.

Make a free appointment here.