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Nine Ways to Become Bolder

05.06.2019 Author: psiholog pavel horoshutin

“It is very embarrassing to tell my story, but I’ll say it as it is: I am a real coward in life. In childhood I already was a timid and shy boy, I could not fight back, I was afraid to fight. Because of this, my classmates constantly bullied me. I’ve never been involved in sports, I was such a classic nerd – and remained it. Nothing has changed either in the institute or in adulthood. I can still stumble upon some bad guys coming home late at night. They don’t touch me, of course, I look like a normal adult man. But I seem to attract them. And yes, I’m still afraid. My character is completely not masculine. And I was always embarrassed to meet girls, I don’t understand how my wife even appeared. 🙂 Well, in the rest of life, cowardice does not help much: I only dream of high positions, I’m afraid to make mistakes, to take responsibility. I’m even afraid to have children, although my wife wants them. In short, I urgently need to take my life into my own hands, otherwise I will remain nobody. It remains to understand how to become bolder and more self-confident”.

– Victor, 33.

to become bolder

There is probably no such person who is not afraid of anything. Each of us has different phobias – for example, fear of heights, insects, dentists or confined spaces. And, of course, almost any person will be worried before doing something for the first time – for example, speaking in public. This is perfectly normal, and having fear is not equal to cowardice. The latter can be spoken of if a person cannot overcome their fear, even for the sake of their own health or success.

Cowardice can greatly embitter one’s life – it has many consequences: from failures in business or difficulties in personal life to low self-esteem and even depression. In order to be successful and happy, each person needs to learn to cope with their fears, get over them and be bolder.

In this article we will discuss what cowardice can lead to, why courage is so important, and share some ways to get rid of natural cowardice and become a braver person.

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Important note: developing courage is not equal to getting rid of fears. Fear is a congenital or acquired reaction of the psyche to a threat, real or imaginary. But courage or cowardice is first of all our choice. These qualities are closely related to the volitional sphere: in order to perform an action in spite of your fear, you need to make a conscious decision. If you do not suffer from excessive shyness in general, but have a phobia that poisons your life, we recommend reading our article on how to deal with fears.

Contents:

  1. Why it is important to be brave
  2. Consequences of cowardice
  3. How to become brave and courageous: 9 working methods

Why it is important to be brave

important to be brave

For many of us there is a stereotype related to braveness and courage that these qualities are needed only in extreme situations, for example, when it is necessary to save someone’s life. That is, the manifestation of courage is equal to a feat. But, you must admit, we do not get into such circumstances every day. Why, then, do we need courage? Let’s figure it out:

  1. Self-development and self-realization is important for every person. But this process is inevitably associated with the fact that we have to take more responsibility, make difficult decisions, show ourselves in an unconventional way, learn new things and use the acquired skills in practice. And to make mistakes in the process, of course – they are inevitable. All this requires remarkable courage. After all, remember yourself at the university, when you first had to write a large academic paper. I had to overcome the fear of a blank sheet, the fear of supervisor being dissatisfied and many other fears in order to finish at least introduction. This is normal when you do something for the first time, especially what is entirely up to you. And that really needs courage. And courage is also needed to honestly look at your own shortcomings – the real development of the personality is impossible without it.
  2. Courage helps a lot in communication. Getting acquainted with a person you liked on the street or in a cafe, calling a new client at work for the first time and sometimes even just asking to pass money for the ride on a minibus – these tasks are not difficult for some people, but for others, for example, for introverts, they can be practically impossible. Often this deprives us of many opportunities: to establish personal life, to get promoted, to make new friends. And without this, life can lose its charm.
  3. It takes a great deal of courage to be in a close relationship. True intimacy implies vulnerability. In order to be yourself next to a person, to open your own “dark” side to him/her, to accept the “dark” side of a loved one, you often need to be able to cope with many fears – the fear of rejection, misunderstanding, the fear of loss or conflict.
  4. Sometimes courage is needed to solve basic life tasks. We have already mentioned the notorious fare for transport, and yet there are enough similar small tasks that require courage in our everyday life. Signing up for an appointment with a doctor, getting an interview, filling out necessary documents, asking a passerby the way on the street – these methods of communication may require overcoming your fears. But without it, we simply will not be able to live normally in the modern world, where communication plays a crucial role.
  5. Great courage is needed in order to be 100% yourself, to freely express yourself. It can be very difficult to propose a new idea at work, be creative in solving a problem, or even to just make a bold haircut if you are afraid of the opinions of others or “unnecessary” responsibility. But if a person does not overcome these fears, they would live with the feeling that they are not living own life, are not fully realized, pushing themselves into the background.
  6. A bright and eventful life and new impressions also require courage. After all, a person who cannot push they fears aside will never go on a trip, ride a roller coaster, climb a mountain or go deep-sea diving – they will lose the opportunity to fulfill their dreams. And the result will be a boring gray life and, of course, dissatisfaction with it and with themselves.

Courage does not mean not being afraid of anything, but it is always about an internal readiness to overcome one’s own fears, the ability to act despite them. [1] And fear is one of the main “brakes” of human development. Fear paralyzes, deprives of achievements, new knowledge, new impressions, pleasure from life.

When we make the decision to cast aside our fears and become bolder, life begins to change as if by magic. In fact, this change in your behavior allows you to achieve career and creative success, create close and fulfilled relationships, meet new people and get vivid impressions. Life becomes really full. As if earlier the picture of life was gray, but now it is finally painted with all the colors of the rainbow. You will not recognize yourself and your life in a few months after growing accustomed to showing braveness and courage.

In addition, courage gives an incomparable sense of pride in oneself, self- worth, and high self-assessment. And these feelings are very motivating for further achievements.

“I’ve been going with the flow all my life: school, college, boring office work. Partner I didn’t love who was “chosen” for me by parents – they said he is a good guy and that I shouldn’t miss my chance. I was even going to get married. And on the day when we brought the documents to the registry office, something seemed to click inside: I want to become brave! I thought: where is my life heading? I was a good girl all my life, afraid to make decisions; I did not dare to express my opinion – parents always decided everything for me. I was seriously afraid that I would never meet anyone better than my fiancé, that I would always be alone – and I was only 23 years old, the very beginning of my life! I was afraid to be left without education, without work, without house – who needed me, where would I go with my meager skills? Dreams of travel and creativity were pushed aside, and I already forgot that I once had them.

That day, I stopped my boyfriend literally in the middle of the road and said that I wouldn’t go anywhere with him – in any sense. The following week, I decisively quit my job. I used my holiday pay to buy paints and excitedly painted the next two weeks. And then I overcame my shyness, posted my works on social networks and the next day received the first order for an illustration.

My story is not like a fairy tale: I still have not met my “prince”, but only because I approach my relationships much more responsibly, I’m not afraid to grow old alone, and I don’t grab the first person I meet. I still don’t earn millions and haven’t traveled all over the world, but at least I’m doing what I love; I feel that I am developing every day and that I have prospects. Life finally started making sense. All I needed to do was to cast aside my fears and doubts and take the first step. Good thing I did it on time!”

– Anna, 25.

Consequences of cowardice

Consequences of cowardice

Cowardice seems a relatively “harmless” character trait, but in fact it has a lot of serious consequences:

  • people who can’t boast of courage often have a mental illness. They may suffer from increased anxiety, and this state can develop into an anxiety disorder. In addition, cowardice is almost always associated with low self-esteem, and from there it is not far to apathy, serious depression and even thoughts of suicide;
  • inability to overcome fear of communication leads to loneliness and even social isolation. Such people cannot build a strong family because of fear of close relations, they rarely have children – because this is a huge responsibility;
  • shyness and timidity are considered negative personality traits and therefore, often subjected to public condemnation;
  • shy people are often prone to cowardice: fear prevents them from being generous, sacrificial, selfless. Other people may suffer because of this. And, of course, such a person has less chance of strong friendships and team relations at work;
  • fear to take responsibility at work, prove oneself and be proactive often causes cowardly people to have a very low standard of living, and sometimes to lose their jobs altogether;
  • fear of self-expression leads to a feeling of unfulfilled, lost, wasted, and boring life;
  • cowardly people are usually overly dependent on the opinions of others. Because of this, they can fall under someone else’s bad influence: join a sect, become addicted to drugs, start gambling, and so on. This is especially true for adolescents and young people;
  • fear of asserting one’s rights can lead to financial losses, deterioration of the reputation, problems with the law and other most unexpected consequences;
  • finally, the fear of self-development and unwillingness to overcome it can lead to degradation of the personality.

How to become brave and courageous: 9 working methods

Modern psychology offers many ways to get rid of cowardice and fear. They work well if you use them regularly and in combination. Indeed, the development of these qualities is similar to the development of a habit: the brain needs time to form new neural connections and learn a new model of behavior.

We will share with you several ways how to overcome cowardice, and you just have to try them out for yourself, choose the most suitable ones and, finally, become a brave girl or a courageous man.

1. Improve your self-esteem

Often the cause of cowardice is self-doubt and low self-esteem. And then, even if you intentionally develop courage, the results will be much lower, because the reason is not eliminated. We recommend reading an article on how to increase self-esteem and become more self-confident  or take a course to modify the behavior with 7Spsy, aimed at solving this problem.

2. Start small

It’s better to start accustoming your brain to bold behavior with very small tests that are guaranteed to succeed. For example, go to a creative master class for beginners, memorize a poem and read it aloud to a loved one, take a new amusement ride or change the recipe for a familiar dish a little – it all depends on what you are afraid of. You can start with changes in appearance: buy a thing of an unusual style or in bright color or make an unusual manicure. That way you will gradually accustom your psyche to the fact that there is nothing wrong with this.

3. Prepare to overcome fear

When a person starts working as a sales manager or in a call center and is afraid to make the first call, he/she is usually advised to write verbatim phrases to start the conversation, or, even better – possible options for developing the conversation. That really makes sense. Firstly, the prepared script is a safety net in case the employee forgets what to say or the conversation goes in a wrong direction. And, secondly, preparation helps to tune in to overcome fear. When the person has already gone over the future conversation in their head, the brain believes that the frightening event has already taken place, which means there is nothing more to fear. As a result, the conversation is easier.

This advice applies to many areas of our lives where courage is required. Get ready whenever you can. [2]

4. Do not put off something frightening for later

Remember your student years. Have you ever wondered why excellent students have always passed exams in the top five? It’s not because they were so self-confident and not afraid of anything. Simply, the less time we spend on worries, the more resources we have directly for the task. Experienced winter bathers or parachute jumpers argue that it is easiest to decide on such an act if you turn off your thoughts and just take a step. And such brave people just cannot be wrong. If you worry over a frightening situation in your head for a long time, you won’t have any strength left to show courage. Sometimes you need to stop thinking about how to stop being a coward, but just go and do it, no matter how it sounds. And with each subsequent action, your courage will only grow. [1] Don’t indulge in procrastination. Act!

5. Do not forget about body language

We already wrote about this in the article about self-confidence and we will repeat again: our body is integral, internal and external are inextricably linked. The way we behave affects our sense of self. Imagine how a brave and courageous person you want to become would look like: direct posture, confident walking, wide gestures, direct look. Reproduce this manner, rehearse it in front of the mirror. Let it become a part of you – and internal changes will not take long. [3]

6. Visualize your desires

You probably have dreams that you are very afraid to fulfill. Make a list of them and hang them in a prominent place. Re-read it every morning and imagine how you fulfill these dreams in color. Imagine what you see, what you hear, how your skin feels, what feelings overwhelm you. You can even make a “wish list” – hang some pictures illustrating your dreams on the wall. Such a detailed “feeling” of your dreams will prepare the brain for their fulfillment, help you to worry less, inspire and motivate you to take particular actions.

7. Proceed step by step

“A journey a thousand miles long begins with the first step”. No matter how trite it may sound, it’s true. Ask yourself right now: “What can I do today to get closer to what I’m afraid of?” Identify the smallest step and take it immediately. Then identify the following one. So gradually you can change your whole life.

8. Start doing sports

Sports make you rise

This is really a very effective remedy in the fight against cowardice. Sports help become more confident, which is important on the way to courage. Sports make you rise above yourself every day, leave the comfort zone, try something new and reach new heights. This is what literally helps you become bold: by mastering self-defense skills or just becoming stronger, you would definitely stop being afraid of strong guys from the neighborhood. And to make the path to courage easier and more effective find a trainer who will support you and will not allow you to give up in moments of failure.

9. Take 7Spsy behavior modification course

If you still have not found the answer to the question of how to get rid of cowardice, it has most likely become a stable model of behavior, learned over the years, part of your personality. To defeat it, you need to identify the mindset that led to its development, and replace them with more positive one.

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7Spsy behavior modification technique is suited to it. It is a patented method of behavioral psychology based on the theories of famous psychologists I.P. Pavlov, B.F. Skinner, A.A. Ukhtomsky. Working using this method allows you to understand why you are using an ineffective behavior model, and replace it with a new, constructive one.

The 7Spsy behavior modification course begins with diagnosing the problem. It takes only 2-6 weeks: this time is enough to fix new mindset. Work is done remotely at a convenient time for you. During the course, you can always turn to a professional psychologist for support through online chat, by e-mail or by phone.

The result of using 7Spsy technique will be bold behavior – the ability to courageously cope with your fears. And that means a completely new life: bright, filled with meaning, achievements and victories, beloved people and new experiences. It is definitely worth learning to overcome your fears.

References:

  1. Brendon Berchard, «Put vydaiushchikhsia liudei. Ubezhdeniia, printsipy, privychki».
  2. Mendi Kholgeit, «Pobedi svoi strakh. Kak izbavitsia ot negativnykh ustanovok i dobitsia uspekha».
  3. Elis Miuir, «Uverennost v sebe. Kniga dlia raboty nad soboi».