Why courage is an essential part of knowing that, no matter what happens, ‘I’ve got this!’
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it” – Nelson Mandela
Taking action is vital to being able to articulate and share your value, achieve your goals, and ultimately, for career progression. Every time you take action, you acquire more information and clarity around what works and what does not. When you start to understand and work on your relationship with courage and confidence, you will be more inclined to take small Acts of Confidence and feel resourced to achieve your goals.
Taking the right action.
Firstly, it’s essential to acknowledge that not all action is created equal – you either take:
- Safe action, or
- Courageous action
Do you lean towards the easy option? The one that’s less risky? Or perhaps it just seems more logical? Playing safe may be the easier, less risky option, but it also keeps you small. When you choose the smaller, safer goals, you risk not living up to your full potential and achieving all you can.
When you act courageously, you are willing to be curious and inclined to take on challenges even when failure is possible. Yes, there is more risk involved, but rather than shrinking from the possibility of failure, you see the potential for learning as greater than the threat of failing. You are consistent in your actions because you are focused on improving yourself and your capabilities.
What stops you from taking courageous action? What stops you from being your bravest self?
The first step to undertaking courageous action is starting to observe and define the roadblocks in your way. Ask yourself:
- Where am I playing small and safe?
- What am I afraid of?
- Where could I do or say more and step beyond my ‘safe goals’?
There are some particular barriers to courageous action that come up time and time again when we work with women like you.
Fear of failure.
Fear often hijacks your ability to think clearly; you’re so worried you will get it wrong and be judged – or even worse, publically shamed, that it’s easier to withdraw or set one of those smaller, safer goals. The first step is to become aware of your underlying fears – they might present as procrastination or excuses for why taking that action is not a good idea. Then you take action – one small step and test it out – what is the worst that could happen? It is highly likely that once you calibrate the fear, the roadblock becomes a speed bump, and you are more willing to step into the discomfort and give it a go.
Addressing your underlying worries and fears is a total game-changer – once you know what you are dealing with, the intensity subsides. Unpacking your relationship with fear and failure and recognising where you are letting it get in the way helps to reframe your mindset. This strengthens your relationship with confidence and propels you towards courageous action.
Are you prone to procrastination? Many of us use procrastination as a technique to avoid facing our fears – and this paired with indecision often overrides taking action. When you are in this state, you tend to feel stuck and unsure of yourself. It might be amplified by the voice in your head that makes you fearful of the consequences of making a mistake. (That inner critic can be loud and creates a vicious cycle!)
But we know the Act of Confidence comes before the feeling. And waiting to feel ‘ready’ is not a useful strategy – because ‘ready’ rarely ever comes! Procrastination is what keeps you from going after ambitious stretch goals. Leaning into courageous action will help reestablish your relationship with confidence, increase your visibility in the workplace, and open up a new world of possibilities and opportunities.
Now’s the time to act – taking imperfect action
Each time you’re willing to take courageous action (and our recommendation is to take imperfect action early), the more you learn and the more you know for the future. This knowledge and insight enables you to show up with more courage next time. We encourage (pun intended!) you to start taking small acts of confidence today; to test and learn as you go. We’ve seen the way imperfect action opens doors, the way it leads to exciting opportunities and experiences and how it expands your mindset and capacity, which leads to greater choice and freedom!
So what are you waiting for?
The upside is totally worth it – we can help you access your full potential and step into your power! If you want to make 2022 the year you create new opportunities and achieve the career you deserve, download the FREE chapter on Face Fear from our book, Core Confidence and start looking for places to take courageous action.
“Lean into imperfect action and unpack what’s really going on .. this will enable and encourage courageous action and staircase your way to Core Confidence” – Kate Boorer