10 Oct Future Entrepreneurs: Screw Your Courage
“But screw your courage to the sticking-place, and we’ll not fail.” William Shakespeare, Macbeth
7 tips to find courage for tough conversations
Yes, we all have courage. Now is the time to nurture it. Just as an athlete trains and strengthens his or her muscles before an event or marathon, the more we practice being courageous, the easier it comes naturally.
We have more headlines this week of avoidance and gas lighting: Donald Trump is facing an impeachment inquiry in the House because of his request to the Ukrainian government. Trump cut off military aid to the Ukraine and the asks that they investigate Mr. Biden in order to receive that aid. Now Trump is avoiding having the impeachment conversation with the House and the American people. That’s not leading by good example.
I wish that we could all cultivate more courage. Courage is never bravado, recklessness or diffidence. A courageous conversation means speaking from the heart, being sensitive to the other person and being willing to listen. This all takes guts. The following steps will help you to reach beyond your comfort zone and make progress:
1. Name your fears
Lean in for a closer look at what’s making you anxious. Be specific. Identify what the fear is – for example, it might be of rejection, embarrassment or being uncomfortable by adding a mistake. Become aware of how your fears become smaller when you understand them.
2. Connect with your courage
Look back at the times in your life when you’ve shown some strength. Did you give a great pitch, presentation, or performance? Identify what helped you in the past, to see what strategies you can apply to your current situation.
Take out your playbook/note taking app or journal. Set your timer and rush write for 5 minutes about your fear and 10 minutes about your courage. If it takes longer on either topic that’s OK too. You’re close to shining through.
3. Consider your options
Think through the risks and benefits of having the conversation and staying silent. Let yourself sleep on the decision. Become clear about your reasons for talking – or not talking.
4. Build a bridge
Reflect on how you can “meet” the other person where they are. An introvert will benefit from time to gather their thoughts before speaking. An extrovert needs to talk to work out what they think. Ask a friend or colleague to listen to your ideas or practice run. Flex your style to adapt to theirs.
5. Speak from the heart
Take some quiet time. Unplug and be with your thoughts, hopes and fears. Hear what the courageous part of you has to say. Listen to this voice of wisdom inside. Ask questions and let it speak without judging or rejecting. Embrace the messages that it brings.
6. Take action
Decide what your next move is. Get a calendar, set a deadline and just do it. Ask someone to check with you later that you’ve done it. Use the power of your imagination to visualize yourself taking action as you’d like it to happen IRL.
7. Rinse & repeat
Connect these smart moves and communication exercises with your newfound courage:
You’ll be heading in a new direction in no time and we’ll be cheering you on!
(Yes, I’m an English major, and it’s a legendary Shakespeare quote. Thanks for playing along.)
Thanks for reading and we welcome your comments below.
Akasha Garnier for #TheWishwall
Author, Brand Expert, Filmmaker
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