How To Live Life Courageously (5 Ways)
Ralph Waldo Emerson said that “fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.”
Some fears, of course, are perfectly normal; they keep us human. Others are bad. They tell us, “you can’t, it is impossible, don’t, it’s too risky.” Toxic fear stops us from pursuing our dreams, achieving our goals and becoming the best versions of ourselves.
People make the mistake of trying to avoid or get rid of fear. However, what this does is only to fuels anxiety. When they do this, they start worrying about worrying. Meanwhile, they, remain stuck.
Instead, your goal should be to take action to free yourself from the control fear have over you. This takes courage, is about moving forward despite how scared you are.
Living courageously is about shifting your focus away from attempting to stop being afraid to pursuing a full and meaningful life alongside of fear.
Here is how you can go about it:
Define Your Core Values.
This is the first step in living courageously – the fundamental life principles that you must hold most dearly so as to give your life meaning and direction. Values might include love, belongingness, achievement, adventure, competition, etc.
Being aware of your core values and living by them gives you the confidence to say no to fear and yes to living a more fulfilled life — you very aware of who you are, know your priority, what is important to in your life, and where you are going.
For instance, if one of your values is honesty, you will not be scared to share your deepest feelings and concerns with your spouse or partner even though you fear it might lead to conflict.
“Living true to your values is really about living true to yourself.”
Live in the Present.
Fear is a very strong emotion because it lives in our imagination. It creates negative images in your, showing you pictures of a future that doesn’t exist. Wallowing in this fear is what keeps us stuck.
To overcome the power of fear, you need to focus on what is now — the present moment. It’s important to experience the present because it is actually what prepares us for the future. This is the essence of mindfulness, which actually means that you have to pay attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment. You have to do this without being judgmental.
When we live in the present, something extraordinary happens in your life. You overcome anxiety giving it no space in your life and you become aware of possibilities that you would have been blind to if you were worrying about the future.
Living fully present and mindfully is a simple yet challenging practice. It is counter that wakes you up in the morning to check email, find out how many things can be achieved in a day and so this requires intentional, daily practice and cultivation. If you are having trouble doing this, here is an exercise to get you started.
First, sit in a position you are comfortable with, then you close your eyes. Take a deep breath for four seconds and exhale through your nose for another four seconds. Pay attention to the sound of your breath, try to listen and be aware of the rising and falling sound of your stomach. Thoughts will enter your mind but as they do notice them and release them by bringing your focus back to your breath.
The aim of this exercise is not to empty your mind of your thoughts and worries but rather to bring your awareness back to your breath as thoughts and feelings arise.
Practice this for 15 minutes a day and improve on your notice an increase of your attention on your breath over the weeks. What else do you notice? You will see yourself become aware of everything that happens in your life. You learn to live mindfully and be present.
Be compassionate to you.
Fear makes us become afraid. In situations like this, you have to be kind to yourself. Acknowledge that it is naturally normal to feel fear. That is why we are humans.
When you have trained yourself to be mindful of your thoughts, you can become aware of your fear and be able to handle them healthily. This is possible because you will now become aware that fear is that emotion that we cannot get rid of all our lives.
There are times that fear will succeed in making decisions for you. When this happens, you should also recognize this and not be harsh on yourself. When you fail, the experience should refine you and not define you. Your experiences from failure should make you become a better person and nothing less.
Successful people will always tell you that failures makes up part of your success stories. Facing this fact and coming to terms with it will really help you move forward in your life.
Draw Upon Past Success.
They are times that you will be faced with situations that strike up anxiety even when you have been successful with it in the past. When situations like this arise, remind yourself that you have been through this before and there is every possibility that you can win again.
A simple mantra you can recite to boost your moral is “I’ve been here, I’ve done this, and I can do it now.”
This mantra can really help you overcome these anxious moments so that you come out successful again. It is about improving on your performance anytime it matters most.
Surround Yourself With Compassionate People.
Even at the time you are scared in your life, you don’t need negative people around you. What you need are compassionate people and people that are supportive.
It is very necessary so as to get over this stage. These people can be your friend, family members or even your therapist. It helps to know that you have someone willing to listen to you.
Make an effort to spend time with these people. This is because they can be of immeasurable help in dealing with your fears and anxieties. Even when you are alone, ensure that you stay away from negative people. These people will suck out the positivity in you and any chance that you might muster up the energy to take action.
You need people that will help you build your life and not people that will pull you down.
There are some fears in your life that you can learn to overcome and outgrow. There are also those that stick to you for the rest of your life. But with these tips as mentioned in this article, you should be able to handle them healthily or at least live harmoniously with them without your fears hampering your life’s development and deterring your growth.