Miriam Webster defines courage as the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. Mark Twain defined courage as the resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear and Maya Angelou says courage is, “the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”How often in your lives are you faced with situations that require an inherent courage that often you don’t know if you have? It happens all the time, in everyday situations at work, in your personal relationships and even with your own internal struggles. It’s not unusual to have to call upon that virtue when dealing with any number of situations. Have there been times in your life when you yearned for more courage; courage to attempt the things that you’ve only dreamt of accomplishing?
So, if Dale Carnegie were alive today, what advice would he give you about finding your inner courage? He would tell you that there are 5 short rules about courage. If you follow these rules, Mr. Carnegie himself would guarantee that they will increase your share of fortitude, allowing you to call upon that inner courage that exists within us all. Here are the rules of courage by Dale Carnegie:
- Act as if you are courageous. This makes you a bit braver, as if one part of you has been challenged and wishes to show it is not wholly afraid.
- Pause to reflect that others have had to face great discouragements and great obstacles and have overcome them. And what others have done, surely you can do.
- Remember that your life forces move in a sort of rhythm. If you feel depressed and without power to face life, you may be at the bottom of the trough. If you keep up your courage, you will swing out of it, using the very forces that at the moment are sucking you down.
- Remember you feel more defeated and downcast at night than during the daylight hours. Courage comes with the sun.
- Courage is the measure of a big soul. Try your best to measure up.
So the next time you’re faced with an uncomfortable situation that you don’t know if you’re equipped to handle, just remember Dale Carnegie’s five simple rules about courage. You’ll find you have more fortitude than you thought and can accomplish anything to which you set your mind and your soul. In a world where risk, challenge, competition, and change go hand-in-hand, self confidence is the competitive edge. Stretching your comfort zone is important in life because, outside of that comfort zone is where your greatest opportunities are waiting. When self-doubt starts to overcome you, remember the words of Walt Disney who said, “All your dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”