“Courage” is one of the first words we learn as children. Each child is explained that brave children are not afraid of injections, they confidently go to the dentist’s office and do not throw tantrums when they first stay in kindergarten or first grade. Courage is taught to children as an important virtue. However, even having matured, not everyone correctly understands the meaning of this word. Today we will talk about what courage is, what it depends on, what it is for and how it manifests itself, and also find out how to develop it.
What is courage?
Courage is a character trait that consists in the ability to overcome fear, to maintain composure, to act decisively and unshakably in conditions of danger and uncertainty. It helps a person to take risky and dangerous actions for him, provided that in a particular situation the risk is justified.
It is worth mentioning such concepts as “courage” and “courage”, which are often used as synonyms for the word “courage”. However, they should not be identified, since their meanings differ significantly. Their main distinguishing features are as follows:
- courage characterizes the psycho-emotional stability of a person, his ability to resist fear, remain calm and self-control in conditions of increased danger;
- courage characterizes a person’s reaction to danger, the ability to consciously take risks and take specific decisive actions;
- courage is a complex quality that combines courage, courage and a number of other character traits.
In real life, courage manifests itself in such features of behavior as initiative, adherence to principles and self-control. In addition, a courageous person never displays such traits as cowardice, cowardice, or opportunism. Also, he is not inclined to lie and be hypocritical.
It is important to understand that courage is not the absence of fear. Fear is inherent in every person, since this is a state dictated by the instinct of self-preservation, and in one form or another it is characteristic of every living being. Courage is the ability to deal with fear, control emotions, and act decisively and judiciously under all circumstances.
Examples of showing courage
Of course, it is impossible to list all the situations in life in which courage manifests itself. But to form a common understanding of what courage is and how it manifests itself, here are a few examples:
- Extreme situations. In real life, not everything and does not always go according to plan. The simplest example of an extreme situation that almost everyone has experienced is a stuck elevator. To some, this will seem ridiculous, nevertheless, there are often people who start to panic in a stuck elevator, making an unpleasant impression on those who were trapped there with them. There are also more dangerous situations in which courage helps a person maintain self-control, save himself and others.
- Career. Courage and initiative allow you to become more successful in your professional activity and quickly move up the career ladder.
- Patriotic actions. Most people have more or less patriotism. But in order for it to manifest itself in a critical situation, it also takes courage.
- Helping those in need. Sometimes people pretend not to notice how someone needs their help. And the reason is usually not unwillingness to help, but ordinary fear – fear that it will not be possible to help normally or that others will somehow look wrong. A brave person will not pass by, because he is not afraid to look stupid, even if something goes wrong.
- Self-expression. You’ve probably noticed that some people are not ashamed to be themselves, not worrying about how they look in the eyes of others. They put on things that they like, get tattoos, wear unusual jewelry, participate in various amateur activities and find many more ways to stand out from the crowd, without fear of being misunderstood.
- Personal relationships. It takes courage to confess your feelings or just suggest going out together. Even in friendships, the proactive and courageous person usually determines how friends will spend their time.
- Creation. Many people do not engage in creative activities, despite having talent, because they are afraid that the results of their efforts will only cause ridicule. But almost all famous geniuses were also not sure of success, and yet they had the courage to create and demonstrate their creativity to others.
What does courage depend on?
In fact, two factors are decisive: the type of temperament and upbringing. Psychologists note that in case of danger, melancholic people tend to flee, while choleric people prefer attack. Phlegmatic people can fall into a stupor, but sanguine people usually show the most meaningful reaction. But subject to proper upbringing, the owner of any type of temperament can safely react to dangerous situations.
Proper upbringing implies that parents show their child through personal example that any trouble can be dealt with by making efforts in the right direction. In addition, the child’s initiative must not be suppressed. And even if this time it led to undesirable consequences, you just need to explain to him that troubles happen to everyone. In this case, he will have a much better chance of growing decisive and courageous.
Even one single unpleasant situation that happened to a child can negatively affect his courage in adulthood. For example, if he tried to act bravely and repulse the offenders, but as a result he suffered even more, and in addition, the educators and even the parents considered that he was to blame for this situation. Such a strong shock may be enough for him to always choose a meek strategy of behavior in the future.
What is courage for?
Many people perceive courage as a character trait that only really shows up in extreme situations. For example, if the lives of other people are in danger, a brave person can perform a feat and save everyone. However, in everyday life, courage is often necessary in order to adequately behave in certain situations. In particular, courage provides opportunities and benefits such as:
- Free communication. Our whole life depends on how easy it is for us to socialize. And the more successful will be the one who can easily talk to a stranger in order to ask about something or get to know him. Even when dealing with familiar people, courage is useful. For example, one guy might be afraid to ask a girl they know out on a date and another will do it instead.
- Self-realization. Each person dreams of finding his vocation and reaching heights in a certain field of activity. However, in most cases, the path to successful self-realization is very thorny. It implies that a person will make difficult decisions, take responsibility, make mistakes and admit their mistakes, constantly improve and learn something new. All of this takes courage, and it is the lack of it that prevents the majority from realizing their full potential.
- The ability to be yourself. As a part of society, any person is guided by generally accepted moral norms, fearing to do something for which others may condemn him. But brave people express themselves more freely, without fear of judgment. This allows them to be themselves, generate unusual ideas, apply creative approaches, achieving outstanding success in work and other areas of life.
- Close relations. True rapprochement with another person implies total openness, which means vulnerability. Not everyone can decide to reveal to a dear person all the “dark” secrets of their past. Those who are brave enough for this can get in return the closest relationship that can be.
- A busy life. Experimenting, adventuring, traveling, hiking, even simple amusement park rides – it all takes courage. Of course, you can live your life without much of it. But a person for whom the biggest adventure was a vacation on a Turkish beach will always be jealous of someone who can tell how he scuba dived, went to the mountains and jumped with a parachute.
How to develop courage?
As we explained above, courage depends on two factors: temperament and upbringing. However, this does not mean that an adult cannot develop this character trait in himself. Our brains retain the ability to learn and form new patterns of behavior. Thanks to this, courage can also be developed with a few simple tips.
1. Always be bold where it’s easy
Treat courage as a healthy habit that should manifest itself everywhere and in everything. It is also important in the little things that you may not have attached much importance to before. Think about what usually scares you and overcome your fear. For example, if you are afraid of some attraction in the park, take a ride on it, and if you are afraid to cross the river over a narrow bridge, walk on it more often.
If you find it difficult to communicate with strangers, often put yourself in a situation where you have to contact them with any questions or requests. You can also sign up for some courses or go to a conference, be sure to ask questions there. Perhaps the time has come for a change in the image, and it’s not just about clothes. Guys can do a bold hairstyle, dye their hair and grow a beard, while girls can switch to new cosmetics and get an unusual manicure.
2. Never put off what scares you.
Excessive experiences drain the psyche and do not temper at all. If you delay for a long time with a case that scares you, this does not mean that you will be “mentally prepared” and it will be easier for you. Quite the opposite – such procrastination only increases fear. And the sooner you get down to business, the sooner you will realize that it is not so scary, and the less time you will spend worrying.
You probably know that there are always students taking exams who want to be in the top five. They do this precisely because they know how easy and pleasant it is to quickly go through a test that scares them no less than other students.
The less time a person spends on meaningless experiences, the more psycho-emotional energy he saves to solve the problem. There are a lot of situations in which this tactic is useful – from jumping with a parachute to plunging into an ice hole. By accustoming yourself to act quickly in any exciting circumstances, you will become more decisive in all matters.
3. Control your body
While many psychologists are skeptical about this approach, it certainly doesn’t hurt. Begin to carefully monitor your body position and movements. Remind yourself regularly to straighten your shoulders and raise your head, look straight, and control your posture and gait.
If you have a bad idea of how you look from the side – rehearse all the movements and gestures in front of the mirror. You must look and behave confidently, and your psyche will soon come to terms with the new manners and movements.
4. Prepare for what scares you
This is not about “preparing mentally” – by doing this you will only “wind up” yourself more. For example, if you are intimidated by talking to your boss about a vacation or a promotion, try to prepare more thoroughly for it. Think over your arguments and wording, write them down on paper and choose the most successful ones. Now, knowing that you have the verbal preparation for a serious conversation, it will be much easier to decide on it.
5. Start playing sports
Exercising is a great way to build self-esteem and become more confident and assertive. Every sport is a small step out of your comfort zone, which also fosters determination and courage. In addition, having felt a noticeable improvement in their physical fitness, any person becomes noticeably bolder, because he knows that if something happens he will be able to stand up for himself.
We need courage more often than we are used to thinking. She helps in personal and social life, career, creativity and self-realization. That is why it is so important to develop it. And any person, deciding to write more boldly and purposefully applying efforts to this, will soon feel that his life has become more eventful and vibrant in all its spheres.