Nine Ways to Become Bolder

Jun 05, 2019

“It is very embarrassing to tell my story, but I’ll say it as it is. I am a real coward in life. In childhood I was already a timid and shy boy, I could not fight back, I was afraid to fight, and because of this, my classmates constantly bullied me. I’ve never been involved in sport, I was a classic nerd – and it has remained so. Nothing has changed either in the institute or in adulthood. I can still stumble upon some bad guys coming home late at night. They don’t touch me, of course, now I look like a normal adult man. But I seem to attract them and yes, I’m still afraid. My character is completely unmasculine. And I was always embarrassed to meet girls, I don’t understand how my wife even appeared.  Well, in everyday life, my cowardice does not help much. I only dream of high positions, I’m afraid to make mistakes or to take responsibility. I’m even afraid to have children, although my wife wants them. In short, I urgently need to take my life into my own hands, otherwise I will remain a nobody. I would love to understand how to become bolder and more self-confident”.

– Victor, 33.

There is probably no person who is unafraid of anything. Each of us has our different phobias – for example, fear of heights, insects, dentists or confined spaces. And, of course, almost any person will be worried before doing something for the first time – for example, speaking in public. This is perfectly normal and being fearful is not equal to cowardice. The latter can only be mentioned if a person cannot overcome their fear, even for the sake of their own health or success.

Cowardice can greatly embitter one’s life and it has many consequences. These include failures in business or difficulties in personal life, low self-esteem and even depression. In order to be successful and happy, each person needs to learn to cope with their fears, to get over them and be bolder.

In this article we will discuss what cowardice can lead to, why courage is so important, and we will share some ways to get rid of natural cowardice and become a braver person.

Important note: developing courage is not equal to getting rid of fears. Fear is a congenital or acquired reaction of the psyche to a threat, real or imaginary. But courage or cowardice is first and foremost our choice. These qualities are closely related to the volitional sphere. In order to perform an action in spite of your fear, you need to make a conscious decision. If you do not suffer from excessive shyness in general, but have a phobia that poisons your life, we recommend reading our article on how to deal with fears.

Contents:

  1. Why it is important to be brave
  2. Consequences of cowardice
  3. How to become brave and courageous: Nine working methods
  • Improve your self-esteem
  • Start small
  • Prepare to overcome fear
  • Do not put off something frightening for later
  • Do not forget about body language
  • Visualize your desires
  • Proceed step by step
  • Start doing sports
  • Take the 7Spsy behavior modification course

Why it is important to be brave

For many of us there is a stereotype related to braveness and courage in that these qualities are needed only in extreme situations, for example, when it is necessary to save someone’s life. That is, the manifestation of courage is equal to a feat. You must admit that we do not get into such circumstances every day. Why, then, do we need courage? Let’s figure it out:

  1. Self-development and self-realization are important for every person. But this process is inevitably associated with the facts that we have to take more responsibility and make difficult decisions. We would like to show ourselves in an unconventional way, learn new things and use the acquired skills in practice. We will make mistakes in the process, of course – they are inevitable. All this requires remarkable courage. After all, remember yourself at university, when you first had to write a long academic paper. You had to overcome the fear of a blank sheet, the fear of the supervisor being dissatisfied and many other fears in order to finish even the introduction. This is normal when you do something for the first time, especially when it is entirely up to you. This really does need courage. And courage is also needed to honestly look at your own shortcomings – the real development of the personality is impossible without it.
  2. Courage helps a lot in communication. Getting acquainted with a person you liked on the street or in a cafe, calling a new client at work for the first time and even just asking to pass money for the ride on a minibus – these tasks may not seem difficult, but for some introverted people, they can be practically impossible. Often this trepidation deprives us of many opportunities such as establishing a personal life, getting promoted and making new friends. And without these, life can lose its charm.
  3. It takes a great deal of courage to be in a close relationship for true intimacy implies vulnerability. In order to be yourself next to a special person you need to open your own “dark” side to him/her and accept their “dark” side. You often need to be able to cope with many fears – the fear of rejection, misunderstanding, the fear of loss or conflict.
  4. Sometimes courage is needed to solve basic life tasks. We have already mentioned the notorious fare for public transport, and yet there are enough similar small tasks that require courage in our everyday lives. Signing up for an appointment with the doctor, attending an interview, filling out necessary documents, asking a passerby the way on the street – all of these methods of communication may require overcoming your fears. Without overcoming them, we would simply not be able to live normally in the modern world, where communication plays a crucial role.
  5. Great courage is needed in order to be one hundred percent yourself and to be able to freely express yourself. It can be very difficult to propose a new idea at work, be creative in solving a problem, or even to just get a bold haircut if you are afraid of the opinions of others or “unnecessary” responsibilities. But if a person does not overcome these fears, they would have to live with the feeling that they are not living their own life, are not fully functioning and they are pushing themselves into the background.
  6. A bright and eventful life and new experiences also require courage. After all, a person who cannot push their fears aside will never go on a trip, ride a roller coaster, climb a mountain, or go deep-sea diving – they will lose the opportunities to fulfill their dreams. The result would be a boring gray life and, of course, dissatisfaction with it and with oneself.

Courage does not mean being unafraid of anything, but it is always about an internal readiness to overcome one’s own fears and have the ability to act despite them. [1] Fear is one of the main “brakes” of human development. Fear paralyzes and deprives us of achievements, new knowledge, new impressions and the pleasures from life.

When we make the decision to cast aside our fears and become bolder, life begins to change as if by magic. In fact, this change in your behavior will allow you to achieve career and creative success, create close and fulfilled relationships, meet new people, and form vivid impressions. Life becomes really full. If earlier the picture of life was gray, now it is finally painted with all the colors of the rainbow. You will not recognize yourself and your life within a few months, after growing accustomed to showing braveness and courage.

In addition, the accumulation of courage gives an incomparable sense of pride in oneself, self- worth, and high self-assessment. These feelings are very motivating for further achievements.

“I’ve been going with the flow all my life, at school, college and a boring office job. I had a partner I didn’t love who was “chosen” for me by parents – they said he is a good guy and that I shouldn’t miss my chance. I was even going to get married. But on the day when we brought the documents to the registry office, something seemed to click inside. I wanted to become brave! I thought: where is my life heading? I had been a good girl all my life, afraid to make decisions and I did not dare to express my opinion. My parents always decided everything for me. I was seriously afraid that I would never meet anyone other than my fiancé, that I would always be alone – and I was only 23 years old, at the very beginning of my life! I was afraid to be left without education, without work, without a house. Who needed me? Where would I go with my meager skills? Dreams of travel and creativity were pushed aside, and I already forgotten that I once had them.

That day, I stopped my boyfriend literally in the middle of the road and said that I wouldn’t go anywhere else with him – in any sense. The following week, I decisively quit my job. I used my holiday pay to buy paints and excitedly painted the for next two weeks. And then I overcame my shyness and posted my work on social networks and the next day received the first order for an illustration.

My story is not like a fairy tale. I still have not met my “prince”, but only because I approach my relationships much more responsibly, I’m not afraid to grow old alone, and I don’t grab at the first person I meet. I still don’t earn millions and haven’t traveled all over the world, but at least I’m doing what I love. I feel that I am developing every day and that I have prospects. Life has finally started to make sense. All I needed to do was to cast aside my fears and doubts and take the first step. Good thing I did it before it was too late!”

– Anna, 25.

Consequences of cowardice

Cowardice seems a relatively “harmless” character trait, but in fact it has a lot of serious consequences:

  • people who can’t boast of courage often have a mental illness. They may suffer from increased anxiety, and this state can develop into an anxiety disorder. In addition, cowardice is almost always associated with low self-esteem, and from there it is not far to apathy, serious depression and even thoughts of suicide
  • inability to overcome fear of communication leads to loneliness and even social isolation. Such people cannot build a strong family because of a fear of close relationships, they rarely have children – because this is a huge responsibility
  • shyness and timidity are considered negative personality traits and are therefore, often subjected to public condemnation
  • shy people are often prone to cowardice: fear prevents them from being generous, sacrificial and selfless. Other people may suffer because of this. And, of course, such a person has less chance of strong friendships and good team relations at work
  • a fear of taking responsibility at work, a lack of a desire to prove oneself and to be proactive often causes cowardly people to have a very low standard of living, and sometimes to lose their jobs altogether
  • fear of self-expression leads to a feeling of an unfulfilled, lost, wasted, and boring life
  • cowardly people are usually overly dependent on the opinions of others. Because of this, they can fall under someone else’s bad influence: join a sect, become addicted to drugs, start gambling, and so on. This is especially true for adolescents and young people
  • fear of asserting one’s rights can lead to financial losses, deterioration of one’s reputation, problems with the law and other unexpected consequences
  • finally, the fear of self-development and unwillingness to overcome it can lead to degradation of the personality.

How to become brave and courageous: Nine working methods

Modern psychology offers many ways to get rid of cowardice and fear. They work well if you use them regularly and in combination. Indeed, the development of these qualities is similar to the development of a habit: the brain needs time to form new neural connections and learn a new model of behavior.

We will share with you several ways in which to overcome cowardice, and you just have to try them out for yourself, choose the most suitable ones and, finally, become a brave woman or a courageous man.

  1. Improve your self-esteem

Often the cause of cowardice is self-doubt and low self-esteem. And then, even if you intentionally develop courage, the results will be much lower, because the reason has not been eliminated. We recommend reading an article on how to increase self-esteem and become more self-confident or take a course to modify the behavior with 7Spsy, aimed at solving this problem.

  1. Start small

It’s better to start accustoming your brain to bold behavior with very small tests that are guaranteed to succeed. For example, go to a creative class for beginners, memorize a poem and read it aloud to a loved one, take a new amusement ride or change the recipe for a familiar dish a little – it all depends on what you are afraid of. You can start with changes in appearance. Why not buy a thing of an unusual style or in a bright color or make an unusual manicure? That way you will gradually accustom your psyche to the fact that there is nothing wrong with change.

  1. Prepare to overcome fear

When a person starts working as a sales manager or in a call center and is afraid to make the first call, he/she is usually advised to write verbatim phrases to start the conversation and also possible options for developing it. That makes a lot of sense. Firstly, the prepared script is a safety net in case the employee forgets what to say or the conversation goes in the wrong direction. And, secondly, preparation helps to tune in and overcome fear. When the employee has already gone over the future conversation in their head, the brain believes that the frightening event has already taken place, which means there is nothing more to fear. As a result, the conversation is easier.

This advice applies to many areas of our lives where courage is required. Be prepared whenever you can. [2]

  1. Do not put off something frightening for later

Remember your student years. Have you ever wondered why excellent students always passed exams in the top five positions? It’s not because they were so self-confident and not afraid of anything. Simply, the less time we spend on worries means the more resources we have directly for the task. Experienced winter bathers or parachute jumpers argue that it is easiest to decide on a daring act if you turn off your thoughts and just take the step. And such brave people just cannot be wrong. If you worry over a frightening situation in your head for a long time, you won’t have any strength left to show courage. Sometimes you need to stop thinking about how to stop being a coward, but just go and do the courageous thing, no matter how it sounds. And with each subsequent action, your courage will only grow. [1] Don’t indulge in procrastination. Act!

  1. Do not forget about body language

We already wrote about this in the article about self-confidence and we will repeat it again. Our body is integral for the internal and external are inextricably linked. The way we behave affects our sense of self. Imagine how the brave and courageous person you want to be would look. He/she would have direct posture, a confident walk, wide gestures and a direct look. Reproduce these  mannerisms and rehearse them in front of the mirror. Let them become a part of you – and internal changes will not take long. [3]

  1. Visualize your desires

You probably have dreams that you are very afraid to fulfill. Make a list of them and hang them in a prominent place. Re-read the list every morning and imagine how you will fulfill these dreams in color. Imagine what you see, what you hear, how your skin feels and what feelings overwhelm you. You can even make a “wish list” – hang some pictures illustrating your dreams on the wall. Such a detailed “feeling” of your dreams will prepare the brain for their fulfillment, help you to worry less, inspire you and motivate you to take action.

  1. Proceed step by step

“A journey a thousand miles long begins with the first step”. No matter how trite it may sound, it is true. Ask yourself right now: “What can I do today to get closer to what I’m afraid of?” Identify the smallest step and take it immediately. Then identify the next one. Thus gradually you can change your whole life.

  1. Start doing sports

This is really a very effective remedy in the fight against cowardice. Sports help you to become more confident, which is important on the way to gaining courage. Sports make you rise above yourself every day, leave your comfort zone, try something new and reach new heights. You can help yourself to become bolder by mastering self-defense skills or just becoming stronger – you would definitely stop being afraid of tough guys from the neighborhood. To make the path to courage easier and more effective find a trainer who will support you and will not allow you to give up in moments of doubt.

  1. Take 7Spsy behavior modification course

If you still have not found the answer to the question of how to get rid of cowardice, it has most likely become a stable model of your behavior, learned over the years and an integral part of your personality. To defeat it, you need to identify the mindset that led to its development and replace this with a more positive one.

The 7Spsy behavior modification technique is uniquely suited to this. It is a patented method of behavioral psychology based on the theories of famous psychologists I.P. Pavlov, B.F. Skinner and A.A. Ukhtomsky. Working using this method allows you to understand why you are using an ineffective behavior model, and replace it with a new, constructive one.

The 7Spsy behavior modification course begins with diagnosing the problem. It takes only 2-6 weeks, enough time to fix a new mindset. Work is done remotely at a convenient time for you. During the course, you can turn to a professional psychologist for support through online chat, by e-mail or by phone.

The result of using 7Spsy technique will be bold behavior – the ability to courageously cope with your fears. And that means a completely new life, one that is bright, filled with meaning, achievements and victories, beloved people, and new experiences. It is definitely worth learning to overcome your fears.

Information from this website cannot be used for self-therapy and self-diagnostics. 

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