How to have more Courage in Life

Zilvold Coaching & Training Blog Courage
8 min read

Summary: Do you do have to do something challenging today? A presentation, an important conversation? Do you have a difficult challenge that you are afraid of? This article is about courage, how you can find courage and how you can develop it.

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“That was courageous of you, Freek.”

This is what the facilitator of a Masterclass said, which I recently completed. I had a hard time with the exercises and struggled so much that other participants sympathized with me. The techniques were new to me and it took me a lot of effort to apply them successfully.

By the end of the last day of the Masterclass we would do one more exercise. “Who wants to lead this conversation?” the facilitator asked. Without hesitation I heard myself say “I!” That was remarkable considering my struggle earlier. I decided to lead the conversation out of ignorance. This gave me a lot of peace and confidence. The conversation went so well that the other participants (also) wondered what had happened.

It was easier to have someone else lead the conversation. I needed to do it alone, without interventions. Maybe it was brave. For me it just felt good at that challenging moment.

You will certainly also have challenging moments every day: talk to an (impatient and demanding) customer, give a presentation or have an unpleasant conversation with a colleague. This article is about courage. How do find more courage and how can you develop it?

I have written about self-confidence before. In this article I give you techniques for more self-confidence.

The Path of the heart

Courage is different from self-confidence. Courage comes from the Latin word “cor” which means “heart”. Perhaps this is what courage is: your heart. I felt connected to myself when I committed to lead the conversation on the last day of the Masterclass. Fear (to fail) disappeared when I felt connected to myself.
Steve Pavlina calls this in his book “Personal Development for Smart People”: The Path of the Heart. If you follow the path of your heart, then you have more courage, then you are happier and then you are alive.

Action & intentions

Being courageous means that you show initiative and that you live in the present (in the now) and that you do not wait. You don’t wait for a new job, a new customer, a new relationship or a “like” of one of your posts on social media. You are taking action now.

Almost daily I write my intentions in my (5 minute) journal. Writing down and expressing intentions is a powerful technique for determining the tone of the day and giving direction to the day.

On March 15, 2019, one of my intentions was that it would be a good day for me to finish my social media planning. This also went on my action list. And an action list requires action. The planning is not automatically filled with content. I have to decide for myself what I want to post at what time and on which channel.
If you want a new client or job then you also don’t wait for someone to contact you? And you do not wait until someone brings you food when you are hungry!

Not only for extrovert people!

If you want something, you have to ask for it. Certainly in times of self-reliance, someone will no longer come up for you (anymore). So you can only get something if you have the courage to ask for it.

That is different from having a big mouth, influencing others or by being dominant. Maybe this is easy for extrovert people. Although I believe to belong to that group, I also find it challenging (and sometimes frightening) to go outside and get something done. What if I fail or get rejected?
What helps me is to be honest. By saying that you find something challenging or difficult. If the other person answers your question positively, agree on next steps. If you are rejected, do not give up hope but take the next step. Talk to someone about it, do research (reflect) and call another customer or potential employer.

You don’t have to be courageous all the time. Many small brave actions can also lead to something big. Let that be an inspiration for people who have difficulty daring to step out and who are rather introverted. You don’t have to call 100 people in a day. Start with one email or telephone call per day.


The danger is to become over confident. For example, by thinking that you are better than you are, by exaggerating or that you are absolutely certain that you are right. Perhaps you yourself have been over confident. That you have accepted a project that is too large (or too difficult) that you really couldn’t handle.

You may also feel inclined to say that customers and employers should come to you because you can help them best. Whether you actually can or not doesn’t really matter. As soon as you leave your path of the heart, you no longer follow your purpose or your WHY, you lose. You actually feel it right away. You are no longer honest with yourself and others. The people around you immediately realize that and trust you less.

How do you develop courage?

Make a choice to be courageous

That is certainly a challenge for when you feel miserable, lazy and uninspired. Then you are not connected to yourself and others. You are no longer in line with your own WHY, your strength. If you catch yourself doing this, stop immediately and make contact with your real self. Remember who you are when you were at your best. What were you doing and what was the effect on your environment? Then you were in line with your why and you followed the path of your heart. Steve Pavlina encourages you to wonder where the path of the heart is and what you can do to follow that path. You actually already know intuitively what to do. Then have the courage to take immediate action. If you choose courage then you choose to face your fears.

Do something challenging every day.

Call a customer or potential employer. Organize a workshop, give a presentation or write an article …
There is a chance that you will fail but dare to learn from it too.

For example, a successful banker was recently interviewed about his success.
The interviewer asked: “What is the secret of your success?”
“Making the right choices,” said the banker.
“How do you make the right choices?” The interviewer asked.
“Experience” answered the banker.
“How do you get experience?” The interviewer asked.
“By bad choices” the banker finally answered.

Have the courage to do something challenging every day and learn from your mistakes.

But most of all…

Follow the path of your heart, your WHY. You are then connected to yourself and others. You can do this by stopping what you are doing and by asking yourself “Where is the path of the heart and what do I need to do?”. Often it becomes clear what you can do best right away.

How do YOU have more courage and how do you develop it? Let me know in the comment field below. I and the other readers of this article are looking forward to reading from you!

Need help?

Do you need help to find your path of the heart and make choices? I can help you through coaching. Contact me today for a FREE intake by clicking on the button below!

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