“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” ~ Nelson Mandela
Learned vs. Situational Courage…
When we speak of courage, it is almost always in context with major, life changing/ending events such as impulsively walking into a burning building to rescue a frightened child, or jumping into a raging river to save the life of a complete stranger.
Clearly, these are acts of heroism and courage. They are what I like to call “Situational Courage.”
You are going though your daily routine and BOOM — something extraordinary happens to vault you into a situation where you must take immediate action—usually without thinking—or even taking time to consider the risks.
You see what must be done and you do it.
Instinctively. Automatically. Regardless of the consequences.
Situational Courage is very much like “Situational Leadership” where the demands of the situation and circumstances require you to forget about your “comfort zone”… engage your senses… suspend ordinary logic… and leap into action.
Learned Courage is very different, and is the basis of what we call The Winner’s Mindset™ — Absolute Clarity of Values… leading to Absolute Clarity of Vision… leading to Absolute Clarity of the Roles you will play to LIVE your values and ACHIEVE your visions.
This Clarity leads to the unstoppable Conviction that what you are doing is the RIGHT thing for you to be doing. Which leads to the unconditional Commitment to preserver at any cost.
Which, of course, leads to the Courage to take the actions necessary to ultimately WIN your daily battles.
The great news is that these 4 C’s of The Winner’s Mindset™ are all LEARNED skills and are not dependent on hero-based external forces or being randomly thrown into a situation outside your daily routine.
You simply develop stunning CLARITY which leads to total CONVICTION and the COMMITMENT to take COURAGEOUS action each and every day!
You live then out of Learned Courage, continuously growing into the position where you WIN far more often than you lose… and ultimately live the life you were destined to live.
You live your BEST life each day.
You become a Success On Purpose!
Over the years of working with millions of people, we have found that there is a crying need to help people amp-up their courage while systematically reducing their fears.
Not to ignore their fears, but rather, face them in a fresh new way.
Fear is natural and is nature’s way of alerting us to and dealing with danger… anything that can cause us to lose life, limb or that which is important to us.
Anything: Time… life… money… respect… friendship… career opportunities… the list is, in fact, endless. If you have little time and even less money, you will naturally have a fear of losing it. But, that doesn’t mean you should permit the fear of loss to stop you. It means that you must develop some Learned Courage and take action IN SPITE of the fear you feel.
Think about the fears currently holding you back from the life you love. Which of these best describes a dominate fear in your life?
- Fear of the Future… All the things that could happen to you and your loved ones… the pending gloom over all the possibilities and potentialities that could go wrong. The best antidote to this fear is to clarify your visions in context with your values, and establish a realistic role—based on your skills and talents—for you to play in making the future turn out grand.
By the way. This is the fear that dead stops most people from picking up a pen / paper and writing down their dreams and goals. It is the fear that keeps people locked in status quo, business as usual thinking. This fear is so common that it is the underlying cause of virtually every kind of uncertainty and doubt over what to do… when to do it… and why. People with a relentless fear of the future rarely, if ever, even take the first step towards making their hopes and dreams real… simply because they fear setting a DEADLINE for their accomplishment.
- Fear of Failure… This fear is easily resolved when the values contained inside your biggest visions are kept at the forefront of every decision you make and every action you take. Learn to remain connected to your values and committed to your goals and the fear of failure silently fades away.
Otherwise, you will tend to focus on what you might LOOSE rather than what you will GAIN… and be forever locked in the state of mind where the TROUBLE to be faced is greater than the TREASURE to be found.
- Fear of Success… This is a much tougher fear to conquer for most people, as it is the fear that remains hidden just below the surface of most decisions. It goes something like this,”If I succeed, I will put myself into a position of responsibility that I cannot handle, therefore, I will actually be worse off then than I am now!”
With this attitude, you take no action out of fear that you will actually succeed, causing you to pretty much second guess every good idea you will ever have. You fail then, not out of trying to achieve your vision, but never try due to your belief that success is really failure in disguise! (Well over half the people we work with have some form of this failed thinking at work in their lives.)
- Fear of Rejection… This, perhaps, is the single biggest reason people fail at selling either a product, a service or THEMSELVES. They hold back, do not fully engage, or simply believe others will reject them, their ideas or capabilities out of hand.
This is the “I’m not worthy!” principle at play where, since you have declared yourself “Not Worthy” it is hard for you to think of someone else seeing you any differently. Clearly, this turns into a self-fulfilling prophecy of turning gloom into doom… so why bother trying to engage with others… since they are going to reject me anyway! (It is so easy for so many people to believe this one that they limit their futures simply because they limit their view of themselves.)
- Fear of Financial Loss… This is, by far, the most common fear and is what drives a huge percent of the population to live in constant fear that, as hard as they might work, they simply will not make it in the long run.
So they develop strategies around “forced poverty” rather than pursuing economic abundance. They are willing to risk little, and have developed a “I’ll settle for” mentality. They avoid risks for gain, instead, creating systems for limiting losses. This thinking permeates their careers, so they are often overlooked for promotions. They believe that all resources are scarce, and find themselves incapable of big vision thinking. So they remain stuck in thinking small, and ultimately get exactly what they expect—Little.
The world is full of abundance and opportunity but far too many people come to the fountain of life with a sieve instead of a tank car… a teaspoon instead of a steam shovel. They expect little and as a result they get little. – Ben Sweetland
Learned Courage is the KEY to Heightened Expectations…
Perhaps the best way to explain the concept of Learned Courage is to look at the graphic we normally use to depict the personal growth curve. This clearly shows the progression of Continuous Personal Improvement through Continuous Personal Inspiration.
1. Grow your VALUES.
2. Expand your VISIONS.
3. Empower ever greater ROLES.
Follow this process and you will not only grow as a person, you will systematically grow your courage as well. You will move beyond the ordinary to extraordinary.
Courage is not the absence of fear. It is acting in spite of the fear.
Moving away from small, puny conflicting values towards huge, emotionally-charged, highly motivational and inspirational values AUTOMATICALLY causes you to dead stop the fear and start to envision bigger and bigger successes.
Do this and you start to grow up.
Expanding your visions from a tiny, myopic view of the future causes you to remain focused on the treasure… not the potential trouble.
When you focus on the reward first, and the costs second, fear just seems to melt away into a manageable series of problems to be solved—with no reason to fear that they cannot be solved.
Do this and you start to grow faster because you fear less… becoming FEARLESS!
Becoming FEARLESS, you find a way to create and nourish bigger and even MORE empowering roles. You start seeing way beyond your current field of vision and expand your value base even further… causing an immediate baseline shift in the size of your visions.
You see more because you have the power to see further. Much like strapping on telescopic lenses, you now have no fear of the future because you can see it with exceptional certainty and clarity.
You know it’s the right place for you to be… so you do everything in your power to make that future real.
I have rarely been in a place where Situational Courage has been required of me—maybe 2-3 times in my entire life.
Each day, however, requires exceptional Learned Courage where I am required to face the future and conquer it… one day at a time.
This means finding—no, developing—the courage to work with people who may not share my same views…
This means finding—no, developing—the courage to draft bold goals and plans for business success…
This means finding—no, developing—the courage to expose myself to wonderful, maybe even a bit whacky new ideas for doing things better…
This means finding—no, developing—the courage to invest my precious time, money and resources in helping others chart a bold path into the future…
Triangulating Your Values, Visions and Roles into unstoppable Missions…
To me, the key to Continuous Personal Improvement is the energy found in Continuous Personal Inspiration.
Promise to live values that INSPIRE you.
Promise to achieve visions that INSPIRE you.
Promise to grow into bigger roles that INSPIRE you.
These are all promises that are easily kept.
Simply develop some Learned Courage!