Developing Courage in the Face of Adversity

Many people often misinterpret courage as fearlessness and bravery. However, that is not true. While people use the terms interchangeably, some circumstances set the terms apart from each other.

Bravery vs. Courage: What’s the Difference?

For future reference, bravery is facing danger or enduring pain and hardship without giving to fear. courage, on the other hand, is the mental or moral strength to venture, withstand, and persevere in danger, fear, or difficulty.

As you can see, the distinction is a slim line between the two terms. However, to make it easier, we need to look at the circumstances surrounding them.

For example: If a person makes a split-second decision to charge into a battalion, he is bold or brave (almost stupid). Meanwhile, a person that knows he will die in battle faces it anyway, arming himself with the mental fortitude to see things to the end, even if it may not work in his favor.

How to Develop Courage in the Face of Adversity:

In my book, “On the Ropes,” courage is one of the more prevailing themes. While many characters display bravery during critical times, it takes a lot of courage to see through their goals, even when their moments of bravery evaporate.

While I certainly hope you won’t need to face life-threatening situations to develop courage, here are some ways how you can develop the latter:

1. Acknowledge your fears. 

There is no shame in admitting to fear. While many believe the contrary, there is a sense of empowerment in recognizing that our fears can change if we decide to at least take the plunge into the next step.

2. Confront your fears.

Sometimes the best way to be courageous is to face it despite your worries. As tempting as it is to avoid the issue, it doesn’t necessarily eliminate it. In some cases, facing them head-on is the only way to move forward.

3. Acknowledge your vulnerability.

Many have this preconceived notion that courageous people do not feel vulnerable. However, that is not true. If anything, when you decide to be courageous, you simultaneously feel inadequate. Nevertheless, such feelings don’t always last long once you know you’ve made the right choice.

4. Use your experience as a learning opportunity.

Many people live in fear because they do not wish to fail. To some, failure leads to judgment, leading to inadequate feelings, and even to lack of support. To fail means to leave yourself vulnerable to the unknown.

However, courage helps counteract these feelings because you are no longer in a cycle of endless agony.

The Bottom Line:

Developing courage requires practice and skill. Anyone can learn this; you don’t necessarily have to go to war to be courageous. With the world so bent on division and strife, it takes great courage to keep living while others want you dead.

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