Have courage they say. Courage to stand alone, courage to speak up, courage to take chances, yet they never say how to have courage. Like fear, you know courage when you see it, but more often than not, you’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg. You don’t see the rituals each person has put in place to fill their courage tank so they can make it through this moment.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to manage myself and my behavior in ways that allow me to remain in control, even during times of anxiety. In fact, I have small moments of victory every time I receive feedback from others and realize, it worked! Don’t get me wrong, I definitely believe that fear and anxiety are important, but when you find ways to control them, you really feel as though you’ve conquered the beast.
So for those of you trying to figure specific strategies to fill your courage tank, here are a few that I use:
- Preparation: When I worked on my doctorate, we were always told to exhaust the research. This is a great strategy to use when you are trying to boost your confidence. Take time to study the content, the people, and the environment so you are prepared for nearly anything.
- Music: Identify at least 3-5 personal anthems to lift you up when you need it. I will activate my personal anthems during my commute, blast the music as loud as possible, and sing like the song was written for me, about me, and to me.
- Attire: While I’m no fashionista, I will always put more emphasis on my attire when I need courage. My view is when I think I look good, I feel good, and when I feel good I am functioning at 120%. It’s important to note, this may not mean an entire outfit for you, it may be socks or a tie, but either way, it’s an article of clothing to empowers you.
- Shoes: Anyone that knows me, know shoes require their own category. In my world a good pair of heels (and by good I mean height, style, comfort, etc.) maximize every situation. Shoes may not be your thing, but for me a good pair of shoes, even tennis shoes depending on the situation, impact my entire mindset. I stand taller, I walk better, and I look forward without hesitation.
- Power Poses: Some people use power poses publicly, while others use them privately. I do both, but I have to do them in front of mirrors. I will power pose my way to confidence at home, and once I arrive at my destination I’ll admit I sometimes even power pose in an elevator mirror to ensure that my courage tank overflows.
- Affirmations: While I don’t use them often, I have found that affirmations work best for me when I am in a deep rut. I often start out not truly buying into my affirmations, but find that with repetition and conviction, this changes. My personal go to affirmation that pulls my out of the shadows is “I am blessed, I am highly favored, I am beautiful”. Try and find yours.
- Read scriptures or quotes: I’ve always been known as someone who appreciates the power of words so I use them to actively and passively fill my courage tank. I keep scriptures and quotes in my office, my home, and online through outlets such as Pinterest and the Bible app. The right one always seems to be there when I need it.
I hope some of these work for you. Also, please share some of your favorites!