More Courageous Than You Think | NAWBO

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More Courageous Than You Think

Courage is faith in our convictions that there is more out there, that there is a better way and we have the power to make it happen. It’s being unafraid to abandon the orthodox way of doing things and leave the comfort of the known to venture into new territory.

It took some serious courage to start your own business. And you’ve needed courage at every turn – through adversity and limited resources—as you have hired employees, expanded and diversified your products and services, and grown by entering new states or even international markets.

Yes, it takes courage to be a woman entrepreneur—courage that not every woman, or man, naturally has or can summon within themselves.

A recent article in Forbes magazine says courage is the defining characteristic that separates a great leader from a great manager. “Courageous leaders lead with principles—their True North—that guide them when pressure mounts,” it says. “They don’t shirk bold actions because they fear failure. They don’t need external adulation, nor do they shrink from facing criticism.”

As a leader, you need to cultivate your own courageousness as you take the next step (or leap) in your business. These 10 tips from Rhett Power’s article “10 Ways to Live a More Courageous Life,” in Inc. magazine will put you on your way:

  1. Embrace vulnerability: People who live fear-based lives often have little or no confidence in themselves. If you feel afraid of other people seeing who you are, open up and become more vulnerable.
     
  2. Admit you have fears: In addition to opening yourself up to others, admit you have fears. Identifying what you are truly afraid of gives you the information you need to overcome the fears and insecurities.
     
  3. Face your fears: Exposing yourself to your fears is a great way to overcome a phobia or fear. People who feel afraid of snakes often change their minds after handling snakes with the help of a trained professional.
     
  4. Think positively: Part of a positive attitude is allowing others to love you and show you affection. If you are the kind of person who refuses favors, let others do nice things for you.
     
  5. Reduce your stress: Sometimes you experience fear due to exhaustion. Make sure you eat well, get enough sleep and exercise. Take breaks and take your vacation time. We all need a break.
     
  6. Demonstrate courage: Another important way to overcome fear is to show your courage. Take the time to help a person who is in a dangerous situation. Instead of ignoring a person in distress, call for help or take bold step to intervene.
     
  7. Know failure but press forward: If you fail, don't curl up into a ball or head to a metaphorical corner. Instead, keep moving forward.
     
  8. Cope with risk and uncertainty: You can conquer your fears by learning to deal with life's uncertainties. If you fear losing your home to a foreclosure, set up an emergency savings account. If you fear losing your spouse to another person or losing your client, figure out what it takes to keep them.
     
  9. Continue to learn: Continue to grow by constantly trying to learn and improve your skills. Take all opportunities learn a new skill. Read top thought leaders books and read everything you can about your industry. The more you know the less risk you have to take to be successful.
     
  10.  Accept your challenges: Stay on the course even after confronting challenges and fears. Instead of hiding face what lies ahead. In many cases, fear is just in your head. Most of what you fear will never come to pass. Don't waste time worrying when you can get ahead by living.

It took great courage to get where you are, and it takes courage to continue to grow. Using Power’s tips, find that courage within you and wield it to get to the next level.

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