Courage: Overcoming Fear & Igniting Self-Confidence

by Jason Anthony · 23 comments

Courage is the having the ability to stand up to your fears and face extreme difficulties.

It’s looking danger and doubt in the eye with a boldness like no other.

As Winston Churchill so eloquently put it, “courage is also the ability to sit down and listen.”

Discovering the inner-courage in ourselves is of great advantage to anyone seeking fulfillment and happiness.

It also moves us to don the type of outward courage needed to make the right kind of decisions, take the right course of actions, or even escape a circumstance of impending doom.

I am very pleased to say that this post is inspired by the book titled Courage: Overcoming Fear and Igniting Self-Confidence, written by New York Times Best Selling Author, Debbie Ford.

I was fortunate to receive a copy directly from Harper One Publishing, and I’d like to share with you my take and views.

Real And Imagined Threats

Whether internal or external, the uncertainty and doubt we feel has a profound effect on how we think and behave.

How you embrace the real or perceived threats is directly related to your level of security and confidence.

Low levels of self-confidence are detrimental to the process of growing yourself as an individual.  It provides you with a limited world-view and makes it more difficult to improve your circumstances, be decisive, and make progress.

Lack of confidence in yourself can mean the difference between happiness or despair, achievement or failure, and even love or resentment.

It’s the voice inside your head bombarding you with the notions that you’re not good enough, you can’t do it, you’ll be laughed at, or that you’ll never make it.

It creeps into an already questionable situation, tilting the scales towards indecision and magnifying the decay of progression.

What Lies Beneath

A major contributor towards a lack of self-confidence is fear.

Fear is debilitating.

It can cripple your hopes, dilute your dreams, and stop you from taking the action required to break through to a path of betterment and accomplishment.

It’s an emotion and a feeling opposite of that calm, cool, and collectiveness you sense with familiarity.

Our fears lurk around, injecting themselves in those instances where we may already feel the most vulnerable or weak.

Being afraid tends to render us useless when it comes time for making those important and life-changing decisions.

Do you step outside the realm of comfortability or stick with safe and sound?

The answer, as frightening as it may be, is to learn to live with your fears in the right way, in order to conquer them.

Do You Fight Or Flee Your Fears?

As stated in Debbie’s book, fears are not something we can just get rid of.

They are a natural part of life which we must deal with or be ruled by.

Instead of trying to eliminate our fears, or avoid them, we must embrace and overcome them. Tweet This

Through accepting responsibility and embracing your fears, you allow yourself the room for true expression and become the person you want to be.

This is the person who is not defined or controlled by the unknown, but rather the person who is open to all shades of experience.

In doing so, you enable yourself to let go of the resentments, grudges, and negativity that may be holding you back.

You move from a potential place of denial and into a role of acceptance, which uncovers a state of mind where nothing is impossible.

Find Your Inspiration Everyday

Whether in a converstation, story, book, or film, where are you drawing on your source of inspiration?

What are the lessons you must learn in order to become more courageous and confident?

Regardless of where you find your inspiration, becoming a stronger, more complete person allows you to feel good about who you are and what you stand for.

Make it a point to find a source of encouragement everyday. 

Courage holds some very moving and tragic stories of pain and suffering, as well as what it takes to move beyond that type of hurt and find the growth.

Debbie even opens up to share her own unique story, which is filled with more adversity and courage than I’ve read about in quite some time.

Reading is of great significance to your personal growth, and the value you find in a book is only as good as the message you take away from it.

I found that Courage can offer a great deal of guidance and value between its covers for those women and men who may be suffering or are in need right now.

Check out the book for yourself here:

Courage: Overcoming Fear and Igniting Self-Confidence

Author:  Debbie Ford

Publisher:  HarperOne

Available in hardcover and Kindle edition at Amazon

Special thanks to Trish over at TLC ToursHarper One Publishing, and Debbie Ford.

 

 

What about your fears?  Have you struggled in the past to find the courage needed to overcome them?  What kind of strength did it take?  Please be sure to share in the comments section below.

 

Photo by:  Ian Sane

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Carolyn Hughes June 13, 2012 at 9:22 am

I spent many years using alcohol to give me courage and manage fear but thankfully have many years of sobriety behind me. It wasn’t easy at first to face the fears but gradually I learned that I had the courage within me. My motto is ‘If you’re afraid to do it, do it afraid!”
Great post!

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Jason Anthony June 13, 2012 at 10:47 am

Substances can be an easy go-to when it comes to masking our fears and worries. Glad to hear of your triumph and success in finding the courage, Carolyn! Thank you for sharing – that’s a great motto!

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Denise June 13, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Very true, Jason. I tend to use a glass of wine to take the edge off when I feel anxious or my confidence is low. It seems like an easy solution, but I know it’s not a lasting one.

I feel that finding that encouragement regularly, as you mentioned, is so important. Not because I think we all need cheerleaders to feel good about ourselves, but when you make a connection – with a book or a person – you get that sense that you’re not alone.

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Jason Anthony June 19, 2012 at 8:56 am

Hey, there’s nothing wrong with a glass of wine or great beer to kick back and relax :)

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Gemma Thompson June 13, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Hi Jason,

Thanks for sharing information about this book, I will be adding it to my wish list!
I particularly like the idea of finding daily inspiration, there are so many amazing people out there that finding a different person to inspire me each and every day will surely be easy! I think I’m going to actively build that into my life!

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Jason Anthony June 13, 2012 at 2:54 pm

You’re welcome, Gemma. It’s definitely worth a look. I’m always of the school of thought that even if I’m already aware of 99% of the information in any book, speech, or program, it’s that extra 1% that can really make a huge difference :)

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Jeanne June 13, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Is ignoring my fears the same thing as avoiding them? Because I usually choose to ignore my fears. They’re only there if I acknowledge them. I find that if I think about it too much, it may cripple me…prevent me from taking action. Sometimes thinking about the fear is far worse than the fear itself. Concentrating on the fear only magnifies it. So I simply choose to ignore my fears and forge on.

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Jason Anthony June 19, 2012 at 8:54 am

I’d say ignoring and avoiding are closely related in that even if you’re not acknowledging they still hindering some level of thought or action.

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Jackie June 14, 2012 at 1:34 am

Its the old adage of what ever you put your focus on will grow and expand. Fear is the ultimate example of this.

I don’t think anybody lives in that zone of confidence all the time, we all have little niggling doubts, lack belief, question and second guess. Its learning to recognize those moments when they happen.

Ask yourself; what am I afraid of? that’s what I do…sometimes I need to ask myself over and over again before I get to the real crux of the matter but it usually works and gets me over that hump.

Everything in the end comes down to one of two things. Fear and Love, they’re usually at the basis of every human emotion.

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Jason Anthony June 19, 2012 at 8:57 am

You’re right, Jackie. Those little doubts, fears, and questions do crop up from time to time, there is no stopping that – but – we can learn to stop how we react to them. Thats where the magic is :) Thanks!

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Peter Sandeen June 14, 2012 at 10:31 am

Hi Jason,

“Instead of trying to eliminate our fears, or avoid them, we must embrace and overcome them.” Very well put :)

I’ve been afraid of failure. I’m not totally sure about what helped me get over it (though I’m not completely over it yet), but acknowledging the fear definitely was the most important part. Now whenever I feel disappointed in myself or am afraid of failure, I remind myself of the fear and the feeling “dims” to the background…

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Jason Anthony June 19, 2012 at 8:58 am

Thanks, Peter!

Acknowledgement and acceptance are vital steps in overcoming fears and moving past them in a healthy way -

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Ryan Hanley June 14, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Fear is a Great equalizer… Everyone who allows fear to dictate their life will succumb the same fate… Failure.

Great stuff dude!!

Ryan H.

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Jason Anthony June 19, 2012 at 8:58 am

Thanks, Ryan- great to have you here!

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Jason "J-Ryze" Fonceca June 14, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Great stuff, J — a topic near to my heart.

I’ve been through so many ups + downs most people are utterly terrified of, I feel blessed to have developed a habit of being at peace with, and loving my fears.

Now I teach others to do similarly, like you did in this blog, and Debbie did in her book (I think she’s Arielle Ford’s sister …)

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Jason Anthony June 19, 2012 at 8:59 am

Thanks, J! It’s those ups and downs that help define who we are and who we become along the way down our own paths. Not sure about the relation, but that’s something to look into…

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Jason Anthony June 19, 2012 at 9:01 am

and.. I did a quick search, and yes, it looks like they are sisters :)

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Eric T. Wagner June 15, 2012 at 12:09 am

Howdy Jason.

Thanks for sharing this wisdom.

Man, our human hearts can get into battle with the fear monster on a daily basis. Having the tools and know-how available to overcome this pesky beast is so important in achieving peace and true joy.

It’s a strange thing — because God put fear in us as a survival mechanism. But it seems to have become so much more than that. Love-hate relationship with it I guess.

Thanks Jason. Appreciate the insight. :-)

Eric

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Jason Anthony June 19, 2012 at 9:07 am

Hey Eric!

You’re welcome – Fear is rooted deep in us (biologically/emotionally). Great comment, I think as we’ve become more of a social society and culture the fear from say, a lion or bear (though still there depending on where you live) has shifted into fear of failure, ostracism, embarrassment, neglect, and many others.

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Dawn Barclay June 17, 2012 at 1:09 am

Hey Jason,

Have I struggled with fear? Yes.

Will I again? Maybe. These days it’s a case of ‘screw it’ and I use the term ‘lean in’. I try not to use the word ‘fear’ often, there is usually an underline barrier or hurdle to overcome, an inner conflict if you like.

Dawn

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Jason Anthony June 19, 2012 at 9:08 am

Thanks, Dawn! We’ve all certainly been there and yes, there is something lurking in the background that is typically the cause..

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Mike Garner June 17, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Years ago, when I was in therapy (confession alert!), I was told a way to deal with my (at the time) chronic fears to imagine them as a little boy (possibly me) and say to them, “OK, I don’t mind you being here, but you just sit in the corner and don’t piss me off. Over the years it’s worked, more or less.

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Jason Anthony June 19, 2012 at 9:11 am

Sounds like a great technique, Mike. I’m in the frame of mind that if we can find something that works, and we’re good with it, then there’s nothing wrong with sticking to it – btw, all confessions are welcome here. Thanks for sharing :)

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