A lot of people think of courage as taking risks so as to change a situation. Maybe you’ve gone as thinking of facing a lion and triumphing.

Physical courage has its role. However, that’s not what I’m not talking about today. Instead, I’d like to focus on inner courage. This is the inner conviction you have which allows you to make decisions and take actions without external influences.

This is the 3rd article in a 4-part series on Personal Development Skills for women. Here are the other articles:

And here’s today’s article…

Why should women be courageous?

On February 19, 2017, Susan Fowler, a former employee of Uber, blew the whistle on sexual harassment in Uber. She had worked there for a year and been harassed by her boss. Complaints to HR went unheeded and she finally opted to leave in December 2016.

She wrote about her experience in her personal blog and exposed a corporate culture that undermined women and openly celebrated their harassment. Her blog post went viral and forced Uber to turn around and start a remedial process.

This is just one example of the challenges women go through at work and in their personal lives. It takes a lot of courage to step away and say, “Enough is enough.” It takes more courage to turn around and confront the people who have made your life hell.

Among other things, you need to have courage to:

  • Ask for what you want in your life, career and relationships
  • Be yourself and live your life your way
  • Be, do or have what you want
  • Say no, yes or compromise depending on what suits you best
  • Kick out your dream stealers and people who put you down or erode your motivation and confidence

This is just a sample list. You can add more to it depending on your situation and what’s important to you.

[Tweet “Every woman should have the courage to ask for what you want in your life, career and relationships.”]

Who is in control of your life?

Every day, I talk to women who have given up on their lives and dreams. One story that really touched me was a woman who told me that she could not buy things for herself because her husband complains when she does.

It was OK for her to splurge on the home or their children, but she couldn’t splurge on herself because that would annoy her husband.

She gave an example of a time when they’d gone to the supermarket and everyone picked what they wanted. Unfortunately, her husband was short of money. So he told her to remove her things so that the money he had would be enough.

It was painful for her to watch the children’s snacks getting paid for and everything she wanted being left in the basket. She didn’t have the courage to change this situation because she was a stay-at-home mum and had never worked in a formal job.

This experience at the supermarket made her take stock of her life and evaluate whether it was worth relying on her husband for money. Eventually, she started a home-based business that didn’t interfere with the children’s schedule.

The last time we spoke, her business had picked up and she was making good money. Interestingly, her husband, who had been against the business when she started, became her main cheerleader.

This a common scenario and one that I too have lived. However, not all stories end in such a positive way. I know many women who have chosen to accept their status quo and do nothing. They don’t have the courage to steer their lives in a different direction because they are afraid of rocking the boat.

“People think I’m against fear. I’m not. I’m just pro-bravery.”
Caroline Paul, Author of The Gutsy Girl

How to boost your courage

If you don’t have confidence and courage, you will spend time catering to the needs, wants and desires of your spouse, partner, friends, family, colleagues…everyone but you!

Many women haven’t consciously thought about what they want in life. Or maybe they’ve thought about it, but are used to having other people make decisions for them.

Some have given up on their dreams in order to follow a prescribed path.

Others have accepted their current life as one that is their lot in life and settled into it. They dream, but stop taking action on their dreams because there are too many other vested interests in their lives. They’re also afraid of upsetting other people if they take action on their dreams.

Use this 3-step system if you’re ready to boost your courage and change your life.

Step 1: Decide

Decide to change your life and commit to stick to this decision. The following resources on this blog have useful tips if you’re stuck or fear taking action:

If your life is on overdrive and you’re struggling to slow down and make time for yourself, sign up for Break Free, Live Your Life.

Among other things, this 12-week coaching program will teach you strategies to help you get unstuck, get clarity and start building your confidence and courage muscles.

Step 2: Evaluate your life and set goals

Next, identify the things you want to be, do or have.

Cross-examine your life and identify what is holding you back from achieving the life of your dreams. This evaluation can be painful so do it at a time when you’re alone and free from distractions.

The following articles have useful tips for personal evaluations and goal setting:

When you complete the evaluation, pick out 3 actions that you’ll take to change your life. At least one of these actions should involve you stepping out of your comfort zone.

Step 3: Take action

Take action one day at a time. Start with small actions as you build your courage and action muscles.

Here are some ideas to start with:

  • Decide what type of beverage you prefer and buy that for yourself at home and in the workplace
  • Give yourself a treat that you would not have given yourself
  • Say “No” to requests or activities that you don’t like doing. This includes saying “No” to picking up other people’s slack in the house or in your office

Taking at least one action daily is the fastest way to build your courage.

The following resources will help you chunk down your goals into manageable steps and then take action daily, weekly and monthly.

Just like confidence, no one can teach you how to be courageous. But if you want to live a happier and more fulfilled life, you need to become courageous and take action.

  • Sometimes you’ll take action and fail
  • Sometimes you’ll take action and succeed
  • Other times, you’ll take action and nothing changes

However, the very act of taking action will change something in your mind and give you a confidence boost.

[Tweet “There’ll always be people who don’t like you or the way you live your life. That’s their problem, not yours!”]

Need some help?

Confidence and courage work together. It’s hard to be courageous when you lack confidence. In return, being courageous boosts your confidence by providing you with new and better experiences.

Sometimes we lack courage because we don’t have enough people in our lives who support and encourage us. If this is you, then check out our signature program Break Free, Live Your Life.

This 12-week life coaching program has helped many women get clarity, become more confident, and have the courage to take control of their lives.

But don’t just take my word for it. Click here to find out more about Break Free and also read what others have to say about the program.

Your turn…

What is one thing you’re going to do after reading this post?

(Image credit: Pexels)

    3 replies to "Personal Development Skill #2: Courage"

    • Liz Ndunge

      One thing I will start doing is making decisions. Especially where people are involved. I have always been going out of my way for others, doing what I don’t like and never getting a thank you. Instead you get bashed and insulted. Been knowing I do not deserve this, yet I always put up with them, Just being indecisive, plain simple indecisive. Spend my time, money, and other resources. So this time round I make a decision and cut them out.They were never pleased when I did it, they will not be pleased when I don’t do it, I will get bashed but its OK, I don’t get to lose my time, money and other resources.

      • Caroline Gikonyo

        Wow! That’s one decision that takes a lot of courage, Liz. Congratulations on acknowledging the situation and making a decision to change. That alone is a huge step forward.

        Also, check out articles in the series I wrote on how to overcome overwhelm. Two articles in the series will be helpful for you:
        How to Create and Enforce Strong Boundaries.
        8 Toxic Relationships You Need to Detox From.

        A great thing that happens when you stop hanging around people who don’t appreciate and support you is that you now create room in your life for amazing and positive people.

        On a lighter note, I’d love to be a fly on the wall when you do this…

        • Liz Ndunge


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.