Below you will find four additional tips to apply entrepreneurial courage. After you combine all twelve courage behaviors over the month of August you will be better suited to determine where you are weighted in courage actions and where you might be blind to a few other behavioral choices. For example, you’re proficient expressing yourself (speaking up), but StuckThinking™ shows up in fear. Fear is portrayed when you observe incessant mind chatter that over-analyzes all the worst case scenarios. This over-analysis keeps an entrepreneur from making decisive choices that result in lost opportunities. The outcome of this scenario is an attempt to control life’s situations. Control of the future is an illusion of the false self (ego). Take time to self-assess which courage behaviors you apply.
1. Speak up
If you feel uncomfortable in a situation, believe your intuition and disclose why you believe the situation is not desirable. Exercise your courageous voice by challenging the status quo; make graceful waves when someone is putting you down or attempting to deter your passion. Swallowing your voice is the opposite of being the voice above the crowd. A courageous voice has learned how to embody “where courage meets grace.” Are you willing to have a “courageous conversation?”
2. Conquer fear
True fear is a survival signal that sounds only in the presence of danger; yet, our culture is stuck in the creation of dualities, such as courage or fear. In other words, you can’t have courage without fear. Not true! If you go to work and learn your biggest client has gone to your competitor do you allow anxiety to take over in the form of projections, such as “I am going to go under…” At this point, observe your mental chatter so you can monitor the fearful feelings. A courageous entrepreneur does not spend much time in regrets. Fear blocks and paralyzes the heart; therefore, fear blocks courage. What percentage of your life, right now, is filled with regret?
3. Reveal vulnerability
The storms that enter your work life offer opportunities for an honest assessment of your vulnerabilities. You discover that vulnerability comes in many forms, such as acknowledging your unhappiness, learning to move on through disastrous events and learning not to manipulate failures or mistakes. While this may seem like a sensible behavior pattern for an entrepreneur, the deeper truth is that revealing your vulnerability represents integrity and authenticates your True Self. This choice is the opposite of hiding your mistakes or a weakness that is accomplished through manipulation, which undermines integrity, breeds distrust and stifles “heart and spirit.” As poet e.e. cummings wrote, “It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are.”
4. Reinvent self
One of the keys to productivity is to have the courage to do things differently. That is probably why many traditional organizations are constantly trying to reinvent their leadership models and redefine expectations. Strategizing means the ability to re-create daily, not just during the annual budget meeting at corporate headquarters. Entrepreneurs naturally tend to know this. Rarely generalists, they represent portraits of courageous endeavors. Why? Rather than accept the comfort of apathy, they trust their own abilities, define their careers and demonstrate the self-discipline necessary to create the business of their dreams. How often do you reinvent yourself?
Sandra Ford Walston is known as The Courage Expert and innovator of StuckThinking™. She is an organizational effectiveness consultant, speaker, internationally published author of bestseller COURAGE, trainer and courage coach. She is certified in the Enneagram and MBTI®. Please visit www.sandrawalston.com.
Sandra Ford Walston, The Courage Expert
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