“We don’t know who we are until we see what we can do.”
There are several different aspects of courage. Perhaps the most important is the courage to endure, to persist, to “hang in there” in the face of doubt, uncertainty and criticism from others.
Practice Patience in Adversity
This is called “courageous patience,” the willingness and the ability to “stay the course” in the face of uncertainty, doubt and often criticism from many quarters.
Stay the Course
In my experience, there is a critical time period between the launching of a new venture and the results that come from that venture. During this hiatus, this waiting period, many people lose their nerve. They cannot stand the suspense of not knowing, of possible failure. They break and run in battle, they quake and quit in business.
The True Leader
But the true leader is the person who can stand firm, who refuses to consider the possibility of failure. The turning points of many key moments in human history have been the resolution, or lack thereof, of one person. Courageous patience is the acid test of leadership. To encourage others, to instill confidence in them, to help them to perform at their best requires first of all that you lead by example.
Allow Honest Mistakes
The second thing you can do to help alleviate the fears of failure and rejection in others is to encourage them to take calculated risks and allow honest mistakes.
Build People Up
Give the people who look up to you regular praise and approval. Celebrate good tries as well as success, large and small. Create a psychological climate where people feel safe from censure, blame or criticism of any kind. Then do things that make people feel terrific about themselves.
Courage comes from acting courageously on a day-to-day basis. Your personal development goal should be to practice the behaviours of a totally fearless person until you become, in your own mind, unstoppable.
Here are two ways for you to develop courageous patience. First, prepare yourself in advance for the inevitable disappointments and setbacks you will experience on the way to your goal. Do not be surprised when they occur. Second, resolve in advance that you will bounce rather than break and continually encourage others to think and act the same way.
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About the author: Colin Thompson is a former successful Managing Director of Transactional/Print Manufacturing Plants, Document Management/Workflow Solutions companies and other organisations, former Group Chairman of the Academy for Chief Executives, Non-Executive Director, Mentor – RFU Leadership Academy, Mentor – Coventry University, Mentor – The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, helping companies raise their “bottom-line” and “increase cash flow”. Plus, helping individuals to be successful in business and life in general. Author of several publications, research reports, guides, business and educational models on CD-ROM/Software/PDF and over 1000 articles published on business and educational subjects worldwide. Plus, International Speaker/Visiting University Professor. Click to view Colin’s short bio