Where does courage come from when you chose to shine “light” on an issue or you choose to keep quiet? It takes courage to do either…do you agree?
Courage, having the ability to do something that you’re scared of or something that frightens you.
This leads me to question myself, where do I find the courage to speak up on something I don’t agree with or let alone say? Was this my cultural upbringing or my natural introversion kicking in.
As I continue my journey on learning and developing my people-skills in hopes to build up my voice I am learning how to be courageous.
Here’s what I’ve done to find courage.
- Facing Fear
Are there issues at work that people are afraid to raise? People know there’s a problem, but they won’t say anything. This is something that happens all too often and it isn’t just a work problem, this is a human problem!
Under all circumstances, we’re willfully blind. When put in a position that scares you, face it head-on. The more you act upon your fear, the easier it gets.
The ones who are willing to speak up are usually just the ordinary.
- Embrace and Practice
Create a culture where it is easy for everyone, and anyone can speak freely and safely. It doesn’t start at the top, but everywhere. This culture is the accumulation of everyone’s action and central to relationships.
I often am viewed as aloof. I am perfectly fine enjoying a meal by myself where counterparts are looking at someone to sit with. I began to practice speaking daily. Small talk with strangers in line by me. A simple smile or “Hi!”, it’s becoming a habit.
There’s no safe path, but understand that if you don’t speak up, everything will stay the same.
Courage starts in very unexpected places. The most dangerous thing in a situation is silence. If you think about the freedom of speech, freedom isn’t real if you don’t use it. If you find yourself in this situation, both choices are dreadful. The choice to say something is risky and the choice to say nothing is risky.
I often hesitate to speak up when tension is high in a meeting. A subject comes up that not everyone is comfortable with. I like to wait to see anyone else will chime in, but I’ve been able to gain clarity by remembering to ask questions. Asking questions, I’m speaking!
Courage is having the clarity to see the two bad choices of speaking up and not saying anything at all.
However, perhaps that’s just my own feelings as I’ve been told I’ve really grown. I guess they could be right but I’m not the one observing myself so I wouldn’t be able to judge myself. I do know that I’m finding it easier to talk and have a conversation with others. I’ve always been a great listener, but when questioned I was unable to respond right away.
Courage is found within everyone. You have to face it, practice it, and make it clear.
Where do you find your courage? Comment below on how you find courage.