Are you as confident or courageous as you would like to be? If you have answered "NO" to this question then you do not need to worry, what you are feeling is completely normal and low confidence or fear of something is incredibly common. Feeling confident can be something that is difficult to achieve on your own however there are some tips and tricks that can boost your confidence and over time can greatly improve your confidence overall. You are not born with confidence, leadership or public speaking abilities, these are things that are learned and developed over time, therefore being shy and cautious is a completely natural thing and should not be looked at in a negative light. Knowing this can already begin to make an improvement on your confidence.
For more information on Confidence please view the previous post titled "Build Your Confidence".
Courage and confidence go hand in hand. When you feel confident you will be able to tackle things that normally you would not have the courage to do. So first, understanding your confidence, and after the courage will be easy to discover. One of the most well known forms of courage is stepping out of your comfort zone and standing up for something you believe is right, Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King, Gandhi, each one of these individuals are known for this type of courage and have changed the way that many people act and think. You do not need to change the world to be more courageous, the simple act of stepping up to the plate when the moments present themselves and not letting an opportunity pass you by, this only gets easier with practice on smaller matters first and slowly developing the courage with experience.
One of the starting points to help build your courage is to become more confident about what you are saying and speak from a place of conviction, simply practice saying what you think and feel about small subjects and move up to things that you are more passionate about, say these things politely and pleasantly however remain firm. If this is something that you are scared to do then consider the other things that you have done that you have been afraid to do in the past. Eventually you will start to realise that you do these things all the time and there is not much that you cannot do, and speaking with conviction to others is not something to be feared.
Do you ever notice yourself being able to be more courageous on behalf of others than for yourself? This is very common. Standing up for others is usually much easier to do as it is a kind act that can improve someone else's state of mind as well as build positive relationships with others. Showing courage and standing up for yourself however can be a difficult thing as it has more of an effect on you and sometimes what others think of you. Start standing up for yourself and what you are passionate about in the way that you would stand up for others, think of yourself as someone else in situations like this and this will build up your confidence and your courage.
Negativity is something that is more noticeable than positivity a lot of the time, when you are speaking publicly it can be very common to focus on the more negative people and let them drag you down however, one of the best ways to build your confidence with speaking is to focus on the people that are showing a more positive influence. Focusing on the positive is a great way to train your mind to associate courage and positivity rather than fearing a negative response.
For more information about positivity please visit the posts titled "The Power of Positive Thinking" and "Think Yourself Positive".
To encourage some of these courageous traits you should surround yourself with people that show positivity and courage. A role model can be a constant reminder of what you can grow in to and the type of person you can be. It is completely natural to feel discouraged sometimes, at times like this it is good to channel your role model until it feels natural and their traits become part of your personality. Over time you will not feel the need to look up to someone for their confidence and courage and instead you will be able to look in the mirror and see the person you want to be.
Finally, you need to trust yourself. You have made it this far and you have tackled problems with courage and conviction in the past, trusting in your abilities is such an important part of building confidence and courage. Standing up for what you value, speaking out for others, taking action when you know you can and feeling capable of helping yourself are all forms of courage that cannot only helping yourself but the people that you love and possibly others that you may not even know yet.
You are braver than you think.