Eccentric Life Advice #14 – How to Summon your Courage

Inevitably, there will be a time or situation in your life where you have some idea of the best way to proceed but find yourself paralyzed with fear. Despair less, dear reader, for I too am deeply familiar with this emotion. In the case that you find yourself stopped at a crossroads, knowing that inertia is the only non-viable option, here are my suggestions.

While there may be a very loud voice telling you all the terrible things that might happen if you move forward, ask yourself in a louder voice, what will happen if I don’t? If I don’t make that phone call, how will I share my news? If I don’t keep that appointment, how will I renew my prescription? If I don’t submit for that thing, how will my work get seen? When you shift away from that naughty voice that worries what might happen if you do something and start listening to the voice that wonders what will happen if you don’t, inertia no longer seems like the smart or safe option.

After you start taking chances, it becomes easier to take more chances. Once you have done the things that scared you and none of the things the worried little voice told you would happen transpire, it becomes easier to talk back to that voice and tell it to shut up, and to go and do the thing anyway. Like most things in life, self-confidence is a skill that requires practice to refine. Like most things in life, if you want to get better at it, you have to challenge yourself. In case you are still unsure what to say to the voice, try repeating the following:

There is no losing in trying.

If I try, and they say no, I will be exactly where I am now.

If I try, and they say yes, I win.