The actions that John Fox took on December 26, 1944, were pivotal to the Allies retaking the village of Sommocolonia. The courage he displayed is something I think we all aspire to.
However, when you listened to Lt. John Fox: An All-American Hero (and I hope you did), we examine that while he took those heroic actions on that fateful day, there were other moments in his life that he displayed his courage even if It wasn't on a grand scale.
For instance, when John went out on foot to secure a tractor to get Arlene to the hospital, I'm sure there was a small part of him that was fearful that he would get hurt trekking through the snow, if not worse.
Many people assume that courage is equal to fearlessness. That thinking is faulty. The truth is, courage involves taking action despite any fear you feel. It is your willingness to act despite any anxiety or worry.
To be courageous, it's essential to understand the fear and refuse to let it keep you from taking action. When a person allows fear to take hold, they lose the ability to move forward or take risks. And once that happens, you can't take advantage of opportunities.
On the other hand, courage allows you to take risks and chase your dreams. The presence of courage can lead you to the life you want.
What can you do if you struggle to face your fears?
These tips can help:
1. Strive to keep a healthy perspective. Many people feel that courage is something you're either born with or not. They may think it useless to try to work on cultivating this trait. That idea may be true to some extent. There are certainly people who seem to find it natural to act with courage.
That does not mean a person without courage has no hope. On the contrary, courage is like a muscle. Some people are born with more defined muscles. But just as everyone can improve their physical strengths, everyone can work on their courage. Think about when John Fox dared to transfer schools even though he knew there would be an issue with his credits. He was building his courage muscles. You can improve your "courage muscles" if you work at it.
2. Recognize your strengths. Research shows that people who identify their strengths and develop them feel happier are less prone to depression and display greater resilience. Also, when you know what you're good at, you can be more confident in your abilities. As a result, you are more capable of acting with courage. This confidence can lead to more success and opportunities for growth.
3. Take a step outside your comfort zone. A person who allows fear to keep him from engaging in fun activities or going after what they want finds themselves stunting their growth. It can be difficult to overcome fear, but it's worth the effort if you're going to live a fulfilled life.
As a rule of thumb, pick something that feels slightly uncomfortable and then do it. Read a book that someone told you was great, ask out someone who intrigues you, or go to a public educational event even though you feel apprehensive.
4. Celebrate your courageous acts. When you do something bold, reward yourself by going out to a nice meal or buying something you've wanted for a while. If there's someone important in your life, let them know what you did. They will appreciate it and give you the support you need to continue.
5. Receive failure with open arms. As part of growing up, everyone fails. It happens to the best of us. If you're too afraid to fail, you won't allow yourself to grow and expand as a person. Imagine that failure is like stepping in a puddle of water. You may get water on you and feel momentarily uncomfortable, but then you can move on and be better for it. Accept that failure is part of life and refuse to let it hold you back from taking risks or achieving your dreams.
6. Be aware that fear can harm you. When you consider that fear tries to keep us safe, it doesn't seem as bad anymore. However, anxiety can be dangerous. For example, a scuba diver who experiences fear may swim too fast or make sudden movements.
Similar things happen when we experience high-pressure situations. When you understand how fear can harm you, you'll realize it's important not to let it control you.
7. Understand that fear is chemical in the brain. Anxiety can cause you to think your actions directly result from your judgment. What happens in a fearful situation is that fear chemicals flood your brain. Some experiments conclude the same observation when they unnaturally induce fear by introducing chemicals into the body. Those experiments might make you think the world is more dangerous today. The point is chemicals can't decide the best course of action in any situation. You can.
8. Pause to take a breath. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by life. That's when it's essential to do something that gives you time to catch up and breathe. Focus on the present moment. It can give you mental clarity for the future. Letting things go for a moment is essential for moving forward with courage.
To be a successful person, you'll want to prosper inside and out.
The most important part of your life is the development of courage. It's what gives you the strength to live life on your terms, which is all that matters in the end.
Courage can save you from undesirable situations and give your life meaning. Still, you cannot summon courage by pushing through or simply taking care of business without considering yourself.
Whether it's overcoming fear or not letting society tell you what to do, developing courage depends on how willing and able you are to take risks now for future success later.