No guts, no glory
Courage. Daring. Having guts.
Whoever dares, dares to take risks.
Children have guts. And not surprisingly. Until the age of 25 your brains are still undergoing development. And until that time, you take relatively more risks and regularly act on an impulse. It’s actually a real pity that, as we grow older, we seem to have less guts.
Having guts is to some extent a genetic matter, but it is certainly also something you can cultivate.
Courage and career
It takes quite a bit of courage to make new choices in your career. Being courageous means that you resist the effects of fear. You are willing to put something at stake, because there’s more to be won. Once you have a clear idea of the desired situation, it takes perseverance to stick to the chosen path. And in the end, perseverance leads to growth.
You need to have guts to grow. And showing your guts means stepping out of your comfort zone. Guts allow you to chase your dreams, to not shy away from risks, and to refuse to heed the fear of failure. Here, self-confidence is an important quality.
What’s stopping you?
It’s often not due to our skills that we don’t have the guts to do something or to change course. The sky-high threshold to taking a real step is thrown up by our thoughts and fears. These fears are embedded in our genes, and were vitally important to our ancestors. But in this day and age, where we can always hit the brakes in good time, they are slightly exaggerated, to say the least.
Scrutinise your fears carefully, and check how realistic they are.
Forget about being perfect
One of the greatest enemies of guts is perfectionism. You can push the bar so high that you will only be satisfied if the result is perfect. And when you think that the result may not turn out perfect, then you choose to not even try. Or if you do try, then you already start off tense. The best remedy then is to change your objective and tune down your expectations.
See your skills as point of departure, and develop further from that point on. Don’t compare yourself to others, but see whether you can do better this time than last time.
Boost your self-confidence
The more self-confident you are, the greater your resilience and the faster you can bounce back after adversity.
We tend to remember only what went wrong, and continue to focus on that. Which is a pity, because in that way you overlook a lot of information on what went well. A pat on the back is reassuring, and that’s the most important source of self-confidence.
Stop to think about all the things you do well. For a couple of weeks or months, jot down on paper all your everyday positive experiences. Your daily pats on the back!
Just do it!
The best way to dare to do something is to just do it!
Do it, do it, do it, and practice, practice, practice.
You can wait until the day that you’re no longer afraid, but I’m afraid that that day will never come. You really need to go out there just to do it.
You don’t need to everything all at once, mind you. Every mountain is climbed step by step. You can practice with comparable situations, and focus on what doing it will do for you. And be kind to yourself: a bit of self-compassion is advisable, especially in all those ‘cold feet situations’. Research has shown that people with self-compassion tend to get a lot further than people that keep hitting themselves over the head with self-criticism.