Courage! Who doesn’t want to be courageous? In terms of badass traits, there are few higher on the list than courage.
Contrary to popular belief, courage isn’t the absence of fear—it’s acting even when you’re scared or when the obstacles are stacked against you. So in essence, anyone can manifest courage if they choose to!
Do you want to get a bit more courageous? Well, I’ve put together a little list of the 9 most common traits among courageous people. Ready to get brave? Let’s get into it!
Here’s the thing: confidence isn’t linear. Just because you aren’t a social butterfly or a star athlete doesn’t mean you aren’t confident!
Having confidence is however a pretty common trait among courageous people. When you’re truly self-confident you know what you’re capable of and willing to take risks. in their abilities and are willing to take risks.
You aren’t constantly second-guessing yourself. You know what you bring to the table.
Ke Huy Quan has been all over the news lately. You know who I’m talking about: the now Academy Award winner and once mini-sidekick to Indiana Jones.
Ke played Short Round, a young blue-collar orphan in China aged around 11. Sure, on paper, he may not sound like a consummate action star.
But without his spirit, courage, and confidence, Indiana Jones wouldn’t have survived in the temple of doom. Be like Short Round!
Short Round was unphased by his underdog status. He constantly persevered. Speaking of which…
Let’s be honest, courageous people are courageous because they don’t give up easily.
Setbacks are just a bump on the road for the courageous person. They know that nothing in life comes easy and when things get a bit challenging, they change gears and take things up a few notches.
They know they have a task at hand, a goal, a mission, and don’t just roll over when things don’t go their way. Persistence and resilience are a way of life for the courageous person.
And resilience? This brings me to my next point…
The courageous person has a built-in resilience about them; it’s really admirable if I’m being honest.
To surrender when there are setbacks is the easiest thing in the world. You get points for trying at least, don’t you? Well, not really.
Courageous person has this fighting, never say die attitude about them and it permeates in all facets of their life.
Have overwhelming debts to pay? Fight! Lost a loved one? Fight! Injured badly? The courageous person keeps fighting, seeing these setbacks as opportunities to motivate themselves and come back stronger.
And boy, once they make it back on their feet, their strength is a sight to behold!
From my experience, courageous people ain’t no sheep. They know themselves deeply and are totally comfortable in their own skin.
They value individuality and this is something that resonates throughout their existence.
They are true to themselves. They are steadfast in their values and are unafraid to speak out to defend them even when it’s controversial.
Standing up for their core beliefs is such a common trait among the courageous.
Let’s be real, the genuinely courageous people aren’t just in it for themselves, they care deeply about the welfare of others just as much as themselves, if not more.
They have empathy and compassion and are willing to stand up for those that can’t stand up for themselves.
I remember in middle school, we had a stocky schoolyard bully named Rex. He would pick on the vulnerable kids or as he once described them “the easy targets.”
One day in between classes, he extended his reign of terror to a scrawny exchange student who barely spoke English. He had him on the floor, his knee lodged into the kid’s neck.
An equally scrawny kid came to the rescue–pushing Rex away with all his might, screaming for help.
Eventually, reinforcements arrived in the form of our English teacher. Rex was suspended for weeks and to my knowledge never bullied at that school again.
To be courageous is to be empathetic–that’s just one of the laws of the universe.
Real talk: it’s my suspicion that courageous people are courageous partially because they are creative.
Now hear me out, by having the ability to think differently than most, they’re able to innovate or generate solutions that are unique and effective. This gives them that extra boost of confidence.
It also gives them a distinct advantage over everyone else. And this adds to their inherent courageousness.
Just because you’re courageous doesn’t mean you’re Superman (or Wonderwoman).
Courageous people have no qualms about admitting when they’re wrong or when they don’t know the answer. They know that nobody is perfect and that they are certainly no exception.
They embrace learning from others, self-improvement, and growth. This in some ways cultivates a sense of compassion…
Much like empathy, the truly brave soul is often inspired by trying to improve the world we live in.
Think of the archetypal superhero (and yeah, Marvel or DC universe is irrelevant). What’s a common trait among each and every one of them?
They actively protect and make sacrifices for the safety and well-being of the world around them.
Now the average courageous person may not be able to fly faster than a speeding bullet, but chances are they want to make the world a better place for humanity in general.
This is compassion.
The courageous person is cool and collected, not a frantic worrywart.
As we’ve established above, they know themselves intimately–they know what they bring to the table and what they can’t.
So, they have the ability to move rationally and cool as a cucumber instead of a panicky mess.
Courageous people don’t fear or get overwhelmed by change, they welcome it.
They see it as an opportunity to better themselves and grow as people.
They have an innate understanding of life so when it comes to new situations or circumstances, they are able to react accordingly.
How to cultivate courage!
You may not be where you want to be right now in terms of courage, but I promise we’ll get you there. Here are some steps you can take to cultivate your inner courageousness!
1) Face your fears
Don’t overthink. Half the time, our fears and anxieties are just that—fears and anxieties.
You build them up in your head until things get out of hand and what could be solved by acknowledging and accepting them becomes a full-blown stressor–also a totally avoidable mess.
So, step up to the plate, and face your fears head-on…
2) Do something about it
If you don’t act, you may deeply regret it later in life. So seize the day and take that leap of faith.
Let’s say you have a huge crush on a boy (or girl) but have never gathered the courage to ask them out.
If you get rejected, then move on to the next. Realize that everyone from Brad Pitt to Jungkook of BTS gets rejected and ridiculed on occasion, and you’re no different.
Take it on the chin and carry on. And if they say ‘yes’, then the world is your oyster!
3) Use positive affirmations
You have to change the dialogue. Stop defaulting to fearfulness, and start believing in yourself and your abilities.
I’ve always been a massive neurotic, constantly doubting myself and worrying about what others might think if I act or do something out of the norm.
I gradually changed my mindset; I became less self-absorbed, realizing that nobody really cares! And if they did I gave far less of a sh*t than years before.
I changed my mindset and the courage followed.
4) Leave that comfort zone once in a while
Between you and I, if you want to overcome your fears and build your courage you really have to act.
Look for situations that are out of your comfort zone and immerse yourself in them. Let’s say you have a work presentation… volunteer to lead the discussion even though you have a fear of public speaking.
Little by little, the crippling hold of fear will loosen its grip on you. At this point, give yourself a pat on the back! Progress has arrived.
Eventually, being courageous will be second nature to you…
5) Make courage a way of life
Small acts of courage will eventually lead to bigger ones and bigger and better things.
Having courage is a habit, particularly if it isn’t your nature.
You constantly need to nurture it and challenge yourself. Believe it or not, eventually, if you keep at it, you’ll be laughing in the face of your (now ex) fears!
6) Always be mindful
Do you know that the majority of what we’re scared of is just in our heads?
Uncertainty is such a powerful feeling and the anxiety it can induce can change lives in a very negative way.
When you practice mindfulness, however, you remove yourself from all of this, completely focusing on the present, and freeing yourself from these debilitating mental barriers.
And if this doesn’t work, you can always find someone to talk to…
7) Talk to someone
The beauty of humanity is there are always people willing to help.
Seek out someone you look up to and pick their brains, asking for tips and observing their behavior in situations that you might find daunting.
Soon enough, their courage will rub off on you!
8) Don’t fear failure
Let’s be honest, sometimes we’re so scared of failure, we don’t even bother trying! But by not trying, we’re not doing anyone any favors, ourselves included.
To succeed in life you need to fail to some degree. It’s that simple.
Have you heard of Michael Jordan? One of the greatest professional athletes of all time and possibly the most famous basketball player to ever live.
Well, he once said: “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
His basketball career is storied, with almost unfathomable success.
But he had to start somewhere, and he used his initial failures as motivation to become better… and eventually the best.
9) Be realistic
When you’re trying something for the first time (which is already an impressive first step, mind you), temper your expectations.
Don’t expect to be amongst the best in that field as a beginner. And don’t let minor setbacks turn you off completely. Persist!
Realize that you have to start somewhere and that at first, you’ll probably suck a bit frankly! Use this as fuel to get better and better. Remember Michael Jordan.
He didn’t even make his high school basketball team and I told you how that ended up.
To recap, when you develop courage, you essentially become unbreakable as a person. Rich or poor, man or woman, life isn’t easy for anyone, and when inevitably challenges come up, when you’re equipped with courage and bravery you will be far more ready to take them on.