5 Strategies for Finding Your Courage

by | Feb 13, 2022 | blog | 0 comments

My super-smart friend and leadership expert, Lisa Walker says, “Sometimes I just need to be pushed out of my helicopter.”

I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes even when we know what we need to do, how to do it, and that we can do it, we still won’t do it. Why is that? Because jumping out of a helicopter is damn scary!

What would be a bold courageous act for you at work? What’s something you want to do – maybe need to do? What’s your “helicopter”?

  • Ask for a raise?
  • Confront a colleague?
  • Start a new project/program?
  • Speak publicly?

Being bold — leaning into the discomfort of life’s challenges — is not easy for anyone.

You’re not alone.

But good news! You can learn to be courageous. Try these strategies:

  1. Check your data. Are you sure you have it all? Is it accurate? Often we get limited data and jump up our ladder of inference. That small data set becomes our reality. We tell ourselves stories and worse, we believe those stories. Be a detective. Fill in all the blanks before you jump out of your helicopter.
  2. 5-4-3-2-1. Mel Robbins, the author of The 5-Second Rule, makes a very compelling argument that an internal 5-4-3-2-1 countdown “ignites the prefrontal cortex” in a way that is amazingly effective … I use it all the time … from diving into a cold lake, to getting my ass out of bed at 5 AM, to stepping into the room with challenging clients. Read the book and try it. Trust me.
  3. Talk it through with a friend or coach. You need a mirror — someone to speak truth to you, to tell you what they hear from you … maybe to push you out of the helicopter! You need someone that can do for you what you know you can’t do for yourself. It’s ok to ask for help! Every high-performing athlete, CEO, artist, and world-changing activist has someone that pushes them beyond their self-imposed limits. Who do you have? 
  4. Get healthy. Whether you’re not sleeping enough, not eating right, arguing with your partner, worrying about money, or just getting down on yourself — it’s tough to be courageous on the outside when the inside’s a mess. Do your work to be physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy — build your “resilience reservoir” — knowing that your parachute will open before you jump (or are pushed) from the helicopter can boost your courage big-time. 
  5. Reframe. I had a colleague that used to say, “Here we go again … AFGO.” She meant Another Friggin’ Growth Opportunity. Gotta love that! Can you reframe your challenges into opportunities? Ask: What will I gain from stepping into that courageous act, regardless of the outcome, that I wouldn’t gain otherwise? There’s always a gift in there. Find it first. Maybe it’s just proving to yourself that you really can jump out of helicopters!

What’s your scary jump? What’s the one courageous thing that you can do tomorrow? And when you do it, what did you learn? Tell me your story. Maybe you’ll let me share it …? Would love to hear from you!

About Danny

With over 20 years experience in training and leadership development  — and holding an MBA and an MA in Organizational Development — Danny Ceballos has worked with organizations across the country to strengthen their effectiveness in leading and managing others through supervision+motivation best practices and strategies.