Fear can cripple a human being from doing what an average person would consider an easy task. Conquering your fears and living a more courageous life will lead to a better life.
“Courage is the first of human virtues because it makes all others possible.” Aristotle believed courage was the key ingredient to living a virtuous life. Neuroscientists recently found how courage works in the brain, finding that a region of the brain called the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC) is activated and is the driving force behind courageous acts. Here are six ways to combat your fear and become courageous.
- Be Vulnerable
Letting people see who we really are and exposing our true selves inhibits our courage. Courage and vulnerability are closely aligned. Exposing ourselves to failure and criticism is the first step in finding courage.
- Acknowledging Your Fears
You can’t conquer what you don’t think exists. Research finds that acting courageously requires an understanding of one’s own anxieties and limitations.
- Expose Yourself to Your Fear
The only way out is through. One of the most effective ways to banish a fear is by repeatedly forcing yourself to that fear. You are going to fail at first, that much is certain; but if you keep at it, you’ll find yourself feeling more and more comfortable with what you once considered a crippling fear.
- Think Positive
Tackling fear and anxiety or sadness and depression can, at best, take our lives from the negatives to zero. We need to build positive vibes to dial our lives into the positive, which is where we want to be.
- Manage Stress
Stress will come because of your initial failure. It’s important to not let this stress go to your head as they can contribute to negative feelings. Exercise and meditation both have the power to lower stress levels and reduce feelings of depression and anxiety.
- Practice Courage
Back to the sgACC part of the brain. The more it is used, the stronger it will become and the easier it will be to practice courage. As Aristotle wrote, “You will never do anything in this world without courage.”
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