How to know if you’re ready to take a risk

So, you want to take a risk? You want to speak up with an unpopular opinion in a meeting of like minds and bring your whole, real self to every personal and professional space you occupy. You wish to have hard conversations about racial and gender equity and ask for a raise (yes, during a pandemic). You desire to follow a path that no one else seems to be on. But, here’s the problem. You recognize the perilousness of these actions and find yourself crunched between a space of motivation and immobility. You are confused about whether to listen to the...
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3 reasons why every organization should prioritize the development of courage in young leaders

If you look at any list of must-have qualities for great leaders, you will almost always find courage included. Courage has been referred to as a defining characteristic of great leaders, the most important leadership virtue, and essential for leadership.  Courage is a choice to face a risk for a worthy purpose. But, the virtue isn’t reserved for chiefs at the top with skin in the game. In fact, it is critical for organizations to develop the components of courage in its young leaders — the ones who will carry companies into the future. Here are three reasons why every...
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There is no substitute for courage. Here’s why.

If you look up synonyms for courage, you’ll find words like: bravery, fearlessness and tenacity. And, without much consideration, you can easily settle on why these values and virtues would be in each other’s company.  They all point to determination and fierceness. They help a person push past challenges in pursuit of a desired outcome.  But, they are separate words for a reason, and that reason is because their meanings are slightly different. I’m going to highlight some of those differences, not to have a mini masterclass in etymology, but rather to show respect to a complex, unmatched virtue.  I...
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9 Effective Ways To Build Confidence

Confidence is a bit like money — everyone wants it. And luckily, everyone can have it. Where confidence and money differ, however, is in the fact that confidence always has to be built. You can’t get it from an inheritance or find it lying on the ground. You can’t borrow it from a friend or win it in a lottery. Confidence comes from repeated physical and/or psychological labor a person exerts to build up their abilities to the point where they can trust, or rely, on those abilities. Building confidence always takes work. And fortunately, there are a lot of...
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3 Everyday Habits To Grow Your Courage

Wouldn’t it be great if you could prepare for courageous action like you cram for an exam — stuffing everything you need to know in your brain right before facing a test and recalling the information just in time to confidently answer. Unfortunately, growing and developing courage is not a one-time haul. The ability to conjure courage relies upon an archive of strong internal resources built up over time. When you are deciding to move forward with courage, your brain conducts a quick, albeit comprehensive, evaluation of your purpose, skills and beliefs to understand if you have what it takes...
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3 Reasons Why Perfectionism Is Stifling Your Courage

“A particularly big problem we’re seeing with girls now is that they are refusing to go after anything if everything isn’t perfect.”  I often ask adults who serve youth what issues they see young people facing. Jen, an executive of a girls organization, had a quick answer to my question, as if she looked inside my brain and saw the question coming.  Perfectionism. Her answer didn’t surprise me since I’ve had my own experiences with perfectionism, which is a broad personality style marked by a hypercritical relationship with one’s self. I once dropped off a catering meal to a local business...
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Do You Have The Courage To “Do You”?

“What am I doing? What am I doing?Oh yeah, that’s right, I’m doing me, I’m doing me I’m living life right now, man And this what I’ma do ’til it’s over, ’til it’s over” In 2010, rap artist Drake had teenagers and adults around the globe belting out three electrifying words from his hit song Over. I’m doing me. The lyrics seemed to amplify a sense of confidence in whomever sang along and also convince them, if even for a second, to walk their own way. But experience shows that it’s not as easy to actually “do you” as it...
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This is why you should take more risks

People who realize their potential make risk-taking routine.  Say the word risk. Yep, right now … Doesn’t it sound a little vulgar? Like a curse word. “Risk, please.”  Did you hear it? The -sk ending makes the word come off as both tough and a bit harsh. Add an “s” to make it plural, and it becomes full on awkward. Taking risks can be as rough as saying the word, but risks are central to courage. In fact, courage is a choice to face a risk or challenge for a worthy purpose. The word risk even appears in the center...
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