Date With Destiny
THREE RULES FOR DEVELOPING COURAGE
THE FIRST RESPONSIBILITY OF LEADERSHIP
The step-by-step development of courage in yourself is the
first responsibility of leadership. The second
responsibility is to develop and instill courage in others,
your staff, your children, your spouse, your friends. But
you must begin with yourself because you can’t give away
something that you don’t have. You can only encourage
others to the degree to which you experience and
demonstrate courage yourself. You set the tone and
determine the standard.
COURAGE IS MASTERY OF FEAR
Here’s the first rule: “Everyone is afraid.” You’re afraid,
I’m afraid, everyone you meet is afraid in some way, often
in many ways. As Mark Twain said, “Courage is not absence
of fear; it is control of fear, mastery of fear.” The brave
person is the person who acts in spite of his or her fear,
who faces the fear, feels the fear and moves forward
CONFRONT YOUR FEARS
Here’s the second rule: “Fears diminish and lose their
power over you as you confront them and move toward them;
conversely, every time you back away from a fear situation,
the fear grows and becomes more powerful.”
MAKE IT A HABIT
The only way to develop courage is to consciously and
continuously make a habit of confronting your fear of
treating every fear-inducing situation as a challenge and
as an opportunity to become stronger, more resolute.
DO THE THING YOU FEAR
Here’s the third rule: “Do the thing you fear and the death
of fear is certain.” Psychologists call this the process
of “systematic desensitization,” doing it over and over
until it holds no fear for you at all. Many businesspeople
who have been so afraid of public speaking that they
couldn’t lead a silent prayer in a phone booth have used
this process of eliminating fear. By going to meeting after
meeting of Toastmasters International, speaking and getting
feedback each time, they have developed competence and
confidence where once they experienced only terror. So can
Here are two ways to apply these rules to develop courage
First, confront your fears directly and immediately.
Whenever you feel afraid for any reason, do it anyway!
You’ll be amazed at your success.
Second, do the thing you fear over and over until it has no
more power over you. The more you repeat the action, the
more courage and confidence you will have.