9 Things Courageous People Do Differently | The Coaching Institute

9 Things Courageous People Do Differently

Courageous People

What’s so different about courageous people? 

Let me take a wild guess. . .

One of your goals this year relates to opening yourself to new experiences.

Maybe it’s about travelling to a faraway country.

Or learning a new culture and a new language.

Or committing to doing things differently than you’ve been doing all this time.

And even if setting a long-term goal isn’t a welcome idea in your books, making yourself open to embrace time-tested strategies of courageous living without regrets is a smart goal to have.

But first, let me tell you a personal story.

When I was 13, I was in a dilemma about a decision I had to make. I told my grandma about my seemingly life-altering situation to which she calmly replied, “Trust me dear, when you’re my age, this is the last thing that will matter. In fact, you’ll probably kick yourself for not taking more chances and acting with courage.”

After that chat, making the choice was pretty easy.

The lesson? Courage doesn’t turn up in the mail. You got to show up first. Invite courage. Seduce it. Coax it.

Here are some challenging chances I want you to consider. These are the things courageous people decide to do, each day, every day, and I’m sure once you embrace them, you will not regret one bit. You can thank me for it when you’re my grandma’s age!

9 Things Courageous People Do Differently

1. Embrace your quirk

For most of us, high school is hard. Being called “weird” is like a death sentence. You’d do anything to stick to your clique, do your best to look like everyone else and follow the “norm” when it came to fashion and style. But guess what? We’re not teenagers and life is not a high school. It seems most of us are still stuck in their old ways and still afraid to challenge the norm. Weirdness is a potential strength hidden to be harnessed.

Think of the brightest and most successful, most creative people among us – they embraced their inner quirk in art, science, music and other areas wholeheartedly. To quote Oscar Wilde, be yourself because everybody else is taken. What’s “normal” for someone may not be normal for another.

We’re far better off than to be natural than normal. Conformity is the safest option, but authenticity is what courageous people choose. Express yourself. Feel good.

Courage to Coach Melbourne

2. Stop making it about you

C.S. Lewis was smart to point out that humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.

Our lives are never about us but about others. This gives you not only a sense of purpose but also a reason to keep going every day. Instead of making you the center of attention, the courageous thing to do is to focus on how you can impact someone else’s life. Ironically, this takes a huge load off your shoulders. When we have a tendency to put too much focus on ourselves, our ego gets in the way and as a result, you feel self-doubt, self-pity or [insert crappy emotion here].

Focus on how you can make a difference to someone else’s life – the more you do that, the more external feedback you receive, which in turn automatically solves the feelings of helplessness and self-doubt.

3. Be vulnerable

There’s a subtle difference between striving to be perfect and striving for excellence. Deep down, perfectionism is about waiting to earn approval. Perfectionists have this dangerous belief that they are what they seem to have achieved in life. That in turn makes them prone to depression, blame, judgement, anxiety or paralysis by analysis, if they feel like they haven't "done enough".

Courageous people, on the other hand, are OK to embrace limitations and that demonstrates inner strength. They are focused on true inner self-improvement.

That said, there is a huge sense of fear associated with showing vulnerability. Because if we accept our weaknesses, there is a great possibility we’ll be misunderstood, pigeon-holed or rejected. Humans have an innate need to belong. Rejection is the absolute “worst” thing to happen to our ego.

It sounds ironic, but being vulnerable expands your world. We’re tired of seeing everyone going overboard, trying and faking it. Most people are hungry to see raw honesty, and waiting for someone else to take the lead and show their authentic self. We’re hungry to find people who are willing to come up and say, “Hey, I need help” or “I own that mistake”.

Have you noticed how we naturally connect well with people who openly embrace their weakness?

Because guess what… people connect with other humans; someone who is not afraid to shed a tear, someone who tells how they truly feel, someone not hiding behind a mask. Not a superhero.

4. Forgive often

Most of us know the importance of forgiving and letting go. The bigger question is, how? For that, let’s first explore what forgiveness is not.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean you don’t have any feelings about the person who wronged you or the situation. It’s not about forgetting what happened. You don’t even have to let the other person know they are forgiven.

True forgiveness is accepting what happened and finding a way to live with it. It is a state of resolution. You forgive for you – not for anyone else.

So why is forgiving so darn hard? Most people are addicted to drama, and drama can play out resourcefully or un-resourcefully. Anger, for example, is drama gone un-resourceful. It generates a shot of adrenaline which is addictive. That said, you cannot forgive unless you’ve fully identified and felt your pain, anger or whatever emotion you’re going through.

Because forgiveness is gradual, this won’t happen in a day . When you’re ready, forgiveness will put a seal on your hurt. You’ll still remember what happened, but you won’t be restricted by it. And that is a big sign of demonstrating courage.

Courage to Coach Melbourne

5. Own things that happen in your life

There are two ways to live a life. One, being at cause or two, being at effect. 

In coaching terms, this is known as Living above the line and Below the line.

The question to ask is which side of the line are you on? Are you living above the line, or at cause? Or are you letting things happen to you, by living below the line and at effect?

Successful people have this crazy belief that they are the cause of everything that happens to them in life. In other words, they are 100% responsible for all results and circumstances that crop up in their life.

Isn’t that liberating?

Think about it – if you believe other people are responsible for your life, for your results, for your success, you’ll end up waiting a long time to bring about any positive change, even though you tell yourself you want it.

If you truly want something to change, simply quit waiting for others.

And here’s the thing – perhaps this whole idea of living at cause isn’t true. Perhaps some things are out of our control.

Even in that case, the only question you should care about is this: Does believing in this theory empower me? Or would believing in above the line thinking improve the quality of my life even better? What would a person with courage would choose?

Even if you don’t believe it’s true yet, act as if it is. Pretend. In coaching and Meta Dynamics™ we call this the “as if” frame.

We act "as if" until it is. Your beliefs are only possibility filters and determine what we allow ourselves to experience in our lives.

In short, all beliefs are hallucinations – so why not make up the ones that serve us the best?

6. Manufacture your own happiness

This ties in nicely with #5. Research states that tying self-esteem and happiness with external success is like trying to tame a fickle beast. People who attach too much importance to external factors and motivators tend to get small boost of happiness when they accomplish something, but harsh drops in self-esteem when they don’t.

By contrast, people who don’t have a strong dependence on external factors have a more stable emotional experience and as a result, and are overall more happy.

7. Make a difference to one person at a time

Relationships are most important when it comes to overall happiness and satisfaction. A great way to achieve deeper, meaningful relationships is to move beyond small talk.

I’ve always been good with people one-on-one, where there is a chance to form a deeper bond.

That doesn’t mean I cannot be the chirpy center of attention full of chatter -- however in the long run of trying both approaches, I’ve found that celebrating good things with close few friends allows me to make a difference to one person at a time by the way of thoughtful conversations. 

Courage to Coach Melbourne

8. Doubt your doubts

Here’s something cool. According to Meta Dynamics™ and the basic principles of coaching, people do the best they can with the resources available to them at the time.

Growth is never instant – it’s steady, slow and sometimes, painful. It can’t be rushed. It can’t be tricked.

So before doubting your faith, doubt your doubts. Courageous people stop being afraid of what could go wrong, and ask better what-if questions.

What could go right?
What if I succeeded?
What if I am enough?
What if I knew I will be OK?

The best way to deal with self-doubt is to create a self-doubt defence system. Every negative emotion has some form of triggering action to it. Observe what triggers your negative thoughts – is it an action? Another negative feeling? Something someone else said?

Once you identify a trigger and become aware of your negative thoughts, redirect them to a more positive place over time. It will take consistency and intentional consciousness.

Every time you catch yourself doubting, acknowledge those thoughts and replace them with more resourceful ones.

Gradually, you’ll form a habit out of this and automatically replace “cannot” with “can”.

9. Make slow progress

Even slow progress is progress. Going faster and stronger can seem like a seductive idea, but take a pause and think about where you’re going and at what cost.

Often at times, your “I can’t” mindset is a result of other people’s expectations and our mental conditioning as small children. Slow is considered as failure. We all love life on the fast lane.

But guess what? Sooner or later “fast” will crash and burn. Running after shining objects will only make it hard to keep a level-headed awareness of your progress with respect to your goals.

The solution? Focus on the next best action step from where you are. When you drive a car on the freeway, you can only see the next 200 metres of the path ahead of you. Right?

Life’s kind of the same – figure out the next 200 metres and then do what needs to be done. You don’t have to figure it ALL out – because the future isn’t set in stone. It’s malleable and you can change it.

Parting thoughts

Life is not meant to be a one-time perfect hit.

You’ll have misses and then some.

And it’s OK – because each experience makes you move forward. Grow. Experience. Be challenged. Overcome obstacles. Succeed.

The point is to keep going and be daring. The point is to embrace courage and show up.

This is your one shot.

Take it and stay courageous!

Your Turn Now

What kind of excuses are holding you back? How can you embrace a more courageous path in 2016?

What’s something you’ve done that took real courage and you never regretted doing? Tell us in the comments.

Register for your spot at Courage to Coach, 2½ Day Training Live in Melbourne. Seats are limited. Reserve your spot here.

Courage to Coach Melbourne

Free life coaching gift pack
success stories
Shilpa Agarwal - ICG Accredited Professional Coach
Shilpa Agarwal

"Want solution, there's always one". And that was my journey. For a long time, I thought that someone else is meant to solve my problems. And then I realized, if I really wanted to change things, like old patterns from the past, or if I...

Read More
Vanessa Medling  - ICG Accredited Professional Coach
Vanessa Medling

Fast forward three years from my first TCI experience and I am living my dream. I am working with amazing clients and living my mission of developing and supporting exceptional leaders every day. The industries I work in range from manufacturing to...

Read More
Monica  Sandercock - ICG Accredited Professional Coach
Monica Sandercock

I never thought I would be a business owner and earn money from what I love, I was surprised how quickly my first paying clients came my way.

Read More
Paul Drabble - ICG Credentialed Practitioner of Coaching
Paul Drabble

TCI journey has given me a different set of skills to add to the tools I already used on myself. It has given me an understanding of what those tools are, how they work how they interact to help people. One of the greatest failings of men's trainings...

Read More
Yaja  Nowakowski  - ICG Accredited Professional Coach
Yaja Nowakowski

I now know how much I didn’t know and how much I’ve yet to learn. I’ve discovered more in a year with TCI than I did in over 30 years of personal and professional development experience leading up to that time. I’m absolutely enthralled by this training....

Read More
Charlott  Kisvarda - ICG Accredited Professional Coach
Charlott Kisvarda

TCI provides excellent training and resources and through this I can bring the very best models and skills to my clients. TCI is exceptionally generous and I am sincerely grateful for their support.

Read More
An Sneyers - ICG Accredited Professional Coach
An Sneyers

What I believe makes all the difference is learning to lean into the unfamiliar. Embracing the discomfort of the new, because that is where the learning happens. It is where amazing stuff is born. And I feel very fortunate that I have a wonderful team of...

Read More
Jane Cann - ICG Accredited Professional Coach
Jane Cann

And it was in that moment, whilst in the waiting room, that an advert came up on my phone for the Coaching Institute. I do not believe in signs, however, I do believe in our brain’s ability to hunt out the information we are seeking. I emailed my details...

Read More
Fiona Morgan - ICG Accredited Professional Coach
Fiona Morgan

One of my biggest learnings is that I AM NOT BROKEN, there is nothing to fix, I don't need any more years of trying to piece myself together … I just need to let go of what is no longer serving me.

Read More
Melissa Ryan - ICG Accredited Professional Coach
Melissa Ryan

I attribute my success to falling over time and time again, and being able to pick myself up and find a way to do it better, and differently. To pick myself up no matter how much mess I’ve created in my life or what life throws at me, and to prune the...

Read More
Jayde Masterson - ICG Accredited Professional Coach
Jayde Masterson

In this journey I discovered The Coaching Institute(TCI) where my journey has sky rocketed! Being a part of the TCI community (since Sept 2014) is one of the most spiritually and intellectually growing spaces I’ve ever found or could recommend being a...

Read More
Lauren Blundell - ICG Accredited Professional Coach
Lauren Blundell

Fast forward 9 months and the anxiety has gone, the direction is strong and I am happier than I have ever been. When I joined The Coaching Institute (TCI) I knew I was in for a personal journey although I had no idea HOW life changing this journey would...

Read More
Suzanne  Duncan - ICG Accredited Professional Coach
Suzanne Duncan

I had a teaching qualification and a background in the medical research and pharmaceutical industries. I have always had an interest in neuroplasticity and as a Feuerstein Practitioner, have been able to use this methodology with school aged students. But...

Read More
Annette Mikecz - ICG Credentialed Advanced Practitioner of Coaching
Annette Mikecz

I first walked through the doors of The Coaching Institute November 2014 and was swept off my feet by the amount of real and authentic people there and had signed up for the Foundations of Coaching Success training run by Joe Pane. I still remember...

Read More
Mary  Jensen - ICG Accredited Professional Coach
Mary Jensen

I love what I do every day; I have two sides to my business. The personal development; which is what we are introduced to in Foundations of Coaching Success weekend. Which is the one-to-one client and I do that to make sure I stay in touch with the little...

Read More
Steph Panther - ICG Accredited Professional Coach
Steph Panther

The Coaching Institute really helped me to fully embrace this and have encouraged me to go beyond what I have even thought was possible. Taking the plunge into a career of coaching, studying and building a business abroad has been a huge personal...

Read More
Sophia Lightfoot - ICG Accredited Professional Coach
Sophia Lightfoot

The TCI courses are overflowing with remarkable content of a high standard which is continually being upgraded. The mentoring from successful coaches in the industry is second to none. The community is like nothing I’ve ever experienced – so many...

Read More
Leanne Wakeling - ICG Accredited Professional Coach
Leanne Wakeling

I did my Foundations of Coaching Success Training in May 2015. As an Accredited Professional Coach, I had access to EVERYTHING, and as reading was not my thing, I started watching ALL the online training sessions. My knowledge started to grow really...

Read More
Fiona Hurle - ICG Accredited Professional Coach
Fiona Hurle

Just 12 months later and I have just opened up my own HQ where all three streams of my ‘Mind Over Matter’ brand are housed to serve our fabulous community of ROCKSTARS. My week is filled helping amazing people with a range of services and products that...

Read More
Caleb Lesa - ICG Accredited Professional Coach
Caleb Lesa

I've found more confidence in myself, I'm closer to what I think is my real self. I'm certainly more comfortable with my potential and I think I know my self in much greater depth than I ever have. I'm heaps more compassionate that I...

Read More
Ryan Wareing - ICG Accredited Professional Coach
Ryan Wareing

It’s funny, when I first came I really aimed to be an outstanding trainer and to be delivering content to rooms. Since I have been here though, the ripple effect in my life has been so much greater than just that goal. So it’s meant that I’ve also become...

Read More
Aj Whalley - ICG Accredited Professional Coach
Aj Whalley

The voice inside is more than just a whisper. It's the voice of your dreams asking you to please listen and embrace ambiguity and uncertainty in order to nourish the seed that was placed in your heart long ago. I know it sounds fluffy but I believe...

Read More
Justine Robbins - ICG Accredited Professional Coach
Justine Robbins

"It’s been a huge personal journey the last 12 months and a great journey around business also. I started my own coaching business full time. It has been amazing, I thought I knew business before I came to TCI, but this course has taught me really...

Read More
Jodie Hunter - ICG Accredited Professional Coach
Jodie Hunter

I was in the totally wrong profession as an accountant; it was like I worked in a box. I came out of that environment and slowly over time it’s like I’ve gotten bigger; especially after this training (Meta Dynamics™) It’s been Epic. I’ve totally stepped...

Read More
Tom Cartwright - ICG Credentialed Master Practitioner of Coaching
Tom Cartwright

Then it all happened. TCI gave me enough tools to face my biggest fears. A life without alcohol and overcome the fear of public speaking. For the first time in my life I went five months without a drop of alcohol and within that five months I presented to...

Read More
Karen Mctackett - ICG Accredited Professional Coach
Karen Mctackett

I joined TCI in April. My journey has barely begun and I love knowing now that I can say with absolute certainty that my journey will never end. Every day brings new challenges and new possibilities and every day, I have moments of fear, I have moments of...

Read More
Rebecca Fox - ICG Accredited Professional Coach
Rebecca Fox

Now with the guidance and learning’s from TCI I am a sole trader (for now!) and my business is called Exceeding Expectations. I am based in Brisbane. I am fully responsible for the financial responsibility for my children’s education and extra curricular...

Read More
Linda  Mancino - ICG Credentialed Master Practitioner of Coaching
Linda Mancino

I have 7 private clients, all of my PT business as well, I have done a couple of corporate gigs and last weekend we (me and my absolutely most gracious and bestest friend in the whole world Sharon C, who is also a TCI student) ran our first mobile retreat...

Read More
Miranda Roediger - ICG Accredited Professional Coach
Miranda Roediger

As I commenced my training I was continually amazed by the clear, simple yet comprehensive and transformational learning that took place - it was nothing like I had ever experienced in any of my other education or positions. The knowledge and experiences...

Read More
Felicity Lavars - ICG Credentialed Master Practitioner of Coaching
Felicity Lavars

Then I learned so much more... piece by piece I started to strip back the story I had been telling myself for years and began finding my authentic self. I discovered and healed years of hurt, years of telling myself I wasn’t worthy, good enough or loved....

Read More
Androulla Sakkas - ICG Accredited Professional Coach
Androulla Sakkas

I am now asked to speak at events, I run my own Business Breakfasts quarterly, have an online program and work one on one with business owners. If you asked me 5 years ago what would your business look like, I would not have said this. How I live each day...

Read More
Chris Jackson - ICG Accredited Professional Coach
Chris Jackson

It just so happens that it's nearly exactly 12 months ago that I took a punt by clicking on The Coaching Institute’s (TCI) Facebook add that caught my curiosity. Nearly 1 year on, I own my own business that changes people's lives and I'm...

Read More
Carole Issa - ICG Accredited Professional Coach
Carole Issa

Joining The Coaching Institute was a game-changer for me and also for the people around me. The journey with The Coaching Institute has been outstanding because of the level of training I’m receiving and also because of their amazing support and awesome...

Read More
Jackie Nielsen - ICG Accredited Professional Coach
Jackie Nielsen

The course is challenging in the most magnificent way. I believed I was not capable of studying and learning prior to beginning my studies. My lack of self confidence in my academic skills was high. Meta Dynamics™ changed everything and I am now a...

Read More
Victoria Jones - ICG Credentialed Master Practitioner of Coaching
Victoria Jones

When I started my coaching journey one of the first things I did was to write a vision statement and create a vision board. Within 11 months everything I once dreamed of had manifested. I am living the exact life I had written about. I now have more time...

Read More
Phillip Sealy - ICG Accredited Professional Coach
Phillip Sealy

What really changed me after the course was Meta Dynamics™ III in Facilitation Training. This course blew me away whereby in five days I was able to change my old thinking around teaching and running workshops that I had used for over twenty years and...

Read More
Nick Knowles - ICG Credentialed Master Practitioner of Coaching
Nick Knowles

My first training at TCI was the intake weekend of January 2014. I was so excited it was impossible to be nervous, but it’s funny, I quickly realised I was holding back - at what many would call a self-development program! I caught myself out, and pushed...

Read More
Mathew Lewis -
Mathew Lewis

My journey with TCI began in 2012 - I had already enrolled in the Cert. IV course and I took my skeptical partner along to a free TCI event a few weeks before my intake weekend. We were both so blown away by the content shared at this event that I...

Read More
David Lyons -
David Lyons

At the moment, I’m working – following the bouncing ball. I’m prepared to coach for as many years as I possibly can. I’m getting on top of the things that matter. I’m getting better at acknowledging how I feel. I’m converting clients – and now I need to...

Read More
Arpan Roy - ICG Credentialed Master Practitioner of Coaching
Arpan Roy

I joined TCI in November 2013, and did my intake weekend just 3 days after I signed up. Talk about a fast start! The training was an experience like no other. What was special for me was I attended the training with my lovely wife Manasee. There was lots...

Read More
Ros  Weadman - ICG Accredited Professional Coach
Ros Weadman

After more than 25 years working in various marketing and public relations roles, including 16 years in management, I finally took the plunge and started my own business consultancy in April 2011. Fortunately, due to my strong networks, I hit the ground...

Read More
Martha Ngunjiri - ICG Accredited Professional Coach
Martha Ngunjiri

TCI has given me a powerful reconnection with myself and I have regained my youthful creativity. The amazing TCI community also confirms that if I focus on lifting and working with others to become their best, my own is assured. I have now started a...

Read More
Linda Bryant -
Linda Bryant

So thank you Sharon for making this place happen! The changes in my life are huge. Thank you also to Joe - I had people commenting on my acceptance speeches saying they couldn't believe how well I could speak! hehehee....well 4 weeks ago I couldn...

Read More
Malcom Neale -
Malcom Neale

My Business is starting to take off. Most of my clients sign 6 month contracts with me and the results that they are getting both Business wise and in their personal lives are truly rewarding in deed. They are now starting to refer other clients to me and...

Read More

Connect With Us

Back to top