How to Have Courage

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  • “Remember every day you are conditioning yourself for a bold, expressive, and courageous life.”
  • Are you seeking to live a more brave and free life in 2020? If you’re ready to lead with courage and create long-term habits that will bring you greater success and fulfillment, this episode is for you!
  • “Somebody needs to see you be extraordinary. And when you realize that people need to see you extraordinary all the time, guess what? You get in on it.”
  • Watch the video to get the full training.
  • If you want to live a more courageous and vibrant life, learn four ways to harness more courage and become an extraordinary leader.
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Overcoming “Who Am I?”
How to Reignite Your Life




[The following is the full transcript of this episode of The Brendon Show. Please note that this episode, like all TBS episodes, features Brendon speaking extemporaneously–he is unscripted and unedited. Filmed in one take, The Brendon Show has become one of the most viewed unscripted, direct-to-camera self-help series in the history of YouTube. It has also been the #1 Podcast in all of iTunes and is regularly in the top podcasts in Self-Help and Health categories around the globe. Subscribe to the free motivational podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.)

What’s up my friends! I hope you’re having an incredible and high-performing day. It’s Brendon, let’s talk about courage today. You know, I’ve been asked about this so many times after my book High Performance Habits came out where we identified that one of the most important things that high performers really do in their life is demonstrate courage. But how do you demonstrate courage right now when there’s so much judgment out there, so much negative energy, so many people getting upset, and so many people throwing accusations and commenting negatively on you when you have all these big goals? You have these big ambitions, it’s that time of year where you’re setting goals, you’re getting really serious about it, but taking action, being bold, doing hard things—you and I both know that’s difficult.

It brings about that fear that if you’re going to be bold and courageous, you’re going to do something that really extends you beyond your comfort zone, you’re going to risk failure. You’re going to risk being judged, you’re going to risk being rejected, you’re going to risk ruin, and that’s the challenge. We all would love to say, “Hey, I’m a courageous person! I really go for it. I achieved my goals, I stretched beyond my comfort zone.” Oh my gosh, how amazing would that be? But it’s hard and I don’t want to say that it’s not because I think the truth is a lot of people don’t realize how scary it can be to really go for it every day. So I thought I’d share just four big ideas about courage with you today that I hope will really serve you.

1. Speak Up More for Yourself

So let’s talk courage. First thing you need to know: If you want to be more courageous in your life, number one thing you have to do is speak up more for yourself and share your real thoughts, feelings, dreams, desires, and needs with other people more consistently. I know you guys know this is important, right? How do you be courageous? You start speaking up for yourself more.

When we did our research on high performers, this was like one of my very favorite findings that we had which was that courage wasn’t people just jumping in the river and saving babies kind of stuff. It’s not that those aren’t physical acts of amazing courage, but the reality is that the courage that made people succeed over the long term was more that on a consistent and daily basis, they spoke up for themselves. It was like the high performers were the ones in the meeting saying, “Hey, I’ve got an idea.” They were more willing to raise their hand and express
their truth, but they’re also more willing to speak up for other people too.

So it’s not just speaking up for yourself saying, “Hey, I want this” or “Hey. I need that.” It’s also speaking up for other people, “Hey, did you hear what this person over here said? Hey, she’s trying to get this across to you.” Speaking up for other people on a more consistent basis develops courage, right? It is also frankly an expression of your truth.

I really believe that real daily courage is expressing more of our truth to the world.

It’s living more of an authentic and expressive life because you and I both know how many people out there are kind of faking it or holding back. They are silent about their own passions, their own dreams, and their own heartaches. So what happens? They feel insanely alone and disconnected because they’re suffering in their own silence by not speaking up for themselves. What are the odds of them then being courageous when it’s time to speak up for somebody else if they won’t speak up and act for themselves in living an authentic life? What are the odds that when it’s time to take some real, bold action that they’re going to do it?

Remember every day my friends, you are conditioning yourself for a bold, expressive, and courageous life. The way that you express yourself is either setting you up for success over the long term, or it’s holding back.

I know you all know that. Courage is not about, “Hey, I never feel fear.” You can feel the fear, you can feel the anxiety, you can feel the doubt. Sometimes those things are just signals to be attentive, present, and thoughtful in your next steps. It doesn’t mean don’t do it. Fear can be a great ally in helping marshal your attention and your energies to do something. I hope that helps you think through it. Your first act if you are going to be more courageous over the long term is to speak up more for yourself and for other people.

2. Consistently Surpass Your Goals

Second big idea: You must consistently surpass your goals. You’ve got to train yourself to surpass your goals. So what does that presuppose? Well, it presupposes you’re setting goals. It presupposes that you are setting the goals, you are writing those goals down, and every single day you revisit those goals and you are tracking and managing them in such a way that you actually know if you achieve them. Courage happens because we have some momentum behind us too. When we feel like we are surpassing our goals on a consistent basis, what does that develop? Confidence. We’ve got confidence in ourselves. We know we are competent, we know we are capable, we know we are going to get it done because we’ve done it over and over and over again.

So when that major challenge comes up that does require courage and requires a real leap out of your comfort zone, that base of confidence and capability comes into play and you act.

Don’t wait for that time you get your “break.” Don’t wait for that time when suddenly you have to be on and hope that you’ll just be able to deliver. No, condition being on. Condition stepping outside the comfort zone. Condition taking actions, stepping up. Because if you’ll condition it on a more consistent basis with the small things every day, of achieving the small goals, of protecting your boundaries, of working towards your priorities, of being on your A-game on a consistent basis for the little things, then when that big break comes up, that big scary thing comes up, you step right up and knock through that courage ceiling.

3. Adopt the Role Model Mindset

Third big idea for you is—and I talk a lot about this in all of my work and I’m really trying to push it this year so I hope you guys will help share this message, share these videos I’m
doing for you, really be part of this community and HPX. And that is this: Adopt the role model mindset.

I was literally just talking about this with my community yesterday. You’ve got to adopt the role model mindset. You know, so often our comforts and our pleasures and what makes us happy for ourselves in a selfish way also boxes us in that little comfort zone.

But when we recognize that, “Oh my gosh people are watching—I can be an influencer, I can be a leader, I can be a role model for other people,” you start stepping up even when you don’t feel like it.

You know, so many acts of courage that people see me do or like, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe you do that, Brendon. How do you step on stage in front of all these people, how are you always expressing yourself and writing your books and doing these videos and all these other things?” And people think I have some gift and the truth is if I have a gift it’s the mindset of service and role modeling. I know that by challenging myself to be a role model that if I can just challenge myself to be consistent and to be inspiring and to be a person of integrity and to demonstrate and you guys get to see me live my dreams as a writer and a high performance coach and doing this influencer stuff, if you see me doing it on a consistent basis, well maybe it inspires you. Maybe you change your life, you help other people achieve their goals or achieve their dreams, that we can create a community of people who are really role models. I just feel like when I am aware that I serve as a role model for other people, I’m more likely to step up to the plate when it’s scary.

I’m more likely to be disciplined, I’m more likely to be consistent in being on my A-game and the more consistent I’m on my A-game because I know other people are watching me as a role model, guess what? When that big challenge comes up, it’s more natural to step up.

And you guys know many of you will do so much for other people than you’ll do for yourself.

You know that’s true, so my suggestion, if I may, is to be aware of that. Be thoughtful of that.

Somebody needs to see you be extraordinary. And when you realize that people need to see you extraordinary all the time, guess what? You get in on it.

4. Ask for Help More Often

Last big idea. I said number one, you’ve got to speak up for yourself and speak up for other people more often. It’s totally vital. Number two, you have to surpass your goals. So you’ve got to keep setting the goals, working the goals, passing them, celebrating it and integrating those wins. When you’re having wins, integrate it into your identity so you can have more confidence too. Number three, I talked about adopting the role model mindset because sometimes you’ll do more for other people than you’ll do for yourself and when you recognize that people are watching, you’ll rise above. And my last big idea, number four, ask for help way more often. Way more often.

I know Jenna’s dealt with this, I’ve dealt with this. There are so many people making big moves in our lives where we doubt ourselves or we don’t know if we can add value or we get in that place where we’re like, “You know, I don’t know exactly what to do here.” Your job is to ask for help way more often and listen, this is the most important thing. The odd thing is we all think, “Oh, it’s so courageous to ask for help when we need it.” You know, the funny thing? The flip side of that coin? It’s extraordinarily courageous to ask for help when you don’t need it. And what do I mean by that?

I mean, if you really want to go to another level—listen, many of you watching, you’re high-achieving. You’re happy, you’re successful, things are going great, but you stop sharing and asking for help so you get in a lane. You don’t even know you’re playing in a lane that’s below your potential because when you’re not asking for help all the time, what ends up happening is, especially if you’re successful, you think you’re doing great. You don’t even have the perspective of other people doing more amazing things or maybe they’ve got a slight tweak on it. Like, if you hang out with me, you will know immediately I am Mr. Ask-You-A-Million-Questions and I’m almost like, “I’m trying to do this, what should I do? Hey, I’m thinking about doing that, what should I do? I have an idea. What would you do?” So even though I have achievements and success in my life and people look to me, I’m still asking everybody around me like, “Hey what would you do in this situation?” I’m always asking for help even though it’s not like begging or placating or like, “Oh woe is me, help.” No, it’s actually like, “I’m thinking about doing this idea. What would you recommend?” That’s asking for help as well.

So yes, ask for help when you’re down in the dumps. Ask for help when you’re sad. Ask for help when you don’t have a clue but also keep asking for help when you’re on a roll, when you have momentum, when you have success—that’s how high performers maintain success over the long term.

Because they’re always collecting new data and that new information is helping to make better decisions and as they make better decisions, they achieve more goals and as they achieve more goals, they get on that roll and now courage is so much easier because they know they’re not going it alone and they’re doing the right things more consistently. Because the more you do the wrong things or get less results, of course that’s going to impact your courage. So we need to have that momentum of moving forward and a lot of that comes from asking for help and insight from others.

Those are my four big ideas on courage today.

Speak up and share more. Speak up for other people as well. Number two, surpass your goals, which means you got to track them and work towards them. Number three, adopt the role model mindset because people are watching and you’ll be on your A-game for other people and when you’re being a role model you’ll be more courageous. And number four, ask for help more often—including when you’re on a roll.