A vision is a driving force for both individuals and organizations. It is regarded as a foundational part of a person's life or an organization's existence. Vision is the ability to see beyond the present and its challenges. It gives direction as it allows one to imagine and make decisions about their desired future. However, the journey between your starting point and the desired future is not easy, unless you dream small. Every visionary needs courage to have their aspirations become alive.
Of all the things that can help you carry out your business vision, why should you focus on courage?
Courage is the ability to meet situations which frighten us or allows us to confront pain and uncertainty. It is a trait every person needs. Generally, our lives are marked by a series of events that fill us with fear and doubt. We face opposition, loss, disappointments, rejection, natural disasters, and other risks where we ask ourselves, "Is this worth investing my time and energy?".
People have often given up opportunities that would have changed their lives because they gave way to fear, doubt, and discouragement. This is one of the reasons why, if we want to carry out our vision, we need to be courageous and face life and its challenges head-on. If we don’t we will see our dreams wither and die or watch others implement our ideas. And, as we plan our future, we need to ensure that we prepare ourselves for the obstacles that may come our way so that we remain standing.
Needless to say, courage can take us to new heights and help us stand on grounds others wouldn't dare set feet on. Courageous people know no bounds or limits besides those they set for themselves. As John McCain once said, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the capacity to act despite our fears.” (Fast Company, 2004).
We often think of courage as an innate ability to conquer fear, but courage can also be considered a skill that we can learn. When we learn something we practice it over and over again to get it right.
We can develop courage by facing our fears, overcoming them and then building on that strength. Like everything that is learned it takes discipline and consistent action to make it come alive for us. Acts of courage happen out of our strength of conviction and are an expression of our character and our character is developed through positive learning and reinforcement.
Now, if you are a visionary you often need to step out and step up with courage. For instance, consider these real life situations:
So, how can you channel the courage you need?
1. Understand the source of your fear and address it – there are various reasons why people lose courage. If you know the root of the problem, resolving it is easier. (see also)
2. Focus on your vision – before you let fear take over your life, think of your vision and why it is important to you. Ask yourself what is bigger, your reasons to be afraid or your aspirations. Most importantly, ask yourself how much you stand to lose by giving in to fear. Where dreams are big and are linked with purpose, fighting fears and doubts should be one of your priorities.
3. Have a strong support structure – sometimes your dreams scare you because you are walking the journey by yourself and you don't know who can help you when you have a need for emotional, psychological, or financial support. It is important to build relationships with people and keep those close to you who think like you and who understand your vision.
4. Understand your value – if you are earning an earnest living, respectful to others, a visionary, and you’re doing your best to make things work, you do not have a reason to feel inferior to other people. Understand that those who made it in life are by no means better than you. They also started where you are.
If you are starting from a lesser position than others and you still have the will to move forward without stepping on other people's toes, then you deserve respect. The point is, as you walk into a room full of successful people, walk with your head high and chest out like they are your equals. In most cases, they understand where you are and are ready to help you. Therefore, fear not. Even if they are disingenuous, understand that your vision depends more on your courage and confidence than it does on the opinions of people who do not bring value to your life.
Walk into every room like you have already made it but remember to remain humble and take lessons from those wiser than you.
5. Understand the turns of life – sometimes we lack courage because we also lack an understanding of things that are just part of daily living. People don't always succeed with what they try. They are rejected, they take risks where success is not guaranteed and, among other things, they make seemingly perfect plans only to meet the unexpected along the way. That's life. Nobody is immune to challenges. Expect to face obstacles and be prepared to find a way around them. Remember, there is always a way.
Thank you for reading and always stay safe, keep well and remember to become the best version of yourself.
Adapted from “Build Your Vision” found in the Storefront.