Growth requires change, change involves risk, and risk requires courage. If you have been reluctant to take risks in the past, maybe you’re wondering “Where do I find this courage?”

Resilience psychology and science tell us that there are certain characteristics that empower us to stretch into uncharted territories. Whether you currently have these characteristics or not, the good news is, they can be cultivated, at any point in life.

Here are 3 courage strengthening characteristics, along with a mindset to support each (3 C’s).

Self-confidence

Our level of self-confidence predicts how much action we will be motivated to take. In order to take chances and risks, we have to be able to tolerate success and failure, and both require self-confidence. A self-confident person knows that their value exists independent of the successes and failures they experience. They know that every experience provides learning, and can be a stepping stone to their next accomplishment. Their sense of self- trust helps them feel supported from the inside out. They are conscious of, and trust their intentions when they take chances.

Empowering Mindset
My strengths, skills and gifts exist independent of my successes and failures. All of my experiences are valuable to me. With each risk I take I grow stronger, more knowledgeable and wiser.

Self-compassion

People who take risks know that perfectionism shuts down innovation and creativity. In order to mine the value of every experience, we must be capable of forgiving ourselves when something does not go as we hoped or planned. Self -compassion catalyzes the integration of meaning and learning in all of our experiences, for better or worse. And embracing the value in every experience, in turn, propels us forward to our next level of achievement and excellence.

Empowering mindset
I know my intentions are always for my good and the good of all concerned. No matter what the outcome of my efforts, I am proud of my courage to take risks to grow my life.

Self-cultivation

Self-cultivation is the capacity to truly learn through every experience. People who are self -cultivating ask themselves questions such as; “How am I different as a result of this experience? What have I gained? How has this changed my perspective on life? What am I grateful for? What would I do differently next time?” They are authentic lifelong learners.

Empowering mindset
Living as a lifelong learner empowers me to use every experience to fulfill and grow my potential and be of greater value to others.

So, is there a decision you feel called to make, or step you really want to take that you’re holding back on? I encourage you to ask yourself, with brutal honesty, what real risks exist if you take this step, and what potential rewards await you?

Remember, as Jack Canfield says, “everything you want is on the other side of fear“.  And, when you take a courageous step, life will always conspire in your favor, it’s physics, not fluff :-). Your results may not look like the picture you have in mind, but they will always be exactly what you truly need.