Working up the Courage

For men, it’s difficult to work up the courage to do a lot of things in life: asking women out on dates, asking for a raise, or asking for what they need and want in general. Guys struggle a lot with self-confidence issues, and working up the courage to confront fear or fearful situations goes along with developing one’s self-confidence.

There’s a lot to be fearful of in the world, and when we succumb to our fear, we’re usually succumbing to negative experiences that we’ve had in the past. When we tried something and failed, or it hasn’t produced the result that we would’ve wanted, that experience gets branded in our psyches and cripples us from moving forward. Instead of being able to work up the courage to get to our final destination, whether that be getting out of a bad job or working up the courage to ask out the woman you’ve had your eye on, we succumbed to the overwhelming negative messages and beliefs that prevent us from our success.

The idea of “feel the fear and do it anyway” is popular in some circles, but the fear that debilitates us from summoning up the strength to deal with a situation with courage takes a keener eye to see. If we can look inside of ourselves, and investigate the fear ourselves, we can begin to dissolve the fear at its root. Instead of the male friendly way of “pushing through the fear,” which is one way to go, we turn in words and tried to develop our relationship with fear at its root. This way, if situations arise in the future that provoke our fear, we don’t have to get into a habit of just “pushing through it” to create a positive result.

Courage is the modus operandi of good self-confidence. We use courage to propel us into success in our lives. If there are blocks to our self-confidence, it may be that we are stuck in some kind of fear or negative self messages or beliefs that keep us in place. Here are some tips to help you work up the courage to situation that seems difficult:

  • Ask yourself, “what is the worst possible outcome if I act on my fear? If I succumb to it?”
  • help yourself understand if there have been situations in the past that have scarred you or hinder your ability to be courageous today.
  • Try to identify if there are negative self messages that have come from your family background that keep you from using encourage. Oftentimes, we integrate family messages around fear, risk taking, and success.
  • When you think of a situation that requires employing courage, what feelings come up for you? Try to check in physically with your body, and with the sensations that arise when you think of the fearful situation that would need your courage. What is the felt sense that you experience–in your heart, in your shoulders, in your neck, etc.?
  • Try not to beat yourself into submitting to the potentially scarier risky event, because you’ll just make it worse. Instead, try to understand what is holding you back instead of trying to just “push through” the situation.

Try to use some of these tips to help you get through a situation that might need your courage. Oftentimes, because were stuck in our own fear and irrational fantasies and beliefs about how a situation is going to play out, we lose the sense of ourselves in the present moment. Because we’ve already shut down the outcome before we even started it, we deny ourselves a chance at success before we’re even out of the gates.


About Jason

As "The Man That Men Will Talk To," Jason Fierstein, MA, LPC is a private practice counselor and psychotherapist for men and couples in the greater Phoenix, Arizona, area. He works with struggling men to find happiness in their lives, and with their wives.
This entry was posted in Mens’ Mental Health, Stress and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *