How to Increase Your Courage: 7 Tips

how to increase your courage


By Mary Jaksch

How’s your courage? When did you last use it?

The thing is that courage is like a muscle. If you don’t use it, it withers away.

I’m not talking about huge acts of courage. It’s about the little moments. After all, if you want to become fit, it’s the small regular moments of exercise that make the difference in the long run.

You can increase your courage with the following simple tips. But first, let’s take a closer look at what is courage.

What is courage?

Courage is the ability to face danger, difficulty, uncertainty, or pain without being overcome by fear or being deflected from a chosen course of action.

The word ‘courage’ stems from the Latin word ‘cor’ – which means heart. And it’s true, courage is a state of the heart. It’s the ability to do what seems right – even if it feels scary.

Here are ways to train your courage:

Tip no#1: Start something new.

It’s hard to be a beginner again. It takes courage to learn something new and to be a newbie in amongst more experienced people.

Tip no#2: Go somewhere you’ve never been before.
Too often our life is on a track that has little variation. Do you always take the same way home from work? Or go to the same restaurant for a meal? Try going somewhere new.

Tip no#3: Say what is in your heart.
Do you sometimes suppress the true words that want to come out? I’m sure we all do that at times. What holds us back is fear. A good way to train your courage is to say something positive about a person – even if you’re nervous of how they’ll receive what you say.

Tip no#4: Speak to someone you don’t know.
Imagine being at a party where you don’t know most people. That can feel daunting. You’ll feel a lot better, if pluck up your courage and start a conversation with someone you don’t know. Ask them what they do, where they live, or what they are passionate about.

Tip no#5: Stand up for someone else.
If you see someone at work being treated unfairly, what do you do? Do you speak up – or remain silent. It’s the same with office gossip. Do you ever defend the person who is being run down? Try standing up for someone else – you will feel your courage grow.

Tip no#6: Learn to shout.
If you practice martial arts, one of the first things you learn is to shout. I’ve experienced that many people – and especially women – have forgotten how to shout. Their self-esteem is so low that they don’t know how to raise their voice. I suggest learning to shout. You can go to martial art classes, walk on the beach, or shout into a pillow. The shout that comes from the belly is a tremendous source of energy and courage.

Tip no#7: Dress how you want to
Our society has strong rules about how we are supposed to dress at certain occasions. Maybe you have a dress-code at work that you need to follow. Make sure that you intentionally dress how you like when it’s leisure time. Express yourself through your clothing.

These seven tips will help you to train your courage. Remember, it’s the little moments that add up to great courage.

Do you have a great tip on how to train courage? Please share in the comments.

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  1. Cathy says:

    Thank you 🙂

  2. I like this one Mary. Especially the one about learning to SHOUT!
    I think it’s important to realise that being courageous doesn’t mean we will become invulnerable, in fact sometimes one of the bravest things we can do is admit our vulnerability. Reminds me of the title of that self-help book from a few years back “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway”.
    Tess Giles Marshall´s last blog post ..There’s always a cost

    • Thanks for your comment, Tess. Yes, relearning how to SHOUT is extremely important. It’s amazing that we lose the ability to shout – when it’s our best defensive weapon…

  3. I have to agree with courage being like a muscle. If we don’t use it we lose it.
    Justin | Mazzastick´s last blog post ..Intimacy Is Not for the Faint of Heart

  4. Roxanne says:

    Number 6 is my favorite! Your full list is great, Mary! I think number 6 resonates because of how most of us live – close quarters, crowded spaces, the librarian shushing us as kids. We’re all so afraid to make noise – to make a scene! Let’s have a shout out day! Let it out…SHOUT!!! Love it!
    Roxanne´s last blog post ..Mistakes: Why You Should Make One Today

    • Hi Roxanne, sometimes it’s difficult to find a spot where we can shout without people sending in the police to help us. That’s what I love about my karate training – it’s a place where they encourage me to shout …yeah!

  5. Hi Mary,

    I like #1, Start Something New. It takes courage to make a change in your life, to put yourself out there and to let go of self criticism. When we feel we have courage, we feel strong.
    Cathy | Treatment Talk´s last blog post ..Monthly Message – October 2011

  6. I again learned the lesson of courage when moving to Hawaii this year. Even walking into a yoga class where I knew no one took courage. I started outrigger paddling. It took courage. Again, new people, new sport, new, new, new.

    I believe it does take continued practice. It seems age these days does not encourage courage… but people like you are the change makers for many to create it. Mahalo (thank you in Hawaiian).

    For me #10. Dress how you want. I wrote a post on the Putting on your Gaga for that reason. I’ll be nearing the half century age marker soon enough… I wear short shorts, short skirts, and big earrings. And I love it!

    Aloha Wags!
    Jt Clough | Big Island Dog´s last blog post ..Kona Dog Training Gone Hawaii Style

  7. Rose Byrd says:

    Tip #5: Standing up for someone else has always been my most dependable and most effective “courage” tool. Actually, since early childhood, I have just automatically stepped up to the line, so to speak, when someone or some groups were needing a champion, in my opinion. Truly, Cathy/Treatment Talk, when we PRACTICE “feeling” courageous, we ARE courageous! If you look at the pattern of my postings at over the past weeks, you will see I am prying one finger at a time off my grip of self-criticism. Thanks so much for your comment.

  8. Ken Wert says:

    Hi Mary!

    I love these suggestions for becoming more courageous by taking small steps toward that goal. So often, we hear people encourage more this or more that character trait without ever giving us ideas for developing the trait we feel motivated to develop. The why is important, but the why without a decent how only leaves us frustrated.

    Thanks for the practical advice on living with greater courage. Our growth and character depends on it!
    Ken Wert´s last blog post ..Metaphors of the Mind: How to Change Your Thoughts and Have Fun Doing It!

  9. Noel says:

    I resonates so much to #3, Mary 😀 I braved myself to greet “Happy Birthday” to the guy I like. I know I was so nervous, my face turned red and my voice shakes but it was such a relieve after doing it. There is no regret but moreover – happiness! I think this itself is the reward of my courage.
    Noel´s last blog post ..Challenge Quotes & Obstacles Quotes

  10. noch says:

    i think another way to train courage, is to laugh at oneself – laugh at ourselves when we do something silly, forget something, when something goes wrong etc…
    being able to not take life too seriously gives us more confidence and take everything in a stride, and builds courage for us to try new things…
    noch´s last blog post ..i’m tired

  11. Great post Mary!
    I just wanted to add that sometimes courage can be expressed internally, as acceptance of something unpleasant. As love for something that is difficult. As perseverance at a time when you feel that you just can’t take it anymore…

    Thanks, Vlad
    Vlad | Simpler Life Today´s last blog post ..How to Make the Right Decision Every Time by Following your Heart

  12. Ellen says:

    Hi Mary

    #6 Learn to Shout, reminded me of when I had singing lessons and learnt to sing LOUDLY. I had always been timid and quiet, and learning to allow myself to make a loud noise was a very emotional process for me, even in the safe space of the singing lesson. Now I feel more expanded if I really belt it out!

    Love all these tips, thanks!

  13. Lea B. says:

    Good tips. Building courage is like most other things, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

  14. Hi Mary,

    Thanks so much for this post. This is so useful for helping people take practical steps toward developing courage. What I liked most was that the interpersonal practices would also benefit the receivers of the communication. What a win-win!

  15. sean koon says:

    I think courage should be on our minds a lot more than it is. It’s like a formless thing that may have no real substrate aside from that the situation that demands its creation. We tend to think in terms of “solving” or “planning”, and much of our worrying is just a impotent form of “solving”. If only a voice would randomly come to mind, “this situation doesn’t need a solution, or a way out, it only needs courage…”
    sean koon´s last blog post ..Motivation is Always 100%

  16. […] How to Increase Your Courage: 7 Tips – Can’t figure out where your true courage lies?  Read more at Good Life Zen and take […]

  17. Emil Karlsson says:

    Hi! My name is Emil and i live in Sweden. There is som 7;th graders in my school that bullys me and my friends. Thanks for posting this cuse now i have the curage to stand up against this guys!

  18. Anil kumar says:

    I like too much which is very important our life to increase our courage

  19. Bea Jay says:

    I’m over 45 and has taking on learning to quad roller skate. I shake in my boots thinking I am going to fall again. In the very beginning I fell a lot; “no never did I break anything” but I hated hitting the floor so I’ve learned to not do that as much; but the fear of falling has a grip on me and it has not allow the potential of the real me out. I know I can be greater if I could trust my feet to respond accordingly. Courage is also learning to trust yourself and fear not what you can do to yourself.

  20. Aadil says:

    hi, my name is aadil, i am from india. I wanted to ask that if a guy bullies me and i know i cannot beat him up all i have to do is to back off..will this affect my dignity and respect and if yes how can overcome this but i am afraid of being beaten up.:(
    Aadil´s last blog post ..How Using the “Power of 3” Can Clear Your Mind and Bring Peace

    • vivek says:

      you may be bitten up because you may weaker than him,but if you back off and bear everything he will get more courage to torcher you.From my point of view you don,t have to back off he may hit you thrice but you can give atleast one blow which he will remember for long.

  21. Mohamed says:

    This helped a lot, thank you mary

  22. Sriparna Datta says:

    I feel these tips are really very very good, I will try my besy to follow them. Thanks a lot Mary for sharing and helping without your personal interest.

  23. Praveen Pal says:

    Thanks for posting this. I like all the points and i think i need to try all asap. Thanks

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