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The hidden gem in us: Courage

Courage; once upon a time, simply meant ‘the heart as the source of emotion’. In our day, courage is the knack to act, standing opposite things that tremble you – that shake your inner cords. 

It took every ounce of me to accept my very first invitation to stand up and say just a sprinkling of words, especially when my soul was screaming “NO!” But I showed up, bearing in mind, that just this could be a test of character. However, I was shuddering on the inside, chills running down my spine, my limbs trembling. I was certain I would puke, run out of the door or jump out the window, maybe. To my surprise, I didn’t. I was confronting my worst fear. Still, I knew deep down that I’m going to make a fool out of myself. All that because I believed I had no courage. I doubted my self-confidence. I was in utter disbelief.

Nonetheless, I couldn’t meet the expense of it to win. Astonishingly, I had delivered some beautiful words. That happened because I faced my fears. I put myself out there; everyone appreciated and applauded.

Soon after that, I grabbed every opportunity in my way to talk and to be expressive. It helped me unleash a new side in me.

Finally, this made me realise that when you encourage your courage, you portray yourself, you nurture yourself and that is when you recognise yourself.

Courage, in other words, is a measure of self-esteem and deep determination. Something exceptional for each individual. It displays what we believe in and the power of belief over our own will. It is always considered and treated as ‘the difficult path’ to take. A characteristic that cannot be bought, rather only strengthened over time. Conversely, there remain the people who never stand-up for themselves or others and always remain faint-hearted. 

Nothing ever comes without a little risk and so doesn’t courage, as there is no heroism without stakes. Courage is very unlike from thoughtlessness by its consequences. The courageous heart saves lives, gives a deep sense of faith, and quite rarely is an act of self-sacrifice but only for the good of others. 

Besides, courage doesn’t only exist in mountain climbing or fighting for your country. It’s in the smallest everyday tasks. Sometimes, even in asking someone a question or owning up to your mistakes. 

It’s not as scary as you think it is, believe me. Here are a few simple, strong & effective steps to help you build your courage muscle, and what students have experienced and achieved through courage.

1. Identify what scares you and figure out why it does

People are reluctant to accept their fears, but once you do, at least the constant worry of accepting your fear is gone. Identifying the cause can help you become proactive in choosing your steps towards a revolution.

Dhanyatha Praveen, a first-year Journalism student at Middlesex University, Dubai says:

“Loneliness is one fear that exists in a lot of people, including myself. We tend to get attached to people and things. And when they leave, it’s an unimaginable feeling. It took me a while to figure it out but I’m glad I did. I feel liberated.”

Dhanyatha is a first-year Journalism student at Middlesex University, Dubai.

2. Recognize your courage

It’s important to know that you show many signs of courage every day, acknowledge them. Acknowledge yourself for doing those things. Once you recognise it, you will start building courage in every aspect of your life.

Maryam Mohammed Imran, IFP student at Middlesex University, Dubai says:

Every obstacle I’ve faced has led me to come out much stronger, today. However, I don’t know how strong I really am but yes, I am getting there. I can perceive situations better now and that for me is a small part of having courage. Accepting the change within myself.” 

Maryam is an IFP student at Middlesex University, Dubai.

3. Develop a concrete plan to step out of your comfort zone

A clear well-planned strategy you can follow will help you stay on track. 

Vaneezeh Khamisani, a second-year biomedical student at Gulf Medical University, Ajman says:

So I remember the first time I had an assignment in biology class. I could either write an essay or present it in front of my class. Well, I obviously wanted to write an essay, cause easy way out, but I thought to myself that this is my chance to stand out. If not now, when? So, I practiced my presentation at home, annoyed my parents to listen to me. Finally, on the day of the presentation, with quivering legs, I walked up to talk in front of the class. They were smiling, encouraging me to start talking. It was nerve-wracking but it made me realize that it’s a mind-play and that I have to fight the demon in my head because it’s true, ‘change begins at the end of your comfort zone’. In order to be successful, you need to take risks, once in a while.

Vaneezeh is a second-year biomedical student at Gulf Medical University, Ajman.

4. Adapt and practice behaviors that build that muscle

The behavioral tactic can help you engage with the otherwise daunting circumstances. 

Mufaddal Madan, a second-year Computer Science student at Zhejiang University of Technology, China says:

“Practice plays a major role in achieving goals and for that, you must adapt to the environment and situation but that’s not all.  In my experience, a better way to achieve something in life you must have a set pattern to stick to. If you want to be the type of person who accomplished things on a consistent basis, in this case, become stronger, then give yourself a schedule to follow, not a deadline to race towards. Take your time but get where you strive to.”

Mufaddal is a second-year Computer Science student at the Zhejiang University of Technology, China.

5. AVOID comparing yourself to others

It can lead to minimising your self-confidence. Remember, some people only project courage to intimate others. So believe in what you are. 

Shaik Sahil Ahmed, third-year HR Business Management at Middlesex University, Dubai says:

“The only person I compare myself to is to whom I was yesterday. Am I better or worse?”

Shaik is a third-year HR Business Management at Middlesex University, Dubai.

6. Start taking the risks and don’t forget to accept failures 

The ability to take a bold step and accept potential failures is a significantly helpful skill to boost courage and confidence in the long-run. 

Arjun Radeesh, a first-year Journalism at student Middlesex University, Dubai says:

“This has been such a huge part of my life. I had no clue what I could do when I faced a challenge, I shook and panicked. I have been rejected by multiple schools and jobs. Every rejection was a stepping stone for me. It built my self-confidence and strengthened my weaknesses. Rejections were always a lesson. Being a journalist has increased my poise in approaching the right people at the right time.”

Arjun is a first-year Journalism at student Middlesex University, Dubai.

7. Take the road less traveled by

Stick by your convictions. Fight for your right. Take unconventional paths and dare to think differently. 

Peter Amegovu, IFP student at Middlesex University, Dubai says:

“The beliefs that I hold on, no matter how out of place they might make me seem are intertwined with my life therefore it’s similar to fighting for my life.

I believe, taking the road that the majority of people are unaware of will lead to discoveries far beyond the depths of my imagination, so I continue to think differently and put my beliefs on a pedestal over all other things no matter how unconventional they seem.”

Peter is an IFP student at Middlesex University.

8. Keep moving forward!

You cannot permanently discard negative thoughts, but your will to move forward can subside them. So, embrace the changes and move forward, bravely. 

Rahul Kumar, a third-year International Business management student at Middlesex University, Dubai says:

“Overcoming negativity and failure requires courage, courage to wear your heart on a sleeve and accept the fact that these challenges were never with others, it was always within you. So, unleash the inner you.”

Rahul is a third-year International Business management student at Middlesex University, Dubai.

A courageous man is an all-time winner, even if he loses, he doesn’t let his will or self-esteem down, which makes him a champion. Courage is not only acting tough and dominant. But true courage is shown when you say “I am sorry” when you’re at fault. It is accepting that “I don’t know” when you don’t and “I love you” despite the anger, hurt or frustration.

Every day that we speak the truth with integrity, be responsible and reach out to people, we are strengthening that courage muscle.

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