Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.” George Sheehan

Running your own business can be stressful, even frightening. The stakes are high and the challenges can seem insurmountable at times.

Sometimes we just have to face the fears and take a deep breath and be brave.

Great opportunities are often hidden behind fear and challenges. If we can move past them, we can discover something that can take us a great step forward in our big picture.

You need to have courage in leadership, whether you are a solo operator running your own business, or a leader of a large organisation with numerous staff members. Courage is a vital ingredient in effective leadership.

There are people in management positions who don’t have the courage to delegate because they fear that others won’t do it as well, or that they will do it too well.

Many won’t take up the opportunity of strategic alliances because they fear sharing their knowledge. Many won’t train their staff because they fear empowering others. It’s difficult to let go of control when you have poured your blood, sweat and tears into building your business or your career.

While the list of unchallenged fears grow, it is not possible for your business to grow. Sometimes we need courage to take risks, to speak up, to empower ourselves and our team members.

We can all work on our inner strength to be able to make courageous decisions. Start with the smaller things that make you feel fearful. Begin by observing your behaviour; it’s all a part of self-leadership.

When facing a challenge, ask yourself:

  1. What am I scared of? Failure, rejection, making the wrong decision?
  2. What will happen if I do this and it actually does fail?
  3. Will it be catastrophic?
  4. Can I put things in place to reduce the risk of failure?
  5. Will I or my business benefit if I do it and get it right?
  6. How will I feel tomorrow if I don’t do it?
  7. How will I feel if I successfully do it well?
  8. Will I or my business grow if I do it?
  9. Will others benefit and grow if I do it?
  10. Will I be happy that I did it in a years’ time?

Have a look at your responses, take stock and make the decision to be brave. You’ll be glad that you did, and you’ll be in a much better position to help others to build their courage. After all, that’s what great leaders do; they see the potential in others and help them to be brave and to see it in themselves.