I’ve done everything I can to cultivate courage in my character. It took substantial bravery to become Emily. I apply that same courage in love and business too.
I live by Virgil’s motto “Fortune favors the bold.” But I prefer the original Latin form, “Fortuna audaces iuvat”, where Fortuna is personified—as a goddess. This adds a spiritual competent to my bravery ethic.
There is a bipolar component as well: Sometimes I confuse intelligent risk and reckless behavior. This usually accompanies the highs and lows of my mood profile. (See my post “scoring my MMPI-2 assessment for both sexes” for a discussion of my absurdly high level of disconstraint for a woman). To attenuate this situation, I’ve learned to make decisions involving risk a little more slowly. But immediately upon concluding a risk is prudent, I execute with full audacity.
Back to the spiritual element: I firmly believe God helps those who initiate action. Helping one’s self means stepping into and staying in motion when there is a problem, letting God illuminate the path as one goes. It takes courage to take each step. It takes faith. To me faith and bravery tightly link.
I’ve burned bridges with my audacity; made mistakes. But for the most part my development of nerve as a major feature of my character enriches my life beyond measure.
And sometimes there is nothing to lose. I needed to become Emily, whether I possessed the daring to or not. So I claimed the requisite daring.
At work, I coach my interns and mentees in the following formula for risk-taking: For 90% of the risks you take, nothing consequential happens. Null program. 5% of the risks you take result in falling completely on your ass. Badly. Close to losing your job or reputation bad. (This is mitigated through development of diplomacy skills, but that is another discussion). But the outcome of the remaining 5% is so beneficial and so powerful that it makes that other 5%’s outcome worth it.
Courage is a skill. Practice it. Cultivate it!
Do this before you change your gender. (You’ll need it). Continue doing it after.