How to Ride a Bike – Where Courage Comes From

Between theory and practice is anxiety.

It’s comfortable learning about riding a bike, even exciting. But, getting on the seat for the first time takes courage.

I asked several leaders, “How does one overcome anxiety and get on the bike?”

Where courage comes from:

#1. Discomfort. What are you missing?

Christina wrote, “My daughter was a late rider – she was terrified of falling. But once she was the only one of her friends not riding, she got incredibly uncomfortable – felt left out and embarrassed.”

#2. Values. Do you care?

Beth put it this way, “What do I want my story to be?”

#3. Benefit. Is it worth it?

Mark wrote, “You don’t learn to ride a bike because learning is fun. You learn to ride a bike because you want to go flying down a hill. The reward is worth facing the fear.”

Abe echoed Mark’s comment, “Connect development to the benefit it will bring.”

#4. Self-perception. Are you able?

Courage grows when you’re convinced you can learn, improve, and make progress.

#5. Community. Who will help?

Tim responded, “With encouragement from others.” (Your mom or dad saying you can do it, I have you, I won’t let you fall.)

#6. Humility. Are you willing to look foolish?

Bill wrote, “What jumped out to me is getting courage to say I’m sorry.”

#7. Action. What imperfect step are you prepared to take right now?

Ashley wrote, “For me, anxiety tends to fade into the background during that putting-into-practice-phase,” because I’m focused on doing.”

Bolster courage in others:

Theory is easy. Everything’s great until you put your feet on the pedals for the first time. You can’t force someone to get on a bike, but you can make it easier.

Abe suggests, “Practice in a safe environment, one step at a time.”

Where does courage come from?

How might leaders instill courage in others?

Bonus material:

How to Find and Practice Courage (HBR)

7 Ways to Boost Your Emotional Courage (Psychology Today)

How to Boost Your Courage: 8 Really Effective Tips (Inc)