How to Lead with Courage

Marva is dealing with a strong personality!

Natalie is, shall we say, strong-willed! She is pushy, bossy, and controlling. Even though Marva is the Director of the organization, Marva always feels intimidated when Natalie walks into a meeting. Perhaps that’s because in the past when she’s questioned Natalie or pushed back, Natalie came back harder than ever.

Marva is a pleaser

️The impact of Natalie’s strong personality is that Marva tends to hold back or goes along with Natalie’s ideas because it’s easier than asserting herself.

Marva’s trying to be more courageous

When Marva asked her boss for help to deal with Natalie this year, her boss said: Just do it! Walk into the meeting and take charge! Don’t let her boss you around.

Marva hasn’t got great advice!

That kind of advice sounds like Marva should head to the bathroom and quickly change into her superhero outfit🦸‍♀️
But the truth is, if she didn’t have the confidence to deal with Natalie before, how could useless inspiration like, Just do it, help? It won’t.

Inspirational quotes can’t help Marva!

Inspirational quotes dominate your newsfeed, call you from the isles in every store and sit in the corner of your daytimer.

  • Just do it.
  • Feel the fear and do it anyway.


Let’s go back to Marva’s problem. She’s dealing with a difficult person.
️️Do you think Marva feels afraid?

What does fear feel like for you and Marva?

Think about someone you have to deal with that you don’t like or have trouble working with. When you go into a conversation or meeting with that person, do you feel the classic signs of fear?

  • Is your heart racing?
  • Are you hyperventilating?
  • Are your knees knocking?
  • Are you sweating profusely?
  • Is there a tightness in your chest?

Tuning into your body is the first step

What Marva realized as she worked through the Body Sensations worksheet in the course material, was that she never really tuned into her body before. When she mentally put herself back in the meeting, she realized, what Marva felt was more like a knot in her stomach.

  • The problem was because Marva hadn’t tuned in to her body sensations; she’d passed that feeling off in the past as constipation
    But that’s not what it was!

We don’t always feel the classic fear signs at work

Fear shows up differently for each of us. It also depends on the situation. If a bear is chasing Marva, her heart might be racing, and she might be hyperventilating. But in a meeting, with a co-worker who has a strong personality, fear can often be misunderstood, overlooked or dismissed.

Access your Inner Wisdom to gain control of your emotions

If you don’t slow down and PAUSE and then PONDER about your thoughts, feelings and body sensations, you’ll never get to the point where you can PIVOT from realizing you are experiencing fear and staying quiet to feeling the fear and asserting your voice.

  • They continue to question their abilities.
  • They doubt they can handle situations.
  1. They wonder what their body sensations are telling them.
  2. Then they question their thoughts and often alter them.
  3. That allows them to choose their emotions.

Can you do what Marva did?

That’s what Marva did. Once she realized what fear felt like, she was able to manage her fear and anxiety. Managing her fear put her back in control of her emotions, rather than that fear controlling her behaviours.

Learn to calm your mental chatter

Did Marva march into the next planning meeting and put Natalie in her place? No. But she did roll her shoulders back, hold her head up and paid attention to that tightening in her belly. Then Marva calmed her mental chatter, reminded herself: One step at a time. I’ve got this (10 Mantras to Strengthen Your Leadership)
And she was able to voice her opinions and ideas more strongly.

You sure can!

Marva walked out of that meeting, feeling stronger and more courageous. All because she tuned into her body sensations. As Marva increases her emotional intelligence, she continues to grow her courage and confidence. Rather than being hijacked by emotions or having specific experiences shut her down, she’ll be more conscientious of what’s going on.

  • Instead of reacting the way she always has, she’ll start to respond confidently.

Here’s how…

To turn the useless inspirational quote into useful leadership help, YOU need to dig a bit deeper. You need to understand what the inspirational message means and then how to apply it.

Do this:

Get used to flowing through the steps of the Inner Guidance Cycle to access your inner wisdom.

For more help:

If you want to join Marva in growing your Emotional Intelligence, you may also be interested in the Emotional Control by Increasing your Emotional Vocabulary course that is inside of The Training Library.

Leadership Success = Managing Emotions



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Kathy Archer

Kathy Archer


Helping women leaders make it in the nonprofit world. Leadership Development Coach * Best-Selling Author * Wife * Mom * Grandma * Mom to one boxer named Zeus!