We all know what it feels like to be faced with a difficult situation. Our stomachs drop, our palms get sweaty, and our minds race. It’s natural to feel this way. But what separates those who succeed from those who don’t is often simply courage.

In the face of adversity, it can be difficult to summon up the courage we need to see things through.

Mary Anne Radmacher says that courage “Isn’t always a roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”

So how can we cultivate more courage in our lives?

The answer may be simpler than you think. According to James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, “courage is not a single deed but a habit that you practice every day.” In other words, courage isn’t something you either have or don’t have. It’s something you can build by taking small steps each and every day.

Here are three ways to do just that:

1. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

One of the best ways to increase your courage is to get comfortable with discomfort. When we’re constantly seeking comfort, we become scared of anything that takes us out of our comfort zones. And as a result, we become less courageous.

So instead of shying away from discomfort. Lean into it. Embrace it. The more you do so, the easier it will become—and the more courageous you’ll become as a result.

2. Strengthen your whys.

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe”
― Simon Sinek, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

When we’re clear on our goals and objectives, we’re more likely to summon up the courage needed to achieve them—even when things get tough. So ask yourself: Why are you in business? What’s your motivation for pursuing your goals? When you have a strong why, you will be more likely to find the courage needed to see things through—no matter what obstacles come your way.

3. Be compassionate with yourself.

It’s impossible to be courageous 100% of the time. We’re human beings, not machines. And that means there will be times when we lack the courage needed to take action—even if we really want to do so.

The key is to be compassionate with yourself during these times. Don’t beat yourself up or dwell on your failures. Instead, focus on what you can do differently next time around. When you make mistakes, treat them as opportunities for learning and growth. The more compassionate you are with yourself, the easier it will be for you to find the courage needed to keep going.

Lasting words of wisdom

Courage doesn’t happen overnight. It’s built over time through consistent, everyday actions. If you want to increase your own courage quotient, start by getting comfortable with being uncomfortable, strengthen your why, and be compassionate with yourself. Do these things, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a more courageous person.