Owning a business isn’t for the faint of heart because leaders must be courageous. Daily, you are faced with challenges that require an immediate response, and when you fail to act it becomes easy to spiral into fatigue and a sense of failure. Self doubt often sets in and you don’t challenge your own negative thinking, because second guessing yourself seems like the right thing instead of leaping to action. Sometimes we buy into the negative self-talk that we really can’t do what we set out to do and this happens at both the conscious and unconscious levels and can be debilitating. I’m not suggesting we should never challenge ourselves and re-evaluate things. What I mean is that if you don’t have confidence in the decisions you make and the reasons behind those decisions, you’ll lack the courage to act and finding forward momentum will be next to impossible. You need to confidently make a decision until you need to confidently make the next decision. That’s how we learn to lead.

Certainly not everyone is a leader and not everyone is at the same level or degree of leadership. But if you have the impetus to become a solo-preneur or to invest in something that requires hiring a team–and you actually act on your vision for how you want things to be–you have in you what it takes to grow as a leader because you showed the courage and aptitude to start something.

Whatever your field, whether it’s business, education, art, management, or something else, each of these arenas require leadership to experience growth. Your bottom line might be oriented toward revenue, it might be measured by your ability to influence others in the classroom.  Leaders are decisive and aware of the possibilities and pitfalls that can impede their progress. They are focused on their goals and have set up structures of accountability to keep them on track. Leaders have empathy which is what makes it possible for them to build and maintain relationships. They are confident in themselves and optimistic about the journey in front of them. But with such confidence and optimism, honesty is ultimately what allows you to adapt and continue to grow. Its important to recognize mistakes for what they are, learn, and decide how to take action.

Ultimately, I believe it takes courage in order to have the confidence in yourself necessary to achieve what you have set out to do. It takes courage to not only begin the journey in the face of your own self-doubt or the doubts of others, but it takes courage to persist. There is no leadership without courage.