Building Courage And Risk Taking Skills

Courage building exercises can help teach young adults the value of taking risks in a product manner. Helping teens and students understand the value of courage through positive risk-taking activities can help build their sense of self-confidence. The risk-taking activities and courage building exercises found in our 52 Leadership Ideas will help you child or student develop a heightened level self-confidence that will play a vital role in their everyday life. Each of these free positive risk-taking and courage activities are part of our collection of 52 Leadership Ideas.  Click the link below now to download the complete PDF.

Attempt the Impossible

This idea works best when both of you make the commitment and hold each other accountable to keep it. Sit down together and determine to attempt something this week you couldn’t pull off easily. It may be a big goal they set for school, or it could be taking the risk to talk to someone about character. Both you and your young person should share what you’ll attempt this week. The key is to step outside of your comfort zone. Share what happened at the end of the week.

From Procrastination to Progress

This week, identify one personal goal you’ve procrastinated in fulfilling, one that you’ve never gotten around to achieving. Share it with your young person. Then, ask them to do the same thing. Talk about why we procrastinate and what role fear plays in the process. Once you discussed your unrealized goal, force yourselves to make a decision on it this week. Act on it in some way. Take a step toward fulfilling it. Once again, hold each other accountable to the step you say you are going to take.

Very often, procrastination is directly tied to fear. We wait on doing something because we are afraid of the outcome. We might fail. We might look stupid. We might not know what to do in the middle of the whole thing. So—we procrastinate. Sometimes the best remedy is one simple step of action. Think and discuss this step of action and hold one another accountable.

Raising Cash and Courage

Sometimes the scariest thing for people to do is to raise money from people they don’t know. It’s a test of courage. That’s what this little idea revolves around. Have your young person choose a charity they really believe in. If they don’t know of any, check some out on the Internet. Then, go raise $500 from people you don’t necessarily know, for this worthwhile organization. Make a list of those you can talk to, and what you’ll say when you discuss the project. Then, take time this week to approach these people with your idea.


Invite your young person to shadow you at work, one day. Choose a day where they can observe you in a variety of tasks, and where you can talk them through responsibilities you have on the job. For most young people, this kind of thing is very enlightening, and depending on how old they are, a little intimidating. Show them the relationship between responsibility and courage. Communicate how a person must step up and perform some difficult (even intimidating) tasks simply because they must be done. Show them the relationship between your conscience and your courage. Commitment breeds courage.

Afterward, discuss some historical characters where commitment and courage were evident. Talk about how leaders feel responsible which leads them to do courageous things.

Taking Initiative

This idea has two options, depending on age of your young person. If they are younger, go out to eat at a restaurant. Once you are seated at your table, have your young person lead the discussion on what everyone wants to eat, then have them do all the ordering, when the waitress or waiter comes. (You might even ask your young person to remember the name of the waiter!) Through the dinner, have your young person take the initiative to care for all the needs—from refills on the drinks to ordering the dessert. This will require both initiative and courage.

If they are older, have them identify a person who exhibits courage and risk taking skills. Ask them to take initiative to set up an interview with them and ask them what gives them courage. You can go with them, but make sure your young person has a series of questions ready to ask and can take initiative on guiding the conversation.

Afterward, debrief your experience. Whether it was a dinner out or an interview with a courageous leader, discuss what they learned. Talk about why leadership requires courage.