Courage: Which Wolf Do you Feed?

Courage Requires Feeding The Right Wolf

What’s The Secret To Building Courage?

What is the secret to having the ability to try almost anything (that will not kill or harm you), or to charge head long into any opportunity without fear?

Inside Each Of Us Are Two Wolves Battling For Control

In his book “The Way Of The SEAL” former special forces officer Mark Divine talks of a Native American legend about the two wolves that reside inside each of us, constantly battling for control – The Good Wolf and the Evil Wolf.

The Good Wolf Pushes Us Forward

The Good Wolf is the source of our courage and confidence.  It pushes us in new directions, allows us to accomplish new things, and becomes the source of constant growth and success.

The Evil Wolf Holds Us Back

Just as the Good Wolf drives us forward, the Evil Wolf holds us back, and mires us in self doubt and fear.  It is constantly fighting us, trying to get us to give up on our aspirations and “settle” for what’s safe or “good enough”. 

The One We Feed Is The One That Wins

So, if both of these wolves are battling for control of us, which one wins?  According to the Native American legend – the one we feed.

Filling your mind with negative thoughts and destructive self talk feeds the Evil Wolf and allows it to thrive inside of us, preventing us from reaching our true potential.

Positive thoughts, energy and actions on the other hand feed the Good Wolf which builds our courage, drives us forward and is the foundation for all of great successes and accomplishments in life.

Both Wolves Ultimately Lead Us To Success

So can feeding the good one starve the evil one and eventually kill it off? 

Here’s the thing, both of these wolves make up the unique person that each of us are.  Courage and fear, success and failure, we’re the product of the ongoing battle that these two wolves rage inside each of us.

The key to success in life and business is not to kill one over the other, but to use both to accomplish our goals, dreams and objectives.

How Is This Done?

There are two keys to using the war inside each of us to grow and accomplish whatever we want:

1. Harness, Don’t Kill, Your Evil Wolf

Trying to bury the negative or unwanted aspects of our past actually make the Evil Wolf stronger because we end up putting tremendous focus on the negative and unwanted.

The key is to Harness the wolf and to use its energy as fuel to drive us forward.  For example, in my early 20’s I had a manager who told me that I was the worst numbers person she had met and that I would never accomplish much in business.  Rather than dwelling on this negative criticism and allow it to be a source of constant frustration and anger, I used it as fuel.

Shortly after her comments, I was determined to “make her eat her words”.  I went back to graduate school and during the course of my MBA studies took every finance and accounting class the program offered. 

The result was that I ultimately landed a senior position that was heavily finance oriented, and innovated several numbers based solutions to problems that had plagued the organization for years.

I never saw or worked for that manager again, and frankly I don’t know if she ever found out how wrong she was.  The point is, rather than be consumed by anger and negativity, I used her comments as fuel to motivate me to turn a weakness into a strength and ultimately prove her wrong.

2. You Need More Than Positive Self Talk

Positive self talk and thoughts feed the Good Wolf and are powerful in developing courage which ultimately drives success; however, thoughts and positive imaging are not enough.

Action, is the key to developing unwavering courage.

Only by confronting barriers and pushing through failure, do we ultimately build the courage that gives us the strength to constantly try new things, and ultimately realize our goals and dreams.

Use Your Two Wolves and Watch Your Courage Grow

Harnessing the Evil Wolf and feeding the Good Wolf with positive mental thoughts and bold action will vastly increase your potential and give you the courage you need to accomplish almost anything.

Always Play Offense,


Angelo Lombardo is a Fortune 500 Executive who helps other executives and managers build an “Offensive” mentality to achieve success in their careers and lives.  You can find out more about him at

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