I've found that adults are more brave than children. Why? Adults have had more opportunities to practice courage and bravery. They have found that they can endure something terrifying, or uncomfortable, and they come out on the other end unscathed.
So it's not that we need to teach our kids courage, we need to help them practice courage and practice bravery. In our culture that might be stepping aside at the checkout lane and letting them pay for their purchase themselves. It could be telling them that they can use the potty by themselves, but maybe try with the door open the first few times so it's not so scary.
"Bravery is built, not born." Here is a link to an article about taking small steps to build up to big acts of bravery. Bravery is built, not born
I happened upon a mad libs style children's metaphor story, you input the character and fear. It's an excellent way to practice situations before the child encounters them. Good for almost any age! Resilient Little Hearts (You may have to enter your email address or like their facebook page, but I feel it's worth it.)
As always, we have lots of books at the library to encourage bravery! Bravery for Preschoolers! Book List
So, go ahead, practice courage yourself. Try using the restroom with the door closed, or try grocery shopping by yourself - you should probably purchase some wine while your there. They might even card you, but you won't mind, because you're brave.
With love, Miss Emily
(Who always has a snack in her pocket...most of the time it's waffle.)