You notice her smile, her eyes and her laughter. You would love to connect to her. You imagine approaching her with confidence, wit and kindness, and see her responding positively. Yet, imagining talking to the girl you like and actually doing so feel like worlds apart. You feel shy, hesitant and nervous about going up to her. However, it is possible to develop the courage needed.

Identify Your Fears

The first step in cultivating courage involves identifying your fears. On "Psychology Today" online, clinical and forensic psychologist Stephen Diamond defines courage as the "strength, power or resolve to meet a scary circumstance head on." He argues that most people deny or avoid fear and thereby cannot respond to difficult situations with courage. You need to face your fears of rejection, heartbreak or embarrassment in order to have the strength and resolve to talk with the girl you like. By identifying your fears, you open up the opportunity to courageously face them and move past denial or avoidance.

Strengthen Your Independent Self-Esteem

According to Tal Ben-Shahar, a lecturer at Harvard University, in his report on "The Making of Independent Thinkers," there are two types of self-esteem at work in your life -- independent and dependent. Dependent self-esteem means your sense of inner worth is determined by how others see you. Independent self-esteem means that your sense of worth is dependent on how you see yourself. As you garner the inner confidence to approach the girl you like, remember that your value as a human being need not depend on her response. You may fear that a potential rejection of your advance is a mark against your self-worth, but it is not.

Practice Conversation Starters

Before you approach her, take the time to strike up conversations with individuals around you. Talk to the checker in the grocery line, ask your neighbor about her day and say hello to individuals walking by you on the street. Each time you reach out, you practice the strength needed to approach the girl you like calmly, confidently and kindly. Remember, social skills improve with practice. As author Eileen Bailey notes on the Health Central website, you can "start small" and strengthen needed confidence with each positive social interaction.

Approach Her With Kindness and Confidence

Approach the girl you like with kindness and confidence. Make eye contact. Introduce yourself. Smile. Relax. While it is ideal to let the conversation unfold naturally, you may want to prepare a few conversation starters to bolster your courage. For example, asking open-ended questions such as "What did you think of the lecture in history class today?" or "How do you like working at the cafe?" allows her to share a response beyond a "yes" or "no." Your attraction to her may transform into friendship. It may develop into a romance. Or, she may reject your advances to converse. No matter how it unfolds, your willingness to face your fear is to be acknowledged and celebrated.