Life, Liberty, & Happiness

Thoughts on Courage


ourage is defined as the mental or moral strength to face opposition, danger, difficult conversations or hardship.

Courage is what we credit our heroes with having, but courage comes in many forms.  Courage is taking action, doing what is right even when we are afraid, simply because our heart and conscience says we must.  Perhaps if the seeds of courage could be recognized and encouraged more often, they might blossom into greater strength of character in all of us.

In my own life, I am working on these 5 core dimensions of Courage:

  1. Courage to face my fears. “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” — Nelson Mandela
  2. Courage to follow my heart. “And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and your intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” — Steve Jobs
  3. Courage to persevere after failure. “I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time.” — Brene Brown
  4. Courage to let go of the familiar. “This world demands the qualities of youth; not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the life of ease.” ― Robert F. Kennedy
  5. Courage in the face of profound loss. “It's still ok to dream with a broken heart.” ― Nikki Rowe

Not every situation we are bold enough to face can be changed.  But nothing can be changed until we are bold enough to face the situation. So find the courage to boldly face the injustice you see. Look into the eyes of someone you've wronged & make it right. Face your fears. Face your enemies. Face your shortcomings and failures, and learn from them.

But most importantly, look really hard in the mirror and face yourself.  See what's really there beneath the surface.  Challenge yourself to be all that you were meant to be.  Erase the tapes that play in your head of the voices telling you you're not good enough or didn't deserve an opportunity.  

That one takes the most courage of all.

About Dr. Michael Burcham

Michael is an executive coach, entrepreneur, investor, and strategist with 30 years of experience leading investor-backed, high-growth organizations.

“I built and sold a $40M company with Dr. Burcham as my mentor. This is the thing: if you EVER get the opportunity to learn from this man, from that moment forward, you’ll list him as one of the most influential people in your life, even if you live to be 90. And, you’ll know how lucky you were to have that opportunity and you’ll immediately say YES to any chance to be in his presence again—his wisdom is that impactful.”

Sherry Stewart Deutschmann

Former CEO, Letter Logic

“If you are looking for a trusted mentor and coach for yourself or your leadership team, I highly recommend Michael Burcham. He has worked with me as my executive coach for well over a decade now. Our conversations and his feedback have helped me sharpen my critical thinking skills. He’s a trusted advisor that I can confidentially speak with about any issue—and I know I’ll get valued feedback. I highly recommend him.”

Ryan McGrath

CEO, Asset Living

“Dr. Burcham’s depth and breadth of experience makes even the most ADD entrepreneurial leader sit up and take notes! His coaching skills bring out the ‘best you’ possible. He selflessly shares the good, the bad, and the ugly—leaving you with an authentic and moving experience sure to spur action and professional growth!”

Julie Lenzer

Director, U.S. Department of Commerce


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