Thoughts on Courage

Courage 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...