cour age n. The state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution; bravery. – American Heritage Dictionary
What do you think of when you hear the word “Courage”? Heroes? Saving all of mankind and the Earth? Truthfully, being courageous is much more ordinary than that. Acts of courage happen everyday, by ordinary people and no matter how small they are, they are still powerful acts. Use courage when making decisions, and your life will be much richer and fulfilling.
Everyone Has the Capacity to Be More Courageous
Start Small – Acts of courage are still courageous even if they are small. Don’t discount them – in fact, they are the starting point for consistently being a courageous person. What are the little things you are afraid of? Are you afraid to be more assertive with customer service representatives on the phone? Are you afraid to go into the free-weights area at the gym? Start small – but make sure you start.
Practice Courage – Just like any other skill, courage can be practiced. If you begin to consistently make decisions with courage, you will get better at being courageous. And, your acts of courage will get bigger as you continue. It’s not that life will be any less scary, it’s that you will have more experience in managing your fear.
Remember that Courage is Relative to Your Own Fears and Abilities – Your use of courage will be different from others, because courage is relative to your life. What you are afraid of is not what others are afraid of. Courage will look different from person to person. Just remember that you have the ability to handle anything that comes your way, but what’s coming your way will be different from the next person.
Sorrow is a fruit. God does not allow it to grow on a branch that is too weak to bear it. – Victor Hugo
Courage Supports Growth, Fear Supports Stagnation
There are two ways to make decisions in life – by using courage or by using fear. It’s easy to make decisions using fear, because when we do it appears that we are choosing security and safety. The catch is that we are also choosing to stand still. When we make decisions using courage, we are choosing growth and creativity. And even when our courageous choices are painful, the growth that it brings is highly fulfilling.
Along the path of our life, our fears are locked gates that stand in our way. Courage is the key that unlocks the gate so you can continue on your way. What’s great is that the key is always with you, but if you choose not to use it you will be stuck, never continuing along past the gate.
Security is mostly superstition. It does not exist in nature…Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold. – Helen Keller
The reason that courage is such a hard choice to make is because courage always involves some kind of pain. Choices based on fear seem to be an easier choice, because they involve avoiding pain. But the paradox is that the avoidance of pain only brings you more of it. While courage is feeling pain and understanding that you can still survive, fear is avoiding pain and realizing that you are no longer living.