Courage – are you being courageous?

This week I want to talk about courage.

Courage is defined as “the ability to do something that frightens one” and “strength in the face of pain or grief”.

Over the past week we have witnessed real courage in Ukraine where people are fighting for their country and homeland.  Men aged between 18 and 60 are fighting for their families, their country, and their very lives. Everyday men, as well as elite Olympian athletes, are fighting for freedom and what they believe in.  Are they scared? – of course!  Will they fight for their beliefs? – of course!

That’s real courage.

Courage can also take other forms – such as doing the right but hard thing; taking calculated risks when the outcome is uncertain; putting love and friendships and saying “I’m sorry” above the personal need to score points or be “right”; facing pandemics or ill health with strength and fortitude; being honest when it would be easier to tell a little white lie; facing our own mortality with grace and dignity.

Being outside our comfort zone takes courage.

Being honest with ourselves takes courage.

Being in business and taking personal responsibility takes courage.

Putting your assets and livelihood on the line takes courage.

Being clear about who you are, your values, what you stand for and believe in, articulating your personal boundaries in a consistent, logical and reasonable way – that’s courage.

The opposite of courage is cowardice, timidity and/or conformity.   We have all experienced our own cowardice at some point and know that it leaves us feeling weak, guilty, and remorseful.  Sometimes we pass the blame rather than taking personal responsibility for our cowardice.

What action do you need to take this week that requires courage?  Once you know, just do it.

“Courage doesn’t mean you don’t get afraid. Courage means you don’t let fear stop you.”

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