I’ve been thinking about courage a lot lately. Courage makes some of our most profound character and life defining moments possible. Integrity, compassion, creativity, and love are just some of the many aspirations that are impossible to fully realize without courage.
This post was intended to be about the importance of courage and the many qualities that are dependent on it. However, as I started writing I realized that I would need to answer a big question before completing this post… a question that I didn’t have an immediate answer to…
WHERE DOES COURAGE COME FROM??
Hmmm… good question. My post came to an abrupt halt. I spent some time looking at my life… there have been times when I have felt, acted, and lived with courage and times when my courage was challenged. Sometimes these times were phases and sometimes they were situational. Right now my courage is stronger than I’ve ever experienced.
What is present in my life now that wasn’t present before, or was much weaker?
Living life, including the “work” I do, with meaning and purpose
Attaching my happiness to qualities I want to possess rather than things, titles, actions of others, etc.
Knowing my life vision and holding myself accountable for living it
Faith in something other than what I can see and touch that is guiding me, and the awareness to receive the guidance
The next natural question is: Why weren’t these present in my life at times when my courage was challenged? A couple themes are obvious…
Lack of awareness… for example, I have always had deep faith, but I was not aware enough to understand and/or see the guidance. When I look back now the clues were so obvious… constant migraine headaches, muscle tension, stomach problems… but I wasn’t aware enough to understand that they weren’t just physical problems.
Deep seeded beliefs… we all have these… they can affect how we approach financial stability, how success is attained, what drives our happiness, our worthiness of love, and countless others. At times when my courage was challenged there were deep beliefs creeping into my mind. A great example is my belief that my family’s financial stability was attached to me having a specific job. Once I shifted my belief I as able to see all kinds of other paths to financial stability.
Reflecting on my thoughts above, I have a thought: we are all born with 100% courage. As we grow and evolve in our world, all kinds of things challenge our courage… Life demands our attention. Others influence our beliefs. The world offers so many experiences. We feel we have to make choices constantly.
No doubt courage is a complex topic… I’ve only scratched the surface… I have lots of thoughts, but before I focus more on my thoughts, I want to draw from others experiences. I would love to hear from you… What is or isn’t present in your life when you are the most courageous? How about when your courage is challenged? Putting our experiences together we can create an amazing guide to reclaiming our courage!
Instead of thinking of courage as something we need to attain, let’s think of courage as something we already have. Let’s empower ourselves with the knowledge that we have the courage to do anything we set out minds to!
One last note, Daring Greatly by Brene Brown is an awesome book on the topics of vulnerability, shame, and guilt… issues that definitely affect our courage.