What Is Courage?


Courage has many different meanings. Webster's defines courage as mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. Other definitions include, the ability to do something that frightens, and strength in the face of pain or grief. My favorite is courage is not the absence of fear. It is the ability to feel the fear and choosing to act in spite of it. All of these definitions certainly encompass the general thoughts behind what courage is. What does courage mean to you?

I once heard that courage is the suckiest first stage of anything. Really? The suckiest? Is that because it is our natural inclination to run from that which causes us pain? What if it was the greatest first stage of anything? I propose that it is. Think about it...You are ready to do something that you've never done before, sure you might have butterflies in your stomach, heck you might even throw up as I did preparing for my first raid as a law enforcement officer. All I could remember was how many times I was shot with paint pellets in training during our mock building entries. But when I thought about the bigger picture, the greater impact me and my team would make taking this perpetrator off the street, and that the Big Man upstairs had my back I knew I was doing the right thing and the fear and nervousness subsided and I felt that "flood" of courage enter my body. We successfully executed that raid and many more after without injury and with big impact on the community.

So, what do you dream about? What are the things you wish you had the courage to do? I want to assure you that if you focus on what the end result looks like, and the impact you will have on others, navigating the courage part becomes easy. And guess what? The more challenges you rise to take on the easier it becomes. You will stop second guessing yourself, getting lost in the paralysis by analysis loop.


So, let's look at this plan for courage:

1. Write down what you want to accomplish.

2. Close your eyes. What does the end result look like if the thing you wanted to accomplish really happened? Stay with this as long as you need.

3. When you are done, write down everything you saw AND I MEAN EVERYTHING. Why? because our brain connects with the emotions we may feel. When you need to find inspiration again for your goal you will come back and read what you wrote down and the same emotions will most likely be triggered. Pretty cool huh?

4. Stay with the feelings and emotions of accomplishment. There is your courage! You saw yourself doing it.

5. Now go do it!

I know what you’re thinking. Sam this is sound too simple...It is simple. I say that only because I've done this exercise a million times. It did not start out as something that was done with the snap of a finger. It was a HABIT I decided to integrate into my goals and decision making process. Habit is another topic for another time. For now, practice the 4 things outlined above and let me know how you are doing.

I wish you the courage to dream big! Remember, the only courage you ever need is the courage to live the life you want.


In what cases have you struggled and how did you overcome it?

Also, check out my 4 step guide to living more courageously that you can grab on the home page.

Please coment below. We'd love to hear your thoughts.


Category: Courage


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