I get asked a lot about courage and what it means to be courageous. To me, courage is about doing hard things, painful experiences, things that scare you, all while in the presence of fear. Fear is turned up and you dare to do it anyway.
My divorce is the example I think of here. People would tell me I was brave, but I did not feel brave but instead courageous. I was terrified; I moved out of my beautiful house over a weekend, hoping that I could stand on my own two feet. I was full of fear, but I did it anyway. I was not brave- I was courageous. Courage happens in the face of fear when it’s staring at you.
Firefighters are courageous – they go into very fearful, risky situations and walk right towards fear to save other people’s lives. Entrepreneurs are courageous; they leave comfortable jobs to take risks, conquer their fears, and start a business. We can all choose to be brave, but many of us struggle to be courageous. We have a difficult time pushing through the fear – it is the reason most of us don’t live up to our full potential.
We do not dare to make the hard decisions, to stop worrying about what others will think – we stay in the same place because the fear controls us.
Courage is something that is curated and built within us over our lives. The journey to where we are and where we want to go, is built on the courage to take a step forward in the face of the unknown. Courage is knowing that you will figure it out. Having faith in yourself is an act of courage that we all need to lean on more.