Courage is a term often used when discussing resilience and strength. The Oxford dictionary defines courage as “The ability to do something dangerous, or to face pain or opposition, without showing fear”.
Over the last couple of weeks I have sat with this term ‘courage’, with the intention to figure out what courage means to me. I could never have expected the enormity of emotions it stirred when reflecting back over my life and the moments when I felt I have had to be courageous and when courageous was a really difficult thing to be.
So for me…
Courage is being told your life will change forever with no known outcome of what the future holds but a part of you trusts yourself to keep going and discover what comes anyway.
Courage is feeling the pain, physical and emotional - and choosing to focus on the things you can control.
Courage is choosing to believe in hope that the future will be better even when overwhelming fears grip your heart right now. You keep believing in the unknown.
Courage is facing the feeling of failure and choosing to keep going and hold your head high. Learning the lessons and quietening that voice in your head making you doubt yourself going forward.
Courage is facing reality, warts and all and accepting yourself and the fact you can’t be everything to everyone - and not letting the guilt hold you back.
Courage is hearing your inner voice and choosing to listen to your spirit voice and give your ego voice less power.
Courage is embarking on a path less travelled by others in your world and choosing to swallow your fear and believe in your capabilities to impact other people positively.
Courage is accepting that sometimes you can’t be strong and it’s OK to be vulnerable. Let others know you need support and trust yourself to put your truth in other people’s hands and not be judged.
Courage is to ignore hurtful comments made by others and realise it is a reflection of their inner self and not you. To forgive even when it's not deserved, in order to heal yourself.
Courage is feeling like you don’t fit in but you push through anyway and try to define your own world that IS you.
Courage is being different and not comparing yourself to others. Recognise your own uniqueness and individual journey in life, having faith that you also deserve and are worthy to have your dreams come true.
Courage is being able to let go of wanting to control everything and learn to go with the flow and embrace what the universe brings to your life.
Courage is facing change without fear and with the knowledge/logic that it is there to help you grow and be the best that you can be.
Courage is to always operate from a place of love even when you don’t know if it will be reciprocated.
Courage is extending compassion to others and putting yourself in their shoes in order to understand.
Courage is finding the silver lining in every obstacle and challenge presented to you. Having the attitude of ‘bring it on, I got this’.
The opposite of courage is fear. Fear is the prisoner in our mind. Having courage unlocks that prison cell and lets fear go so it can free our mind to connect to our heart.
Courage is shown not only when you achieve big milestones like my climb of the Acropolis or jumping out of a plane or sailing a tall ship across the Tasman Sea. Courage is more so in the tiny steps we take everyday to move forward and learn about ourselves a little bit more each time. To extract the best that we can be just by getting out of bed each day.
I have realised that there is an element of courage in all of us, however what is courageous for one person is not necessarily the same for someone else. Perception plays a big part in defining courage for each and every one of us.
For me, ultimately courage is to have faith in the unknown, trust that the outcome will be one you can handle and belief in yourself when you don’t see the road ahead. Courage is to face fear head on when you or others doubt your capabilities. It’s pushing through those emotions.
Learning to live in the moment and not let our minds and negative thoughts hold back the potential for our heart to open up and find our purpose. This is living a life with courage.