Courage Takes Heart
I love the word courage. According to formal definitions, courage is facing something that is challenging. It is fearlessness, dauntlessness, intrepidity, pluck, and spirit. It is daring and boldness. Courage is derived from the old French term “cour” meaning heart. And indeed, courage takes heart. Courage permits you to face extreme dangers and difficulties by drawing on your inner strength deep down in your heart. And though it is certainly true that courage is required in the face of daunting situations, what is daunting may be very different from one person to another.
What Is Very Courageous To One Person Is No Big Deal To Another
Some people draw upon courage for thrilling endeavors like mountain climbing or skydiving. Others could never imagine having enough courage to try an extreme sport. There are certainly individual differences in what constitutes courage. People who love to take big risks in life tend to take risks in all things they do—not just extreme sports. They take risks in relationships, they take risks at work, and they take risks in their life path. And they don’t feel like their behavior is that courageous.
Sometimes You Have No Choice But To Be Courageous
Most of us will never choose to be in such dangerous circumstances as heli-skiing (skiing on high mountains after being dropped off from a helicopter—in case you wondered) or some other daring sport. Nonetheless, you do call upon courage at different points in your life. It is inevitable that you are forced to call upon courage from time to time when you would rather not have to. For instance, there are times when you don’t have a choice and you must deal with a change in your life. Maybe you had to move when you really wanted to stay put. Perhaps you had to deal with loss of a loved one. Or maybe you had to fight for something that really mattered to you when others didn’t care. During those times when you were faced with some new challenge, you called upon your courage to make it through. And you did make it through.
Do You Avoid Courage Or Welcome It?
For many of us, trying to rely upon courage as little as possible is the goal. You would rather take the route in life of least effort because it is just too scary to do otherwise. For much of your life, it is easy to be complacent. It is easier to go with the flow and do what is expected of you that doesn’t require too much work, effort or daring. You are so busy just going through the motions of life that you take the path of least resistance. So you may find that you don’t need to call upon courage very often.
Go Out Of Your Comfort Zone When The Result Is Worth It
Even if most of the time you fall in the camp of not rocking the boat of life and keeping things fairly easy, there are some times when you choose to take the more challenging road. Courage is required to push you out of your comfort zone. So why would you ever want to do that? Why would you want to push yourself out of your comfort zone when it is so much easier to go along the common course? Unless you are one of those unusual thrill seeker types, why would you ever want to push the envelope on your life? You push yourself outside your comfort zone because you know the result is worth the push. If you want something so much, you will find the inner resources to make it happen.
Push The Envelope To Feel Alive
A good test to see if you need to push yourself and stretch to new goals is to ask yourself, “Do I feel like my life is boring or I feel blah?” Or, “Am I missing something in my life that I really, truly want?” If the answer is yes, then you are probably ready to engage your daring chops and take a chance at something that requires some inner courage. Nothing will infuse some vigor into your life like taking a courageous step. Perhaps you need to say something to someone in your life to help them understand what you want. That takes courage. Perhaps you want to travel someplace new and different. That takes courage. Or maybe it is as simple as getting a makeover or painting your house. If it is not something you normally do, it could be just what you need to shake up your life and give it more meaning.
Courage Doesn’t Mean Making Everything Hard
As you probably know from reading my blogs, I am a big believer in taking care of yourself and finding ease in how you move forward. So although it sounds contradictory, what I am suggesting is that the first big step toward a life that you want takes a courageous act. It takes courage to decide to do something different that might be challenging. Challenging is good—making it impossibly hard, not so much. If you are pushing yourself so hard that you are not getting anywhere and are very stressed out, those times are when you need to ease off. And that act of easing off may turn out to be your act of courage. Depending on your own history and personality, it can take heart—courage—to live your life with ease or on the edge.
You have a choice to live your life how you like and you have the innate skill of courage to help. Look to your own experience to see where you have been courageous already. What will be your next courageous act? Share with us below! However you personally define what is courageous to you, be fearless and use your heart to enjoy your life to the max.