With A for Acceptance and B for Betterment, our journey towards building positivity from inside out has begun.
Now that we have accepted ourselves and striving to become the better versions, it’s time to take a leap- build courage from within.
What is courage?
Here’s what Google says when you ask- what is courage?
- “the ability to do something that frightens one; bravery”
- “strength in the face of pain or grief”
Therefore, I believe, courage is to OVERCOME something (say fear), and also FACING something when you actually feel exactly the opposite.
Here are other ways to explain courage-
- Courage is being scared and yet being ready to face challenges.
- It is being able to come out of your comfort zone and do what is needed out of you at that moment even though it feels paralyzing.
- Courage is being able to believe in your ideas and take your chances with confidence.
- It is to face your fear, confront your uncertainty and dare to stand for what you really care.
- It is to follow your heart and not to care for what others have to say about it.
- Persevering to finish what you have started and not give up in the face of adversity.
- Standing for what is right and not just what is convenient.
Indeed, courage is not something inherent or something that you are born with. It is something that has to be cultivated and put into practice. It is the positive change you can choose to bring in yourself.
Additionally, courage is an attribute which we all seek but only few can actually build it, the kind of people who believe in themselves and accept the way they are.
Haven’t we heard of The Lion who rose from being cowardly animal to face The witch in The Wizard of Oz- emotional courage.
There are real life heroes like Mahatma Gandhi who risked his life for the country- physical courage.
Steve Jobs who is a role model for entrepreneurs who decided to step down as CEO of Apple- his own company and founded another one, Pixar- financial courage.
There are different types of courages and yet all are something that comes from within. Clarity in thoughts, firm goals and willingness are the prerequisites to build courage.
Such people are among those few who dare to show their true selves to the world no matter what it is- they are the ones who do not try hard to fit in- women choosing unconventional path in life devoid of their strong cultural background and gays willing to accept hence reveal their personality.
Why should we develop courage?
As Judith Orloff, a psychiatrist, puts it-
… the real challenge is to see crisis as opportunity, to rise to our highest selves, even if we think we can’t, even if we’re scared. The truly extraordinary act is to seek courage, to see fear as impetus to grow smarter, stronger, more resilient. In a sense fear is a teacher of courage.
Here is one more.
As the late Steve Jobs said in his speech at a Stanford University graduation commencement:
Your time is limited; so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
- Just like we need physical activities to stay healthy, courage- the psychological muscle, needs to be stirred often to be active and healthy so that we are prepared to deal with life’s uncertainties.
- Courage is not only required for accomplishing bigger goals in life but also for everyday life to deal with inevitable mundane problems.
- It takes courage not to suppress your will to be yourself and feel liberated from within.
How do we build courage then?
- A motive for any action is important and that helps you to keep going on your mission. Understand your motivation first and give yourself a reasoning on ‘why’.
- It takes moral courage to confront opposition, shame and ridicule when you set your sail to be different from others. Accept the fact that you are bound to be discouraged and seen as a rebel at its peek. However, your strong ‘why’ should do the trick.
- Practice, practice and practice. Every little act that can possibly start you off on your spree to valour is a practice for your big mission. The more you take up challenges the more courageous you’ll become. I suggest you go through The bold life‘s advice on how to start your everyday courage building exercises!
- Building courage doesn’t mean being free of fears. Rather, it is to face the fears. Learn to digest your fears to see the desired outputs.
- Get to the bottom of facts before hastily diving in to something. It is the base to build confidence in your decision. Moreover, it’s about taking calculated risks and not being over enthusiastic foolishly. Even Steve Jobs knew how the market works- there are people who don’t mind to pay handsome for quality and he did exactly the same.
- Embrace and enhance positiveness in everything you do and let go off all the negativity.
- Develop appropriate skills and educate yourself if need be, to the core, to rule out any doubts on your capabilities.
Look at your own journey. Are you the same person you were in your teens or childhood? Haven’t you faced any challenges in life- big or small? How did you feel doing it? How do you feel growing up?
Apply the same theory to the present. Are you growing enough right now so that you can see considerable positive change within yourself after few years from now? Are you heeding to your fears or are you facing them one at a time?
Nevertheless, building courage is a process and you need to be persistent and take baby steps towards your goal, looking in the eyes at the challenges that life throws at you on the way.
Courage is- to break stereotypes, to raise above the past, to dream and to accomplish them, to create and walk on one’s own path, and well hear all those powerful words from this even more powerful lady, Priyanka Chopra.
Remember, every superhero that appear in comic book has a past.
However, he chooses to rise above them. As a matter of fact, he realizes his unique powers that are hidden within, only after he is over his past and decides to move on. Consequently, he stands for a cause unleashing his supreme powers no matter what opinions others have about him.It takes courage to get past the emotional baggage and stand for what you truly believe in.
Do you recognize any such upscale courageous acts that you have shown- physical or moral? How do you feel when you grew up a notch in your life? Would you repeat the same every time?
Do let me and others know so that we get some inspiration too.