When we think of courage we may go to the movies and think of people like Indiana Jones, Wonder Woman or James Bond. Maybe courage for you is displayed by sporting heroes, business leaders, celebrities or other well-known people. I think we would all agree that people like Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela and Fred Hollow all have amazing courage. I know for me, courage is displayed by many normal people, as they work to overcome undesirable circumstances. Courage is even displayed by people willing to do things that are not easy or comfortable for them. So, the question is; where does courage come from, and, how do we get it?
The greatest misconception about people who display courage is that they are ‘fearless.’ In my opinion, there is no such thing. No-one is truly fearless, however, some people have learned to manage their fear and not let it stop them taking action anyway. The best definition of courage I have heard is from Franklin D Roosevelt, who said; “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” For me, this is the essence of courage, taking action even though the fear is present. So, again, the question is, how do we attain courage?
Firstly, I need to tell you that you have the most amazing potential and incredible capacity for achievement. You are capable of doing and achieving anything you choose, if you are willing to take action. I have absolute belief in you and know that you are definitely good enough. So, whatever you want in your life, go for you, you can do it.
Do you know what I just did in that last paragraph? I encouraged you. Let’s have a look at the word ‘encourage’ for a moment. En-Courage means; to put courage in. What I have tried to do is put courage in you, which I hope helps to make you feel a little stronger and more capable. Think about how you feel when someone tells you, ‘you can do it. I believe in you. Go for it, you are good enough.’ It feels great doesn’t it? And, for a moment, it puts courage in you to help you get started on a fearful or challenging journey. In fact, in an experiment was done on people standing in freezing cold water, it was found that those who had someone there to encourage them, were able to tolerate the discomfort for twice as long.
What happens, however, if you don’t have anyone there to encourage you? What if, in fact, you have people discouraging you and telling you, ‘you can’t do it and you are not good enough’? What then? In this week’s podcast, ‘Choose happiness,’ I speak with the inspiring Amanda Webster. Two years ago, Amanda found herself all alone on the window ledge of an out-of-town hotel room, planning to end her life. Thankfully, she is alive today to tell the story. The question is; who brought her down off that ledge and moved her to make the changes in her life that now allow her to help and encourage so many other people? That person was herself! She put courage in herself.
It is great to have other people encourage you, but if you are relying on other people, then you are going to struggle to find the ongoing courage you need to get whatever job you need to get done, done! Rely on yourself! Be the one who puts courage into yourself. Start telling yourself that; you can, you will, you can improve, and you will do what it takes. Tell yourself that you have the god-given potential to overcome, create or achieve whatever you want. Start remembering the things that you have already achieved in your life and start believing that anything is possible for as you move forward after reading this blog.
I will continue to encourage you as much as I can with my books, my blogs, my podcasts and if we ever get the chance to speak, but please don’t rely on me or anyone other than you. On a daily basis, put the courage in yourself with empowering and uplifting words. Tell yourself you can and you will, and with every encouraging, empowering and uplifting word you use, you will put the courage in to go on and live your best life.