This word is packed with so many things. The majority of the time we see it as something powerful and amazing. We admire it and look up to it. We use it a lot to describe someone or something we see as heroic or brave. Often it is used when people step out into new territory creatively or in controversy. That could be argued for sure. We could split hairs and consider when it is courageous, or is it more bold or even impudent. Lots of fun words in the thesaurus around the word Courageous.
My favorite though, the one that speaks to me is ‘not deterred by danger or pain; brave’. It is the ‘not deterred’ portion that really strikes me. It speaks of a determination in the face of opposition. For most of us that means conflict, confrontation and fear. It means taking action or being heroic in the face of fear or potential loss of something else. In fact the more you study the word you realize there is absolutely no courage unless first there was or is fear and or loss. Yet, not deterred.
Courage then comes at a cost to the one acting in it. It means if I continue down this road there is a chance it would cost me something. Usually something very important, something I value. Maybe it is pride, maybe it is money, maybe even a relationship. If you are in some positions, the step into courage for you may even cost you your life. If we make the choice to step out in true courage, it is usually because the need, the reward, the outcome is something bigger than or more important than ourselves or where we stand right now. In its purest form it is something honorable and worthy and about more than just me and what I want or need. Being courageous means it is no longer about me, it is about something bigger than a little old me.
This leads me to ask a few questions, first of myself and then of you. What is the thing you have not faced yet, that you know you should, but fear has stood in the way? What is that thing more important than yourself? What would you put yourself on the line for? And last but my no means least, WHY? What would the reason, outcome, reward be worth the risk that stands before you? What are you afraid of?
That is the question of all questions… What are you afraid of? I really would love to know. I would like to talk with you about that. Maybe we can learn from one another and be better equipped to take on our fears together with courage. Let’s walk forward, not deterred but courageous.