Here is the most important thing you could ever understand about Courage. Courage is and always will be a Practice. You practice Courage. You never know what you are going to have to be courageous about, so each time is an opportunity to practice. Sometimes it will be big sometimes it will be small, we don’t ever know but the one thing that we do know for sure is that each time it is an opportunity to practice. Once we actually accept that Courage is a practice and not a destination I believe it actually takes the pressure off us having to be good at it. Courage is a practice.
Now here comes the interesting bit. What is it ….how do we know what to practice?
When I say you practice courage what you are actually practicing is being vulnerable, exposing yourself emotionally, and not knowing what the outcome is going to be. Courage doesn’t mean you are not afraid, you are, it doesn’t mean you know for certain what will happen when you do this, you don’t and it doesn’t mean because you are brave it won’t hurt, it will. So can we be courageous and it won’t hurt? Can we be courageous and we won’t be afraid? Can we be courageous and be certain of the outcome? The answer to that is … perhaps, but likely never all 3.
Author Brene Brown speaks about a study she did where she interviewed thee most courageous people on earth the men and women who serve their country. What she discovered was when she asked if they had ever experienced themselves or witnessed someone else doing something courageous, was there ever a time that they or the other person was not vulnerable, uncertain of the outcome, or felt emotional exposure? The result of that study was every single person said NO, every single time they felt one or all three.
We have had this idea that only some people are courageous and others are not. That to have courage is only for an elite group.
The key is first to understand what Courage is, to understand that courage is a practice, not something that you will always feel awesome at while you are doing it ( the vulnerable emotional uncertain part) and that EVERYONE being courageous feels the same things, and that if feeling vulnerable, uncertain and emotionally exposed is Courage then I think of the men and women who face combat that feel that every time they are on a mission and I think, can I have a tough conversation with someone I love, can I try to challenge myself to ask for a raise, can I be brave in my business ? Yes, I can. xO