The dictionary defines courage as “the ability to face danger, difficulty, uncertainty, or pain without being overcome by fear or being deflected from a chosen course of action.”
“I did it! Today, I gave my landlord a 60-day notice that I’m leaving! I’m scared to death and don’t know what the future holds for me but I’m ready to face whatever comes my way.” These are the words I heard over the phone from my brave sister who finally mustered up the courage to leave behind her big city life after more than 30 years.
For the last three years, like a broken record, Sharon would tell me her plans about leaving Toronto to move 2000 miles to live close to her family. Every time I’d bring up the subject, she would have excuses and quickly move on to talk about something else. Why was she constantly changing her mind and avoiding the subject? There was nothing holding her back from leaving. There was no secure job tying her down – no real emotional connections to hang on to. The city served its purpose and now it was time for her to move on. So what was the real reason for her not taking the leap of faith? It was her fear of the unknown.
It took great courage for Sharon to look at her life honestly and reevaluate it – making necessary changes to move forward. This experience forced her to look at what she needs to release and reshape in her life in order to be truly happy and fulfilled.
I will walk in this journey with her – lending her strength and encouragement every step of the way. I have faith that she will march through all of this more courageous and stronger. To be able to cope with life in a much more powerful way because of the lessons learned from this experience. She now understands that courage is not living without fear, it’s having the bravery to stand up to it.
Courage is a Choice
No one is going to give you courage you have to find it yourself. Courage is doing things before realizing what we did – then taking a deep breathe as you reflect, wondering what came over you. Courage is having the ability to do what you need to do before you’re forced to do it. You will never know what you can do until you find the courage to step out in faith and do it.
Courage isn’t something that is given to us overnight. It’s a quality we cultivate regularly in the face of problems, hardships, disappointments, and loss. So instead of running from challenges, we need to embrace them and move through them.
The only difference between fear and courage is the ability to take a stand and believe in yourself and to act in spite of your fear.
“Courage is being scared to death . . . and saddling up anyway.” – John Wayne