Choose Courage Over Comfort
Writing this month’s blog was a surreal, yet validating experience. Here I was, writing a blog about courage, on the 17th anniversary of 9/11… Although 9/11 stands out to many Americans as the first major act of terrorism in the US, it will also be remembered as a time when Americans showed great courage. Many people worked together to help others, despite horrific conditions. Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s courageous leadership along with many brave acts of heroism occurred as fireman, policeman and passengers on planes saved lives and performed miracles. Difficult times are the catalyst for courage.
Small acts of courage will change your life and the world.
Since the beginning of time, many historical figures dared greatly and took risks to do what was right, even if it meant they were on their own or many were against them. Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks, Gandhi, Amelia Earhart, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Theresa and the list goes on… These courageous leaders lived and practiced their values, showing great integrity. They chose courage during the toughest times, and they saved and changed many lives for the better.
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak;
Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen – Winston Churchill
Start by practicing courage in small ways. If you’re making a decision with little information, having an uncomfortable conversation or communicating when you don’t have the answers, these moments of truth and our actions teach others and create future courageous leaders.
Have courage to trust your intuition.
One of my mentors, Stephanie Zamora shares, “Fear means, “buckle up, it’s time to grow and expand!” Stephanie says, “Whatever you want to create or accomplish, fear will show up at exactly the time you need to be nudged forward. Don’t let it deter you from moving forward.”
I’ve learned that in order to grow and expand, we have to get used to being uncomfortable and embrace the journey. There are times in my life (I call them shoulder taps) when I put myself “out there” to help or share a positive comment, sometimes with complete strangers. You know those times when our conscience seems to nudge or to speak to us? Following that intuition is life changing…for us and others.
It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are – EE Cummings
Being courageous with people and relationships means saying what needs to be said.
…Even if it means it will make others uncomfortable. If comments come from a place of good intention, integrity and practicing our values, we are practicing soul care. It takes courage to speak up. It also takes courage to call out bullshit. Brene’ Brown refers to this in her newest book, Braving the Wilderness. When you’ve given your best, but behaviors and actions destroy your integrity or ignore personal boundaries, there’s also courage in walking away. And there is definitely courage in forgiveness.
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage – Anais Nin
It takes courage to be vulnerable, but it’s powerful and life changing.
Many people see emotions and vulnerability as a sign of weakness. This couldn’t be further from the truth. We are strongest in our weakness. Guilt and shame cannot survive when we courageously speak from a place of vulnerability. The Better Man Project book shares, “Vulnerability is terrifying. The courage it takes to reveal your heart is one of the most daunting…and yet rewarding experiences in life. It will set you free.”
Shame researcher Brene’ Brown says, “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they are never weakness. She also shares, Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.”
Be courageous and do the things you think you cannot do –
It will take your life to new levels!
If you’d like to learn more about Brene’s research, and how vulnerability can improve your life, tune in to “The Power of Vulnerability” Webinar, Wednesday, October 24th at 1:30 p.m. CST.
For more inspirational writings of Shana please CLICK HERE to go to her website “Life Matters”.
Presenter Shana Farrell-Fox Valley Technical College