Kathy Gates, Professional Life Coach
What does courage mean to you? Do you think of
the firefighters who lost their lives in the World
Trade Center towers? Do you think of the men and
women serving in Afghanistan and Iraq?
What about the courage to admit a mistake? Or the
courage to stop someone from hurting you? Or the
courage to stand up for what you believe? Or the
courage to just be yourself?
Yes, all those things take courage, but all of those
things also have something else in common. Do you
think any one of those things can be accomplished
without feeling some fear? No. There cannot be
courage without fear.
Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the
judgment or decision that something else is more
important than the fear. Courage is what you do IN
SPITE of the fear, in spite of the resistance, in spite
of what you want right now.
But you don't have to show the kind of courage that
it takes to get on the 6:00 news. You can show
courage every day. It takes courage to go against
"that's just the way it is."; or "what can I do about
it?", or "I've always been this way"; or "They won't
Courage is deciding not to put your current desires
above your desires for the future. Courage is
deciding there's something more important.
For me, courage brings to mind the Bible story of
David fighting Goliath. In order to get into the
Promise Land, David had to fight his giant. Don't
you image he had something else he would have
rather done that day? Fighting a giant wasn't likely
at the top of his list. But he chose not to put his
current desire over his true desire.
In order to get into your own personal promise land,
you'll have to have courage to stand up to your
personal giants too.
It takes courage to end an unhealthy relationship.
It takes courage to quit an unfulfilling job.
It takes courage to say No to someone who is using
It takes courage to set up a new spending plan.
It takes courage to say Yes to your dreams when it
means putting your self-esteem out there for the
whole world to see (well, that's relative, but you
know what I mean).
It takes courage to reorganize your time so that you
spend it on what is most meaningful to you.
It takes courage to ask for what you need and want
in your life.
It takes courage to be honest.
Courage doesn't mean that you don't recognize the
difficulty of the task. Not at all. It does mean that
you are willing to do it anyway, to push yourself out
of the comfort zone, to give it a try.
Courage is standing up to whatever mental-
emotional-physical "Giant" is in your life.
Resolve to live in such a way that courage, not fear,
directs your life. Resolve to determine your own
worth, not let someone else decide it for you.
Resolve to stop working hard to build someone
It's time to find the courage to take your future into
your own hands.