Courage isn’t having the strength to go on – it is going on when you don’t have strength
This has been stuck in my mind lately.
Being brave usually calls us to action and asks us to take some risks and leave our comfort zones. So it seems only naturally that it is going to feel bad, dangerous or even terrifying every second of the way. The defining moment of courage is acknowledging how scary and vulnerable it feels, and continuing anyways.
We watch others do brave things all the time but we still have a hard time connecting with the stress and strain they had to face to accomplish that brave thing. We tell ourselves that it must have been easy for them and that we could never do that. Excuses after excuses. But the truth is that we all face setbacks and stumbling blocks and we all have the choice to be brave in the face of it.
I never used to consider myself brave.
The last couple of years have been filled with taking risks, making changes, and doing things that scared the crap out of me. I never felt particularly courageous because some days, I let my fear win. I let it paralyze me and keep me stuck in places for much longer than I should have let it. I lost the battles just as often as I won them.
But I’m starting to realize that I don’t need to give my feelings (more specifically, fear) any say in the matter when it comes to the direction I want to go in life. What scares me now may not scare me in the future and I’ll laugh that I let such petty things stop me. Because the truth is, some of my happiest accomplishments came from the moments that I did step up to the challenge. I’ve seen the outcome.
So it sounds like it’s time to let go of my fears. To be more accurate, it’s time to square up to them, give them the middle finger then proceed to blow right past them. Even if my voice falters or my knees buckle. I can’t let them stop me anymore.
And yeah, I think that’s a pretty brave choice.
I know it is not going to be easy.
But what will I give up in terms of joy and purpose in life if I choose the easy path? What do I have to gain really from remaining silent when I know I should speak up? Or doing what is expected of me instead of making me happy? Or procrastinating and prolonging the day I have to face hard moments?
I want to be able to start looking back and knowing I was courageous and strong and did the most I could to live my life.
And it starts by doing the hard and impossible things today.