Being honest and real about who we are, what we believe and what we want is not always easy and can take courage.
Author Brene Brown speaks of “ordinary courage”. She speaks about the original meaning of courage, i.e. “to speak ones’ heart” and how we have lost the idea that the meaning of courage is being open and honest about ourselves and our experiences.
I agree with Brene Brown that if we pay attention we begin to notice how many of us demonstrate ordinary courage every day but I also believe that we don’t usually recognise these acts as courageous or call them courageous. Examples of ordinary courage are endless and can include saying No, saying I don’t know, asking for help, speaking up at a meeting, sharing an idea and any act that shows our true self and as such exposes our vulnerability.
At the same time it can also take courage to shine a light on ourselves, to show our strengths. For example it is difficult for many of us to say “I am really good at …” when we have been conditioned to think of that as vain or self-promoting.
Working at being authentic takes practice every day and so I suggest taking “ordinary courage” and calling it “every-day courage.”
It is true that when we practice courage every-day people may take advantage of our vulnerability and that can be disappointing, but when we get over the initial hurt we can then decide how to deal with that. We can use our every-day courage to face the other person and tell them how we are feeling or we can decide we are “pruning” some relationships that no longer fit with our values and beliefs.
Ultimately our beliefs drive our emotions and in turn our behaviour. The more that we recognise our every-day courage, acknowledge it and believe that we are courageous we will act with courage. As we act with courage we gather evidence that we can take a risk, be courageous and not only survive but also thrive and so we gather more self-belief.
As we gather self–belief the more we will practice every day courage and live the authentic life that we yearn for.
So let’s start an every-day courage movement. I wrote this today as my act of every-day courage but what was yours today and what will it be tomorrow? I’d love to hear so let me know.