What Does It Mean to Be Courageous?
You can look up the definition of courageous and find, "Possessing or displaying courage; able to face and deal with danger or fear without flinching." Notice that this definition says nothing about not being afraid. It's all about feeling afraid but then doing it anyway. Let’s look at what this means for you. * Feeling the Fear but Doing It Anyway – The main component of the definition is that you feel fear, but you act anyway. You move forward and do the thing that scares you. Whether that is jumping out of an airplane with a parachute or standing up to your boss, depends on what’s happening in your life. * Following the Convictions of Your Heart – There are amazing stories about people following their convictions, such as Irena Sendler who saved 2500 children from the Nazis, and the elderly Fukushima people who cleaned up the radioactive site despite the certain risk to their health, because they believed it was right since they did not want young people dying. * Not Giving Up – One major sign of courage is the willingness to stick to your path. It can be very hard in certain situations. If you’re a public person and say something that upsets your fans due to a deeply held conviction, you have to be willing to accept the consequences. * Knowing What’s Right and Standing Up for It – When you know something is right and you stand up for it even if everyone else is saying the opposite, you’re showing courage. It’s hard to overcome "group think" and speak up for something when you know everyone else is likely to be against you. * Embracing the Unknown – A lot of fear comes from not knowing what’s going to happen next, which means that you embrace the unknown sometimes to show courage. For example, surely astronauts are afraid when they are launched into space, but they do it anyway even though they really don’t know what it’s going to be like until they get there. * Suffering with Dignity and Faith – Sometimes, courageous choices do come with suffering. For example, Senator John McCain was a prisoner of war during the Vietnam conflict. Even though he was tortured horribly, he did not leave his men behind. * Being Bold and Unapologetic – When you are convinced about something, it’s best to be bold and unapologetic about it. That’s how it is when you take a stand against something and make the choice to be courageous about it. Being courageous is an empowering quality to possess. It’s one of the hardest things to do and often comes with significant life consequences, both positive and negative. But when you have the courage of your convictions and you know what’s right, you cannot back down. This is because going against your own morals and values is not an option, and doing the right thing feels right (and is right) even if you are scared.