I wrote down some quotes on courage that I really liked. I thought I’d share them after I threw in my 2 cents about what I think courage is — and isn’t.
Over the years I have learned that courage isn’t doing things you don’t enjoy because you “should”. It is learning to do certain things in spite of fear because there are things that have to be accomplished, like those trips to the grocery store. Over time, feeling the fear and doing it anyway (also the title of a remarkable book by Dr. Susan Jeffers) reduces the fear and you do things just because. But that doesn’t make you courageous.
Courage is speaking your mind even when it will alienate people. Now that doesn’t mean you have to be rude or mean spirited or hateful. In fact, what I am talking about is speaking up about injustice and supporting simple humanity even when the majority would rather stick its collective head up its collective ass. I know I could have said that the majority sticks its head in the sand but I am serious when I say “up its ass” (and besides, making that comment a few weeks ago got my post on FB deleted by an acquaintance; it’s a badge of honor; I struck a nerve — now that’s courage!).
Courage, for me has been being alone and doing things alone even when I’m terrified. After 10 years of singledom, I know the feeling of “terrified” quite well. I like it. I don’t like it. Just saying that now is courageous. I usually hide it.
Courage is recognizing that there are some things you are not ready to do or just don’t like, whether that be climb a mountain, kayak (like me learning to do rolls and realizing how much I hated doing it), working in an office, being “friends” with certain people, and doing something about it (that’s the courageous part).
So here are the quotes which say what I think much more elegantly.
“Courageous risks are life giving, they help you grow, make you brave and make you better than you are.” ~ Joan L. Curcio
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” ~ Ambrose Redmoon
“Be courageous. It’s one of the only places left uncrowded.” ~ Anita Roddick
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face….You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
“Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.” ~ William Faulkner