movement toward or through pain, fear, uncertainty or danger despite personal discomfort.
Courage as a practice is about perseverance. It’s about self-possession. It’s understanding that sometimes the best time to take a leap is when you feel like hiding under the table. It’s about falling down and getting back up…over and over again. It’s about dropping the story and clearly and resolutely stepping into your future.
“Courage is the first of human virtues because it makes all others possible” ~Aristotle
- Scientists have identified the part of the brain that deals with courage. It is located in the sgACC, or subgenual anterior cingulate cortex, which is responsible for fear, emotion, stress, perception, and a variety of other tasks.
- Recent research has shown that courage is a habit that is developed by practicing courageous acts.
- Research by Brené Brown closely links courage with vulnerability and our sense of worthiness.
How To Start Practicing
Practice Mindfulness – Become more keen at noticing when you are shrinking or moving away from something you want just because it is difficult.
Be Real – Acknowledge your fears. Being honest with yourself is the first step to walking through your discomfort and finding your courage.
Live with Balance – It is easier to be courageous when our lives feel more in balance. Regular sleep, a healthy diet and regular exercise can make courage feel more accessible.
Set an Intention – Courage takes practice and it takes vulnerability. Vulnerability can be uncomfortable therefore set an intention to consciously and with consistency practice courage.
Reflect – Reflect and notice how many courageous acts you perform each day. Sometimes just getting into the car, dropping your child off at school or showing up at the office for a big meeting takes a certain amount of courage. Start noticing the small courageous acts and then challenge yourself by taking on larger acts of courage that move your toward a goal.