As more weeks pass during this pandemic, and we continue to adapt to a “new normal” that keeps changing, I have been exploring the concept of what it means to have courage.
Does courage mean that we feel in control and are not feeling afraid? Does courage mean that we are constantly positive and taking action?
The dictionary defines courage as “the ability to do something that frightens one.” What is important to note is that we can be courageous and still feel afraid.
As Franklin D. Roosevelt said:
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.”
Over the past few weeks, more and more clients are reaching out for support.
One constant theme in our discussions is the “rollercoaster of emotions” that we (yes, me as well) are experiencing right now.
Many of us are cycling through a wide range of emotions: anger, sadness, fear, positivity, gratitude and peace. From one moment to the other, then from one day to the next, our feelings can (and do) shift quickly.
I want to remind you that it is not the feelings that need to change, but our acceptance of them. When we accept all of our different feelings, only then can we move forward.
And this is where courage comes in. It takes courage to accept our feelings.
Courage is a personal choice to be authentic.
It takes courage to:
- Accept how we feel
- Accept our fears
- Accept who we are as individuals
- Accept what we can’t control
Then, with this acceptance, we can be courageous and look for the things we do have control over. First, identify the small (or large) actions that we can take every day. This is how we increase our ability to adapt. Then, view ourselves as adaptable—an essential skill in times like this and for life in general.
Courage can also strengthen our relationships.
When interacting with others, remember that it also takes courage to:
- Be vulnerable
- Show imperfection
- Show empathy (without trying to fix the other person)
- Accept differences
- Truly see and believe in others
With this type of courage, we can be liberated to be more present in our daily lives. It will help us step out of our comfort zones and to try a “new normal” that we may have never considered possible before.
Remember: you are courageous and have what it takes to move forward in your own way, at your own pace. Allow me to leave you with one of my favourite quotes from writer Mary Anne Radmacher:
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, I’ll try again tomorrow.”