Courage: You are Braver Than You Think

You have more courage than you are giving yourself credit. We are all doing hard things right now. I have witnessed abundant amounts of courageous behaviors over the past ten months. I've included some examples of what courage looks like below.

  • Cutting the legs of the kitchen table in half so the littles have a place to do schoolwork

  • Attending a virtual funeral

  • Being curious about privilege and how it shows up for you

  • Furloughing or firing people to save the business

  • Showing up to the office scared

  • Grocery shopping for elderly neighbors or family

  • Permanently closing your business

  • Having conversations with a parent through a window at their senior care facility

  • Going into cancer treatment appointments alone

  • Telling people with whom you've been in contact that you're COVID positive

Brené Brown says, "You can choose courage, or you can choose comfort, but you can't choose both." Three areas that depend on courage are connection, boundaries, and balancing negative and positive realities. Choosing comfort in these areas leads to stagnant behaviors and less than optimal outcomes. Courage requires connection. Conversations help people organize and pursue courageous behavior, but they can also help recognize the courage you have already displayed. Sometimes you have to have the conversation to realize how courageous you are. We are all working so hard to put one foot in front of the other right now and might not realize the heroic efforts we are making to survive and thrive. Connecting with peers, friends, family, or coaches offers much-needed feedback. Courage has a synchronistic relationship with boundaries. Courage develops boundaries, and boundaries require courage. If you don't know where the line in the sand is, you can't lead people. People need leaders who are "ridiculously in charge" (Henry Cloud). That type of leader builds culture instead of allowing culture to form. That type of leader depends on courage to help communicate what's allowed and what isn't. Courage shows up when setting boundaries and when holding people accountable to meet the boundaries. Courage helps us look at and embrace negative realities. A silver lining mentality all the time only tells half of the story. People who can only face bright, shiny positive outcomes are not the leaders who are thriving during this pandemic. Be the leader who isn't afraid of making a loss inventory for themselves, their team, and their organization. Leaning into grief work will propel you further and faster than not doing it. Allow sad feelings and value what didn't happen. Accept comfort and then move toward the new. Courage leads to change, which strengthens your beliefs and helps challenge areas that need to evolve. It takes courage to be curious, and curiosity opens the door for transformation. Courage is doing something even when it's hard. It's being afraid and doing it anyway. What courageous work have you been doing? Which area are you needing more courage: connection, boundaries, or balancing negative and positive realities?

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