Courage, what does it look like?
What does it mean to you to be courageous?
Do you have a deﬁnition in your mind? Characteristics of a courageous person? Consider the people you know who you think are courageous. Who comes to mind? For me, it’s the person who…
• admits they made a mistake.
• tries something they’ve never done before even if they might fail.
• says “no” to something even if they know the other person expects a “yes.”
• sticks to their convictions even when they are the “odd one” of the group.
• acts until they achieve what they’re after.
• takes more risks.
• is willing to experience a little embarrassment if it means they’ll get a little closer to
what they want.
• is honest even when the truth will be hard to say.
What’s different about the people who we think are courageous? What are your thoughts about those people?
I think they…
• must not be afraid of anything.
• don’t care what happens or what people think.
• are terriﬁed to try but they do it anyway.
• know how to do things I can’t.
• are always so conﬁdent.
• can handle anything.
• can be wrong about stuff.
• learn and try again, no matter what.
I think sometimes, they don’t know fear, are totally conﬁdent, and have no struggle with self-doubt. (That’s not really true, but easy to believe in the moment when I’m standing in “awe” of them and their abilities.) What if you don’t know anyone who is courageous?
Perhaps there are people in your life you believe aren’t. You watch their lives and see a lack of courage. Lots of people lack courage. What does their life look like? How would you describe them?
I might describe them this way:
• They can’t manage their fear well, or consistently.
• They like to play it safe.
• There's more available to them but they won't go after it because of fear.
• They don’t know what’s possible for them if they acted courageously.
• They don’t get everything out of life they could.
• They have to be "perfect" and can’t possibly experience defeat or failure.
• They put stuff off because it won't be good enough or "perfect."
• They don’t have self-conﬁdence.
• They don’t try new things.
• They are motivated by what other people think about their performance.
Do you think of yourself as a courageous person? Why or why not?
What would your life look like with a little more courage in it?
So much to say about courage...this is just to get us thinking. What are your thoughts about courage? If you’re a parent, how can you cultivate courage in the heart of your child?
Here are 5 ways to do that. Give these a try:
1. Help them acknowledge they're afraid, and encourage them to try anyway.
2. Remind them what they think about themselves matters more than what others think
3. Encourage them to trust themselves and develop a healthy self-conﬁdence in every
area of life.
4. Be an example to them by telling them the truth and helping them always do that,
5. Teach them life’s obstacles don’t stop us in our tracks; obstacles provide an
opportunity to consider strategies to go over, around, or through them!
Cultivating courage in our lives makes accomplishing great so much more possible! You can be someone who is an example and inspires courage in the hearts of others!