(special thanks to Melanie Greenberg, PhD for inspiring this article)
Courage is one of THE most important innate qualities to tap in to as an entrepreneur because it is the bridge between inspired ideas and real world outcomes. When you allow fear to take you out, your inspired ideas never see the light of day and you end up shrinking back to the perceived safety of the known – and suffering from depression.
When you embrace courage, doors open that you could not previously see or anticipate. Your energy rises and fuels you to keep going. You come to know yourself as someone who is strong and capable and people hold you in high regard.
Fortunately courage is not just in some of us. It is in all of us. And it is a capacity that everyone has access to at any given moment.
There are different types of courage, ranging from physical strength and endurance to mental stamina and innovation. In this article and the next I share quotes and stories from some of the world’s greatest philosophers, writers and thought leaders that demonstrate six different ways we define and express courage. In each section, I offer a tip and question to help you and activate your own courage.
1. Feeling Fear Yet Taking Action In Spite of It
“Courage is more exhilarating than fear…and in the long run, it is easier.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” – Dale Carnegie
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela
“Courage is about doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared. Have the courage to act instead of react.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes
TIP: Get connected to the dream or desired outcome to pull you forward. Your love has to be greater than your fear.
Q: What if it works out exactly as you want it to?
2. Following Your Heart and Intuition
“Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace.” – Amelia Earhart
“You have to really be courageous about your instincts and your ideas. Otherwise you’ll just knuckle under, and things that might have been memorable will be lost.” – Francis Ford Coppola
“Passion is what drives us crazy, what makes us do extraordinary things, to discover, to challenge ourselves. Passion is and should always be the heart of courage.” ― Midori Komatsu
“And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” — Steve Jobs
“It takes courage … to endure the sharp pains of self-discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.” ― Marianne Williamson
TIP: Your heart and intuition are speaking to you all the time. You just might need to give it permission to be heard above the inner critic and outside nay-sayers.
Q: If money and/or what others might think was no longer important to you, what would you do?
3. Persevering in the Face of Adversity
“To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself.” — Soren Kierkegaard
“Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!” So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” — Mark Twain
“A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” — Mary Anne Radmacher
TIP: Who you think of yourself as – your identity – has everything to do with how courageously you live.
Q: Think of a time in the past when you were courageous and persevered. Who were you BEING – identity – in that moment that you can re-activate now to pull you through?
What act of courage is percolating in you? What will be the tipping point to move you into action? Leave a comment and let me know!