Webster’s Dictionary defines courage as mental or moral strength; however, courage comes from the Old French word corage, meaning heart and spirit. So it has little to do with society’s label of physical bravado or heroic acts much less split-second decisions.
Courage is something that originates within you, at the core of your being. Awareness of this untapped reservoir of empowerment enables you to direct the energy of your personal courage to produce dramatic, positive change such as learning to speak up when confronted with abusive or disrespectful language.
You manifest your courage in a number of different ways such as affirming your strength and determination, confronting abuse, working through and conquering fear, embracing your faith/spirituality, hurdling obstacles, taking risks, and living your convictions.
You can claim your everyday courage by recognizing these innate courage behaviors and claiming them as your own. How do you recognize your everyday courage? Your courage is reflected in your refusal to play it safe, dodge discomfort or hedge your bets. These courage-centered behaviors are reflected in your behavior. How often you hit the bull’s eye.
Courage is Centered in the Bull’s-Eye
Hitting the bull’s-eye means being on target. English longbow yeomen in small hamlets often held archery practice after church services. A common target was the white skull of a bull, and the aim was to hit the bull’s eye.
Before practicing the skills needed to hit the bull’s-eye in your life and work, you need to know that you’re aiming at the right target—then act with courage.
Acting with courage is about acting from the heart. Everything outside the bull’s-eye represents a different aspect of the false self-stories, such as “I could never be like that”! By accessing your courage, you take aim at the true target.
Are You on Target? It may take years for you to find the courage to act from your heart—the place where self-fulfillment lives—and express your true identity, thus revealing your authenticity. Rest assured, your courage is alive in your original self. The word authentic is derived from Greek authentikos, meaning “original.”
Learn to live from the inside—the bull’s eye of your true being. Skilled archers pause their breath before releasing the arrow. This pause enables you to manifest a vision yet stay present to adapt to what is needed as new variables come in to play.
You become courageous by being courageous, hitting the bull’s-eye more often. Join me next time to learn three strategies to increase your bull’s eye accuracy.
Sandra Ford Walston is known as The Courage Expert and innovator of StuckThinking™. She is an organizational effectiveness consultant, courage coach, trainer, speaker and internationally published author of bestseller COURAGE. She is certified in the Enneagram and MBTI®. www.sandrawalston.com
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