10 Actions to Do to Live a Courageous Life
1. Use the word, and use it again! “Everyday courage” is not an oxymoron. Show how your courage is revealed when speaking up, revealing convictions and taking a risk, and so on.
2. Invite the etymology of the word, which means “heart and spirit.” Then ask: “Will you give yourself permission to claim your courage (and become a model)?”
3. Learn this communication theme: “Let’s have a courageous conversation!” This action allows for intimacy, receptivity and openness with your peers and parents.
4. Exit bad situations quickly such as someone daring you to do something you know is wrong.
5. Declare your opinion even if you know it’s not in the norm. Refusing to go with the crowd is not easy. Instead, be the voice above the crowd.
6. Say “no” to a friend who engages in wrong activities and say “yes” to your courage. Soon a reservoir of courage builds that you can draw from.
7. Being the very best that you can be means you plan to live up to your potential, and that’s courage! Denial is saying no to courage.
8. Observe how often you sell your soul such as swallowing your voice or feeling the need to fit in the clique.
9. Adopt behaviors of courage that you see in other women and seek people who openly identify with courageous acts and reinforce them positively. In other words, find models and mentors that will en-courage you.
10. Read number 1 again! Then ask: What would I do if I had unlimited courage?”
As a side note, feminine courage is different from the traditionally understood definition of courage mentioned in number two. Our culture tends to associate courage with heroic feats of physical daring bravado. Here’s one woman’s viewpoint on the need for everyday courage and courageous leadership at work: “You have to impress an important client at a meeting in a few minutes and you just realized that you forgot to put on deodorant this morning. You have been frantically preparing for a hearing tomorrow before a judge who you are convinced has something against you personally. The phone rings and your sitter informs you that your daughter is sick and covered with red spots. How are you going to find the courage to get though the day?” While this example won’t make an Oprah “Amazing Stories of Courage” segment, they are true examples of everyday courage—the footnotes in one’s life.
Learning to live in conscious choice is another facet of everyday courage. You have the power and the freedom to choose to lead a more satisfying life. At the end of the journey, our words, our choices, and our actions reveal whether we followed our hearts. Whose heart are you following?