“Most people do not push past certain boundaries, particularly the artificial boundaries of corrupt or unethical workplace standards. Reflecting an absence of courage consciousness, such standards drag us down and create inroads for self-doubt. How do you learn to move beyond artificial boundaries? Do you emulate someone who exemplifies courage, a “courage change agent”? Have you claimed the courage to align your personality with your spirit? Have you begun to the abundance that comes from this internal unity of spirit and personality?”
Hurt not others in that you yourself would find hurtful. – Udanavarga
As you wish that men would do to you, do so to them. – Luke 6:31
Do not unto others what you would not have them do unto you. – Analects 15:2
Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you. – Mahabharata 5:1517
No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself. – Sunan
That which is hateful unto you, do not impose on others. –Talmud, Shabbat 31
“God is not ominous but loving; fear arises from the imagination. Fears are eliminated by graceful acceptance of the qualities inherent in the human condition, which brings to awareness the comforting realization that one’s discomforts are shared equally by all. This results in a healing compassion toward all life. To become loving brings an end to the fear of loss of love, for lovingness engenders love wherever it goes.”
Along the Path to Enlightenment, David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D.
Courage is the virtue that provides the skills, the knowledge and the fortitude to overcome any obstacle. This is why Aristotle felt that courage was the first of the virtues making all the other virtues possible. Courage is more important than ever in today’s climate of fear, doubt and uncertainty. By recognizing, developing and wielding the power of personal courage, anyone can
• Realize a higher level of job satisfaction,
• Earn more rapid advancement at work,
• Develop stronger interpersonal skills,
• Experience personal fulfillment at work, and
• Transcend the limitations of any situation.
Ironically, “stepping up” in courage requires the inverse action: stepping deeper into one’s self. Only by delving beneath the shallow thought patterns and melodramas of the ego-personality can a woman discover her true identity, thereby nurturing her courage and empowering her to advance her life and her career.
A true understanding of courage begins with its origins—the Old French word corage, meaning “heart and spirit.” In other words, courage is an innate quality that resides within the core of every human being. Since feminine courage remains virtually unrecognized in our culture, it holds tremendous potential as a source of personal empowerment, happiness, job satisfaction and social advancement. We simply need to begin a process of self-realization that reveals which obstacles keep us stuck. Once we identify our own personal obstacles, we can begin to practice the corresponding courage action skills that empower us to overcome our obstacles. My promise to you:
• Expand your mindset around courage,
• Refine your capacity for action through intention and
• Live more frequently in the realm of courage consciousness.
In the end, recognizing one’s courage and acting in courage are not so much about what you are doing as who you are being! Regardless of age, background or job description, anyone willing simply to know her own “heart and spirit,” can follow her courage to the highest levels of success in her chosen field of work.
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By Sandra Ford Walston, The Courage Expert
One cannot discover new oceans until he [she] has courage to lose sight of the shore. –Unknown
Most people have differing opinions about who has courage and how they got it. Is it learned or innate? Do you maneuver in and out depending on the circumstance at stake or can you keep advancing your level of courage consciousness? Extracting courageous leadership from courageous figures of the past can help define what can be applied in training and how they can be used to achieve results.
“Much of my life I thought you were either courageous or you weren’t. But, courage is being displayed everywhere, and one size courage does not fit all,” states John Jackson, an adjunct associate professor at Central Queensland University in Australia. He highlights a few courage distinctions displayed by famous people:
• “Mother Theresa had the courage to work for many years with the poor of India in what most people would regard as a hopeless no-win situation.
• Nelson Mandela had the courage to take on the apartheid system, but not to renounce armed resistance.
• Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King had the courage to champion and live non-violent resistance.
• Winston Churchill had the courage to do whatever it took to rid the world of Hitler and Nazism.
Courage is generally associated with being a hero. Jackson continues, “I am no hero. Most of the time my most courageous act at work was to champion peace and harmony. But as Aristotle would remind us, virtue in this instance is finding the balance between being a strong peacemaker and being a strong push-over.
Many people define courage around convictions/values, taking risks, speaking up or overcoming an illness. If you have inklings about how to dial into their courage — great! That’s the first step. The learning curve escalates when you become adept at extracting the courage varieties permeating your environment and then honoring them.
• En-courage feedback — it takes courage to learn from others’ perspectives. Employees who acknowledge the power of honesty.
• Confront your limitations and seek personal accountability.
• Be proactive. “True courage is not measured by the size of the act, but by the size of the heart” (this sentence was on a flag draped on a building by Ground Zero).
• Cross-check to review how you’re doing with your own courage context and courage quotient.
A portal to your heart opens when you strive for the best outcome. Why? The heart matures during different stages of courage development. Revelation allows you to be more self-conscious. Consciousness thrives in contemplation. Contemplation centers you in silence. Silence breeds insight. Insights augment learning.
One day’s courage often predicts the next day’s expansion in creativity, inspiration, dedication, deeper engagement to the task, intensity, innovation and the willingness to share insights. Models of individual courage give others permission to grow. No longer immune to its energy, courage deposits allow your heart to exhibit genius.
Courage leadership emerges naturally when human spirits come from their hearts not their heads. These authentic moments reveal the truth about learning and growing!
Do you confess your shortcomings and missteps? For example, if you lack knowledge about a topic, do you respond in a deceptive manner that keeps your protects your ego? The honest response would be to confess your vulnerability by admitting that you do not know the answer. A timely confessing made with positive intent is good for the spirit. The process helps us face the truth. We take responsibility for what is happening with our spirit and address those missteps that collect unhealthy energy.
Yes, we invite potential trouble when we stand in our courage and confess our shortcomings, but more importantly, we hold ourselves accountable and establish our integrity. Even a corruption-tainted person should have the courage to confess! Confessing is a cousin to courage.
Excerpt From FACE IT! 12 Obstacles that Hold You Back on the Job
Courageous leaders recognize defining moments and apply courage at work. This conscious action is vital to their success. By developing the following behaviors in yourself, you’ll be better able to call upon your courage when needed.
1. Constantly affirm your strength and determination
Realize that no one expects you to be perfect. They do, however, expect you to do your best. Take time for daily reflection so you can evaluate your resources and how you can best use them. When you know how your strengths can benefit your organization, you’ll be able to do what you believe is right and see any challenge as an opportunity for professional growth.
2. Hurdle obstacles and take risks
Every behavior you exhibit and every action you take is a conscious choice. Give yourself permission to choose to be different so you can creatively navigate your way around, through, or over any obstacles that cross your path. When you feel fear set in, ask yourself, “What’s the worst thing that can happen if I do this?” Usually the worst never occurs, so take the risk.
3. Manifest vision
There are no shortcuts when it comes to courageous leadership. Know where you want to go and develop a crystal clear vision of your goal. Become stubborn about attaining your vision so you can discard any non-productive judgments others put on you.
4. Reflect self-esteem
All your actions reflect who you are and what you stand for. If you’re repeating a certain behavior that you don’t like, look inside and ask, “What do I need to change?” Sharpen your skills and abilities through education, reading, and training, and surround yourself with the kind of people you want to become.
5. Speak up
If you feel uncomfortable in a situation, believe your intuition and tell those involved why you believe the situation is not right. Exercise your courageous voice by challenging the status quo and making waves when someone is putting you down or when water-cooler gossip is getting out of hand.
Advocates of the Past
I have written about many courageous leaders throughout history in STUCK and FACE!IT who displayED a high, integral level of courage consciousness such as Frida Kahlo who married Diego Rivera in 1929. Obsessed with fame, Diego would become her advocate and art teacher (but also her abuser).
Alec (Alexander) Fleming thought maybe it was time to retire when no one seemed to have an interest in his “mold juice” (the Penicillium mold). But then he met Oxford University pathologist Sir Howard W. Florey and biochemist Ernst B. Chain, who were also investigating ways to fight bacteria. They had been studying Alec’s findings on the enzyme lysozymes and his original report on penicillin. They valued Alec’s findings and became his advocates in promoting the “miracle mold.” These two examples encouraged others to claim their courage and your ability to overcome obstacles can encourage the people around you. Advocates have played a critical role with historical people and everyday people.
Therapist Shane Holst believes this type of encouragement is invaluable in helping people claim their courage and overcome inertia (another major obstacle to courage). “I believe that, when I encourage another, I wish to fill the other with courage, and my courage is demonstrated. Even though I encourage another who may outshine me, I still persist and commit altruistically to the other. Indeed, I celebrate the achievements of another regardless of me, my ego, my needs—that is deep courage, deep integrity, deep truth and bona fide humility and wisdom.” Simply by giving ourselves permission to claim our personal courage, we encourage those around us, making courage contagious and transforming the workplace.
“Most people do not push past certain boundaries, particularly the artificial boundaries of corrupt or unethical workplace standards.
Reflecting an absence of courage consciousness, such standards drag us down and create inroads for self-doubt. How do you learn to move beyond artificial boundaries? Do you emulate someone who exemplifies courage, a ‘courage change agent’? Have you claimed the courage to align your personality with your spirit? Have you begun to the abundance that comes from this internal unity of spirit and personality?”
Excerpt From FACE IT! 12 Obstacles that Hold You Back on the Job
For all the readers who dream about leaving the dog-eat-dog world to pursue their life-long passion, start now! Finding the time to craft the almighty business plan or drumming up financial backing, you run the risk of fumbling the passion. So, if you’re bored, burned out or frustrated in your day job, dig into your heart and spirit (the original definition of courage), and you will see that your courage resides there.
If intimidation is holding you back, look for a tough project to tackle, but remember this courage paradox: start by stopping! The commitment to reflection will provide a clearer picture of what you need to do to get where you need to be. Then, you won’t be a victim of intimidation.