There is a kind of courage that seems overdone, like it wants to be something bigger than it is. This kind of courage wears masks and capes and makes grandiose promises; it’s a kind of courage you have to put on to hide what you’re lacking. Like the times I say yes when everything in me is screaming no. Or when I try to do any plumbing in my house.
The kind of courage that requires masks and capes looks big, but it actually comes from a false place, a place of no substance.
Real courage, the kind that comes from a solid and growing place, is smaller.
My friend and I were having lunch a few months ago. Between bites of sushi and friendly banter, she said something that made me feel defensive. So I stopped. I felt the defensiveness rise up, and I actually waited until it subsided. Then I said, “I’m not sure why, but what you just said made me feel defensive, so I think anything I say right now might come from that place. Could I have a while to think about that?” I want more of that kind of courage.
Courage is quitting a job that pays more, and taking that job that pays less, because it’s more consistent with who you are and what you care about.
Courage is showing up to work when you know there are people who are unhappy with you.
Courage is noticing when you are being a perky but fake version of yourself, and choosing instead to give something of your actual self.
Courage is deciding you’re going to stop having the dialogue in your mind and start having it with the actual person.
Courage is seeing the look on your wife’s face, knowing that she needs to talk about something, and choosing to talk to her even when you’d rather unplug.
Courage is setting a boundary with that person who keeps demanding that you be something that you know that you cannot be.
Courage is naming that you’re fried, that you can’t, and that you need help.
Courage is saying yes to what compels you even though you are afraid you don’t have what it takes.
Courage is being so afraid of disappointing people by saying no, but saying no anyway.
You’ll find that kind of courage when living behind your mask and your cape and your grandiose promises becomes so exhausting that you just can’t do it anymore.
You’ll find that kind of courage when you get a glimpse of yourself without the mask and the cape, and you actually like what you see.
You’ll find that kind of courage when living from a true place is more attractive than living from a false place.
Where do you find that kind of courage?
This post is from the archives. I was talking with someone recently who is doing something risky and courageous, very soon. You know who you are. This post is for you!