Courage, a term that is commonly used in everyday life under different contexts, has a very broad perspective. The perception of courage has been distorted over centuries as it is associated only with wars and war heroes. We have courageous people all around us! Speaking in a broad sense courage can be divided into two kinds – when you stand up for yourself and when you stand up for others.
What exactly is courage? It is not an absence of fear because fear is a natural facet of human nature. One is courageous when one acts despite fear, understanding the threats involved. It requires a tremendous strength of character to able to accept risks and still do the right thing. For example, walking into a lion’s den despite knowing that the beast waiting inside is hungry, is courage. When you stand up for yourself or others despite knowing that the consequences may be harsh and unforgiving, it is courage.
Every person has a set of beliefs that is nurtured by his upbringing, traditions and culture. In the course of life, you tend to compromise on these beliefs in order to achieve greater goals. It is very easy to be waylaid and accept the easier and more trodden path that may or may not be in keeping with your beliefs. However, people who have the courage to stand up for their set of beliefs are people of substance.
Courage manifests itself in small situations every day. You need courage to walk out of unfair relationships and unsatisfactory jobs, make monetary investments, complain against a corrupt officer, lead a team at work and to stand up and fight for your family. Courage is about bearing huge personal losses or failures in one’s career and still trudge forward in life. You are also courageous when you are a part of a huge crowd but stand up alone to point a finger towards a wrong happening. Courage is the ability to make the right choice, when the other option seems more profitable and lucrative. It takes a lot of courage to stand up for your friends, but it takes more courage to stand up against your friends when you know they are doing wrong.
To exist in the present world, being courageous is essential. The world today demands one to be assertive– someone who can stand up in a crowd and say, “this is what I am and this is what I believe in”. Assertiveness is born out of a belief in one’s ideals and it requires courage to bring it to the forefront.
Courage is a state of mind. It is in your mind where you decide whether to act or not. Every person has a secret desire to be courageous. It is not difficult to practice. You only need to ignore the little voice inside you that spews out pessimistic pieces of advice. Taking the first leap is the most crucial step. Train yourself to be courageous if you intend to survive in the fierce competition. Being courageous can make all the difference between being a failure and being successful.
Courage is to get out of your comfort zone… and sometimes courage is: just take action, don’t listen to all the little voices. Go for it!