Submitted with permission by David Gouthro Consulting Edge.com wi
Good question. So just what is courage and what does it have to do with anything? Actually, it has a lot to do with just about everything that is really worthwhile in life. Everyone has acted with courage at least once and most people do so on a regular basis. In fact, there are lots of opportunities for each of us to act with courage on a much more frequent and conscious basis. So, let’s examine the notion of courage and identify some opportunities to exercise it. Courage is an inner quality that becomes evident when you take action where each of the following three criteria are met: (i) there is an uncertain or unpredictable outcome; (ii) there is an emotion or feeling present that ranges somewhere between mild concern and terror (based on the perceived consequences of failure); and (iii) there is a positive value or belief which consciously or unconsciously drives your action. Another way to describe the outcome is risky! You have a sense of what you hope to achieve—but there’s no guarantee you’ll do so. Consequently, you have an emotional response to the thought of taking the risk. If the consequences of failure seem slim, you may experience mild concern or a touch of anxiety. If failure might result in pain, trauma, or loss, your feeling might be closer to fear or terror. So what drives you to act in spite of the uncertainty and accompanying discomfort? Simply put—values. When you have a strong belief about the right thing to do, you’re often compelled to act-possibly without even making a conscious decision to do so.
I want to encourage you this week to stretch and move into something that possibly scares the crap out of you. Not something dangerous but a leap forward to improve your outcomes for 2012. You will also need a spoonful of discipline this year, as we all do. We are moving into the 3rd week of January and just to refresh: Discipline is “knowing what you need to do, when you need to do it, even if you don’t want to!” Now go get em!
“You don’t get courage before you go to do something; you get it once you have done it!” – Linda Edgecombe