Courage is that part of ourselves that says, "I
know the risks, but I'm going forward anyway."
It's that something inside of ourselves that allows us to
do things that at different times, we might think we can't
do, or shouldn't do because the risk is too great.
But our courage definitely is one of the most important
elements of the creation of our lives--if we have courage
and exercise it, we can make our lives deeper and more
full of meaning by attempting things that will expand our
experiences, our learning, and our horizons.
Courage isn't necessarily something that we're born with,
and it's not blind--sometimes courage takes a great deal
of effort to exercise. Sometimes we have to spend a
lot of time talking ourselves into doing something
courageous, but that doesn't mean we have any less
courage. In fact, simply considering doing something
outside of our comfort zone is courageous in itself, and
the extra time necessary to decide to do so doesn't
indicate a lack of courage at all.
Our first step in being courageous, then, is considering
doing something that scares us, that makes us feel
uncomfortable. We won't always do that thing, but
when we decide to do it, we're allowing our courage to
shine, and we're expanding our lives by being courageous
enough to try those things that we're afraid of, and by
dealing with pain without allowing that pain to control
who we are and who we become.
Life doesn't expand for everyone. Not everyone is
willing to at least consider making changes that are
frightening or intimidating, and their life experiences
shrink into complacency and conformity with their refusal
to exercise their courage. I want a life that
expands, though--I want to allow my courage to be a major
influence in my life, and I want to look back on my life
one day and think, "I might not have done as much as
others, but I did have the courage to try and do new
things when the chances arrived." Otherwise,
I'll have to ask myself just what I contributed to my
life, if I didn't have the courage to contribute in the